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MCI stout and ale malt, What's the difference?

Started by Drum, April 07, 2017, 11:39:45 PM

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I got a friend to pick up 50kg of malt from MCI today, last minute pick up from the group buy a while back.  He somehow brought 2 bags of stout malt instead of ale malt. My own fault really, I should have been a bit more specific with my instructions.

Does anyone know if there's any huge difference in the 2 malts? 
I've looked at the specs of both and the only difference I can see is that the stout malt has higher diastatic power and a paler colour. I'm guessing that the ale malt is kilned at a slightly higher temp to coax a bit more flavour from it, whereas the stout malt is more of an efficient workhorse to provide fermentable sugars in a beer where most of the flavour comes from roasted grain.

I mosty brew hoppy pale's and IPA's. Has anyone use the stout malt for that kind of thing? 

The spec sheets are here if anyone wants to take a look and play a game of spot the differences.



mr hoppy

April 08, 2017, 12:02:43 AM #1 Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 12:15:24 AM by mr hoppy
I've not used the stout malt, just the pale and lager. The pale is darker than the lager. If I was doing a west coast IPA (how unfashionable  ??? I know) I would probably use just the lager or mix it and the ale. I've been doing lagers with the lager malt and it has all the good bready stuff you want.

The stout is supposed to be fairly bland, moreso than the lager or the ale. From what I've read it sounds like American 2-row, so I'd imagine it would be fine for a hop forward clean IPA and if you wanted some character a bit of munich / melanodin / biscuit or whatever you are having would do the trick.

BTW is that spec sheet the spec for the actual batch you bought or just a generic one?

mr hoppy

It looks like it's not batch specific. They do batch specific ones. I got mine when I picked the grain up. They might be able to email them on, and they are with getting - I thought the lager might need a step mash but was actually more modified than the ale.


I forgot to get my malt  >:( been so busy with work i forgot completely about it, I'll get on the Chris and he'll hopefully sort me out. It's meant to provide a higher extract compared to the pale allowing to use less to get more.


Yep, those are generic spec sheets from the website. Ill give MCI a ring on monday and see if I can get the batch specs, Good thinking Mr Hoppy.

Cheers Lads. You both pretty much confirmed what I was thinking, i.e. higher efficiency but paler colour and less flavour compared to ale malt.  Iv'e plenty amber, munich and biscuit malt to play around with so I reckon i can work with it.

Unfashionable it may be, but I like the sound of a single malt Irish Wesht coast ipa  ;D


When i went up for the brewing weekend at Kinnegar we brewed a session IPA and Rick used Stout malt. AFAIK he uses it for most of his hoppy beers.
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Ok, so i finally got around to brewing with the stout malt a few days ago.  First brew in ages and in a new house so had a few feck ups but theres an airlock bubbling and smelling good so I'm happy  :)

Long story short my expected volume was under by 2L and I overshot my expected OG by 9 points. (19L @1.057 instead of 21L @1.048)

The extra boil off I can account for, I used a heavier jacket than usual to insulate the boiler. Even after adjusting the volume I ended up with 21L @ 1.052 instead of the expected 1.048

I used brewtarget to do the recipe and just used the profile for loughran pale malt I had saved. The figures are usually pretty close but not always bang on. The difference in the stout malt was fairly substantial though.  I think it could be a very good base malt for some high gravity brews without overloading smaller mash tuns like mine.


It will be interesting to see what the flavor is like on this. I believe their stout malt is meant to have an unpronounced character to allow dark malts to shine through.


I'm interested to find out aswell.  The Logical part of my brain said it would be a good idea to do a nice easy SMASH recipe with cascade or some other familiar hop. Since I was also brewing with a new source of water from a well for the first time, that would probably have been a good way to get a feel for both the malt and the local water.

The mad scientist in me said, feck that, there's too many variables to account for at once. Do that Galaxy hopped amber recipe you've been thinking about doing and see what happens  >:D
Basically the beer in the fermenter is a completely unknown sample. I have no basis for comparison for the malt, water, recipe (I made it up as I went) or the hops as it's my first time using both magnum and galaxy, though I really liked the O'haras galaxy hop adventure. 

I'm planning to do a few brews over the next week so I'll do a simple SMASH to get a baseline for the malt first and update when there's beer to be sampled. 

Can't decide whether to call my amber ''Unknown Galaxy'' or ''Odo's Amber Ale''  :D   (only the Trekkies among ye will get that last one)