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BeerSmith Software => BeerSmith 2 Questions => Topic started by: homebrewinco on January 04, 2014, 02:21:45 PM

Title: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: homebrewinco on January 04, 2014, 02:21:45 PM
Hello,

I'd like to add graham cracker to Beersmith.  Does anyone have the numbers so I can plug in.  Would be a grain if I want to add it into the mash?  or would it be as a misc item?  any advice would be appreciated.  Hopefully this isn't a duplicate topic.  Thanks.

homebrewinco
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: Scott Ickes on January 04, 2014, 04:03:12 PM
I'll be interested in what others advice on this.  I had a beer called "Campfire Ale" on thursday night.  It's a 6.5% stout and tasted like a s'more.  It was interesting.  I may try to make a s'more flavored stout or porter some day, using graham cracker.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: brewfun on January 05, 2014, 12:32:33 PM
Interesting question.

A google search of "graham cracker specific gravity" actually yields one recipe. http://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/graham-cracker-ale-69

But, there's no detail about mash or fermentation, just an OG of 1.069, so it's not very helpful.

I looked up some graham cracker recipes, just to see what's going into them. Basically, here's what's going into them:

50/50 blend of graham and plain flour
25 - 30% sugar, in the form of brown sugar and/or honey
20 - 25% fat, in the form of butter and milk solids

If we ignore the fat portion, I would translate that recipe into the following ingredients:

Raw Wheat: 1.030
Sucrose: 1.046

With a 70/30 wheat/sugar mix, that averages to 1.035.

Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 05, 2014, 01:44:33 PM
At what point and what method would be best used to add this ingredient?  Very interesting.  If you don't like grahams you must be a communist sympathizer.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: Scott Ickes on January 05, 2014, 02:35:24 PM
I would think adding them into the mash with some rice hulls to help with keeping the sparge from getting stuck would be a good plan.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 05, 2014, 07:08:45 PM
Get your hands on some Briess Carabrown (seasonal malt) if you can. I've used it in a porter and a stout, and especially with the stout, there is definitely a hint of graham cracker. At greater percentages, I think it would be very prevalent. Mix with some medium caramel/crystal and perhaps some biscuit, and that would be darn tasty.

Hmm... think I'm going to try this myself!
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 06, 2014, 03:37:32 AM
Thanks.   I think I will try it in my American Amber or a cinnamom metheglin.
I searched this https://www.google.com/#q=graham+cracker+flavor+malt (https://www.google.com/#q=graham+cracker+flavor+malt).  Looks like it takes a ton of crackers in the mash..2 boxes.  Some guys are adding them to the boil.   Breiss is saying 10-25% usage on the Carabrown.   
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: homebrewinco on January 06, 2014, 08:38:54 AM
Thanks guys for all of the suggestions.  I was planning on adding rice hulls because I would prefer to add the graham crackers directly to the mash rather than in to the mash via a muslin bag.  Also, is carabrown in beersmith?  I looked for it and didn't see it.  I even looked for add-ons for breiss grain and still couldn't find it.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 06, 2014, 08:47:24 AM
It doesn't ship with BS, and I don't think it's part of the Briess add-on pack, either. I added it using Briess' analysis PDF; I've attached it for easy import to BS. Enjoy!
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 13, 2014, 12:51:42 PM
CM, I just read your post http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9527.0.html (http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php/topic,9527.0.html) on your chestnut brew.  I see you used some carabrown.  My carabrown just arrived and I am sitting here at my desk with a cup of 25% steeped grain (crushed with a tape measure and microwaved water if you need the recipe).  After sipping it half the day I am getting no graham, but others are describing it as 'cracker jack'.   Do you recall what % you used to get the graham flavor and at what point you remember noticing the flavor? 
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 13, 2014, 02:27:02 PM
The chestnut porter used a pretty small portion of it--5%, maybe?--but my stout is using more like 15%.

Now, granted, in both there is not an overwhelming graham cracker presence, but I'll contend its there. There are two possibilities I can think of: one is that it's not just the malt by itself that is responsible for the flavor, but the interaction with other malts and the mashing/boiling process itself, and another is what our expectations of graham crackers taste like. I don't think it tastes like commercial graham crackers, such as those made by tree-dwelling elves... but I do think that Carabrown is reminiscent of the homemade graham crackers I made this weekend. My crackers are less sweet and more grainy, nutty, and earthy. I just got two more pounds of Carabrown today, and I'm going to attempt a graham cracker brown ale, basically by translating my cracker recipe into a beer recipe (which obvious omissions, e.g. butter).

Sorry--that probably was not terribly helpful!
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 13, 2014, 04:40:32 PM
Yes I think it would be more typical of my idea if it were a little sweeter.  I am using it in my Keebler
Amber this weekend with saw palmetto honey.  We will see.  I am steeping it with some crystal, victory, honey tonite to get a better idea. BTW, don't bother with extracts you will find on amazon.  They aren't even close.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 13, 2014, 07:28:02 PM
The honey is an interesting idea and will probably lend a nice touch--good ol' honey grahams! As chance would have it, I'm going to use some Gambrinus honey malt in mine, as it is intensely sweet and I think it will help round out some of the more roasted/toasted/bitter flavors. I've never used it before but this seemed like a good place to start. I'll be anxious to hear how yours comes out.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: brewfun on January 13, 2014, 07:48:45 PM
I'm with CM that the malt by itself isn't going to carry Graham flavor. Graham crackers are not just one flavor. They're an amalgam of contrasts, that we add up to "Graham Cracker."

Honey tends to ferment away into alcohol and wishes. Honey Malt tends to turn into lightly buttered toast, rather than hive derived.

The leading edge of Graham cracker is toasted wheat germ and cinnamon. Sweetness finishes the flavor, but doesn't lead.

For my money, nothing carries toastiness like Briess Victory Malt. It carries a convincingly "bran" flavor at rates of 10-15% in a grist. Less than that, it's bread crust like dark Munich wants to be.

I'm thinking of holding back bittering by 10% from balance, using 10% Victory Malt, then adding just a quarter stick of cinnamon to the secondary.

Take what I'm saying with a grain (or bag) of Malt. I haven't made anything like this, but it has the potential of being amazing. I'm just relating flavors I've experienced.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 14, 2014, 03:17:30 AM
I have some Saigon cinammon on the way too.  I was going to try to backsweeeten in small doses with the honey like they do for mead. As a guess my starting point is 15% Carabrown, 10% each of Victory, C40, Munich 9,  with Maris Otter.  Around 1050 OG. Maybe 25 IBU from Magnum & Williamette. My old friend WLP001.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: Scott Ickes on January 14, 2014, 09:17:37 AM
I'm not sure I understand what all of you are saying about honey and sweetness.  It's been my experience that honey doesn't add sweetness once it's fermented.  It seems to me that because it is so fermentable, that all of the sweetness is gone and you're left with dryness, as the honey is converted to almost all alcohol.  For a mead that isn't carbonated, I can see using honey to back sweeten it, since you can stop the fermentation, like you can with a wine and then add honey back to get a real honey flavor in there, since the yeast have been stopped dead by metabisulfate and potasium sorbate.  But if you try to back sweeten beer this way with honey, bottle conditioning goes out the window, since there isn't viable yeast left anymore to allow for carbonation. 

Is it safe for me to assume that if you're back sweetening with honey, that you're kegging and force carbonating?
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 14, 2014, 09:22:07 AM
Good stuff, guys. It will be interesting to see how these beers turn out. I'm going to go 2-row pale, Munich 10, Carabrown, either biscuit and/or Special Roast, a bit of the honey malt and some mid-caramel. I'll also add some molasses to the end of the boil and some cinnamon in secondary. Bittering hops--minimal hop flavor--but go with something spicy. Shoot for an amber or light brown, in the mid-1.050s, medium to full body. I'm thinking maybe a British yeast, but will probably just default to US-05.

Now I'm thirsty AND hungry!
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: tom_hampton on January 14, 2014, 05:49:39 PM
Lactose is another way to add just a touch of residual sweetness.  You get some body out of it, too.  That might be good with what could be considered a "desert" beer. 

Yeast selection is a third.  A low attenuative yeast, such as one of the english strains could leave you with a few extra points of residual maltose.  You can control the "fruity" esters through fermentation temps.  WPL002 at 64F or so.  You can also overpitch a little to keep the growth down and further limit ester production.  Or, WLP007 is less fruity that 002...but its a little MORE attenuative. 

You could also play with a touch of kettle carmelization. 
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 14, 2014, 06:07:15 PM
I tried last night to caramelize the victory, carabrown, and added some cinnamon this morning.  Getting closer.  Wish I had the rest of the ingredients.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 14, 2014, 06:53:37 PM
I'm going to do a decoction, probably as a mash out. Quite enjoying the results on my MO SMaSH, having done this. Lightly toasting some of the base malt might be helpful, too. I might toss in some wheat for giggles...

I'm all dry yeast, so maybe I'll use S-04 instead of US-05. I got a whole bunch of S-33 for peanuts, so maybe I'll try that--sort of waiting to see the results of an experimental beer I did last weekend with it first.

So many choices!
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 15, 2014, 06:05:42 AM
I cringe to think of this as a dessert beer even though sweetness is needed and it could go that way.  I am going for more of a 'what was that?' aftertaste.  Thanks for the yeast tips.  I will use 002.
I was thinking about what decocting would do too, but am going just single infusion for now.  We will have to trade bottles if they turn out somewhat edible.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: cmbrougham on January 15, 2014, 09:42:22 PM
It's homemade beer; short of it turning into reactor cooling water, it'll be edible! I'm all about a brew swap--we'll work that out once the goods are ready.

We should probably move this over to the recipes forum (as we've deviated just a touch from the original intent of this thread), but here's my thinking:

Recipe: Graham Cracker Ale (real original name, eh?)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 3.98 gal
Post Boil Volume: 3.38 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 3.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 2.78 gal
Estimated OG: 1.051 SG
Estimated Color: 16.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 34.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.5 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2 lbs 12.0 oz         Pale Malt (2 Row) US (1.8 SRM)           Grain         1        49.7 %       
1 lbs                 Carabrown (55.0 SRM)                     Grain         2        18.1 %       
8.0 oz                Munich 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM)           Grain         3        9.0 %         
8.0 oz                Wheat - Red Malt (Briess) (2.3 SRM)      Grain         4        9.0 %         
6.0 oz                Special Roast (Briess) (50.0 SRM)        Grain         5        6.8 %         
4.0 oz                Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)                    Grain         6        4.5 %         
2.5 oz                Molasses (80.0 SRM)                      Sugar         7        2.8 %         
0.33 oz               Challenger [7.60 %] - Boil 45.0 min      Hop           8        14.6 IBUs     
0.33 oz               Challenger [7.60 %] - Boil 30.0 min      Hop           9        12.3 IBUs     
0.50 Items            Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)        Fining        10       -             
0.33 oz               Challenger [7.60 %] - Boil 15.0 min      Hop           11       7.9 IBUs     
0.50 Items            Cinnamon Stick (Boil 5.0 mins)           Spice         12       -             
1.0 pkg               SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) Yeast         13       -             


Mash Schedule: BIAB, Medium Body, Decoction Mash Out
Total Grain Weight: 5 lbs 8.5 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Saccharification  Add 17.49 qt of water at 158.3 F        152.0 F       60 min       
Mash Out          Decoct 5.11 qt of mash and boil it      168.0 F       10 min       


I'm shooting for a substantial malt backbone that the specialties can run around on. Trying to give the Carabrown a wide berth. Thought about adding some (more) caramel malt, but I think I'll let the honey malt do the sweet talkin. I've not used molasses before; does the usage look like enough to get it noticed without it stomping around too much? Can't wait to make this one...
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 16, 2014, 05:50:03 AM
True,  I am under no illusions of answering the question in the OP.  Thanks homebrewinco for the idea.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: homebrewinco on January 22, 2014, 12:28:13 PM
True,  I am under no illusions of answering the question in the OP.  Thanks homebrewinco for the idea.

Your welcome.  I've seen recipes for stouts and porters and thought it would be a great marriage.  Note, Denver Beer Co. is known for a great version of this.  I can wait to try it.

As for my beer, here is the recipe.  I just racked it into the keg after 1.5 weeks of primary.  I get a subtle taste the graham cracker with a malty bite.  The coffee/chocolate notes come next and then aromatic hops.  I would change the cascade at flame out to .25 oz as the more you sip, the more hops you get.  It'll be interesting once under pressure how the beer changes.  Initial OG was 1.065 and finished out at 1.010.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.04 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.50 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal   
Bottling Volume: 5.10 gal
Estimated OG: 1.080 SG
Estimated Color: 27.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 31.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
1 lbs 12.8 oz         Graham Cracker (3.0 SRM)                 Adjunct       1        10.4 %       
1 lbs                 Rice Hulls (Briess) (0.0 SRM)            Adjunct       2        5.8 %         
8 lbs 8.0 oz          Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)           Grain         3        49.1 %       
3 lbs 8.0 oz          Carabrown (55.0 SRM)                     Grain         4        20.2 %       
1 lbs                 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM)    Grain         5        5.8 %         
8.0 oz                Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)               Grain         6        2.9 %         
1 lbs                 Brown Sugar, Light (8.0 SRM)             Sugar         7        5.8 %         
1.00 oz               Willamette [5.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min      Hop           8        12.8 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Northern Brewer [9.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop           9        18.6 IBUs     
0.75 oz               Cascade [6.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min          Hop           10       0.0 IBUs     
2.0 pkg               American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124 Yeast         11       -             


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 17 lbs 4.8 oz
----------------------------
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In           Add 20.38 qt of water at 163.7 F        152.0 F       60 min       

Sparge: Batch sparge with 5 steps (Drain mash tun , 1.04gal, 1.04gal, 1.04gal, 1.04gal) of 168.0 F water
Notes:
------
Add 2 boxes (14.4 oz each) of graham cracker to mash crushed finely.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: homebrewinco on January 22, 2014, 12:29:31 PM
Forgot to mention, I would definitely add a vanilla and cinnamon stick into secondary in my second batch just to bring out the flavors you would expect in the cracker.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: KernelCrush on January 22, 2014, 04:37:13 PM
Glad to see your getting the flavor to come thru. I think I will be eating a graham cracker while drinking one to ensure success.
Title: Re: Adding graham cracker as an ingredient
Post by: makubex on April 30, 2015, 10:28:34 AM
Forgot to mention, I would definitely add a vanilla and cinnamon stick into secondary in my second batch just to bring out the flavors you would expect in the cracker.

Greetings!  I was hoping you could provide an update as to how this turned out with a bit of age.  I'm currently researching various ways of incorporating graham cracker flavor into a beer, and hoping to determine what is effective and what isn't.

Thanks!