Rahr Dextrin: Utility Malt or Magic Ingredient?
Known for improving mouthfeel in hazy styles and for contributing perfect pillowy foam to Pilsners, Rahr Dextrin Malt has just one job: Making your beer better. Depending on how much you include in your malt bill, Rahr Dextrin may produce subtle flavors of grain, bread, and raw barley.
Logan Smith, Head Brewer at El Segundo Brewing in California, recently gave Rahr Dextrin a trial run in his 15bbl brewhouse. Used in three of the brewery’s core beers, we got on the horn to hear how things went. (Spoiler: Very well, thank you!)
BSG: Hey Logan! Thanks for taking our call. First question: How’d you get your start in beer?
Logan Smith, El Segundo Brewing: My intro to beer and brewing was with my dad. He was a home brewer, always drinking Sierra Nevada, Anchor, stuff like that. He would have his carboys on the ground, bubbling away. As a kid I loved the bubbles. I loved the smell of that stuff coming out.
After homebrewing in high school with a buddy and then bartending in my hometown of Santa Cruz, I came to LA in 2015 for a job at Monkish. Shortly after that, I completed the internship program at Angel City and made my way to El Segundo. I’ve been here since.
BSG: What’s it like working at El Segundo? What’s going on at the brewery?
Logan: It’s been great. Love working here. We have three brewers, four if you count me. And then two guys for cellar work and warehouse work. So, about six people total. Someone’s playing some Eddie Vedder back there right now. At this point we’re putting around 8,000 bbls a year, so it’s a good thing we like working together.
Logan: Coming up, we’ve got our annual release of Power Plant, a Triple IPA with Simcoe, Amarillo, and others. I don’t know why we do this to ourselves, but a couple years ago we started making Nuclear Power Plant. That’s our Triple IPA with 2% more ABV and Nelson Sauvin™ hops added in. These beers are always incredibly stressful to brew because they’re so taxing on the yeast, but they’re super fun to do.
BSG: Moving onto malt. Why’d you decide to brew with Rahr Dextrin?
Logan: Our rep, Mark, suggested we run a trial. What did he say it was? He told us it’s magic. Then he sent us some bags.
BSG: The dark arts are always tempting. What did you brew?
Logan: We chose to use Rahr Dextrin Malt in three of our core beers. These are the beers we know the best.
- The first was our Mayberry IPA, 7.2% ABV, and one of our flagships. We don’t mess with the recipe on this one, it’s tried and true. We added the Dextrin malt to Rahr 2-Row and a small amount of Weyermann® Vienna. As for hops, we use Cascade and Chinook.
- We also used it in our Citra Pale Ale. This beer has also Cascade and Chinook. It’s 5.5% ABV and the malt bill is actually very similar to Mayberry. Again, it’s Rahr 2-Row, Weyermann® Vienna, and Rahr Dextrin.
- The last beer we brewed with Rahr Dextrin Malt is Steve Austin’s Broken Skull IPA. That’s a big one, taking us on a rollercoaster ride. The beer has a pretty simple malt bill. It’s all Rahr 2-Row with a little bit of Rahr Dextrin Malt. We wanted a good base for the hops to do their work. This one has Chinook and Cascade as well.
BSG: “At 6.7% ABV, it delivers big flavor with an easy finish.” Stone Cold says so on the website.
Logan: It’s one of the best IPAs, and he’s a great guy to hang with.
BSG: What are your impressions of working with Rahr Dextrin Malt?
Logan: Simply put: We got better head retention and fluffier foam on these beers. I was surprised with it. Dextrin malt is one of those utility malts you don’t think too much about. I remember when it was brought to us, thinking “Is this really going to be impactful?” The biggest differences came in the visual aspects of the beer. It worked great.
BSG: That’s great to hear. Thanks for giving it a try and telling us how things went!
Ready to use Rahr Dextrin in your next brew? Contact your BSG rep for all your magical malt needs.