Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Making Brown Malt

(click on pic to see it up close and personal)
This picture above is the color when it is done. At least mine was. I read that I should pull it out of the oven when I think it smells right rather then when it looks right. It smelled pretty damn good when I pulled it out.

Untoasted 2-row

Getting Ready To Go In The Oven at 225F

225F for 30 Min to dry it out completely.

30 Min at 300F
30 Min at 350F
Once you hit 350F make sure you
take the grain out and turn it over every 5-10
min. or so so it doesn't get burned.
This is what I ended up with

I'm sitting at my kitchen table right now drinking a 750ml of Trois Pistoles and enjoying the incredible smell coming from this pumpkin candle my wife bought and the aroma of 2row toasting in my oven at 350 F. I have to say, all of a sudden I am craving autumn and it's rich air and cooler temperatures. I decided to try and make my own brown malt tonight because I am planning on brewing up a stout that is basically going to be a beefed up milk stout with pecans and maple syrup and probably some cinnamon just before bottling. I wanted to use some brown malt in this to add that nice touch of fall. (gotta go turn my grain.....)

Wow, I opened my oven and you'd of thought I was making butterfingers. My whole house smells like a combination of toasted pumpkin seeds, popcorn, butterfinger candy bars, and chocolate. The smell alone is reason enough to toast your own malt. It is starting to turn a nice light brown. I started my toasting it at 225F for 30 minutes just to dry it out completely, the I gave it 30 min at 300F. I've stepped it up to 350F (the temp brown malt was traditionally roasted at albeit over a wood fire and rapidly brought up to temp) and now it is starting to definitely change in color. I've been turning it every 10 min or so now that I am at 350F as not to burn it.

That's what I did to get my brown malt. After reading Randy Mosher's book "Radical Brewing" I saw that he had this chart, which is pretty close to what I did. I just started at lower temps and worked my way up instead of just starting at your desired temp. I must state that I also dry roasted my grains giving it a toastier flavor rather then moistening my grain and then roasting them which would have given it a richer, more caramelized toast.

Min F (C) Color (L) Flavor
20 250 (121) Pale Gold (100) Nutty, not toasty
25 300 (149) Gold (20) Malty, Carmelly, rich, not toasty
30 350 (177) Amber (35) Nutty, Malty, Lightly Toasted
40 375 (191) Deep Amber (65) Nutty, toffee-like, crisp toastiness
30 400 (204) Copper (100) Strong toasted flavor, some nutlike notes
40 400 (204) Deep Copper (125) Roasted, not toasted, like porter or coffee
50 400 (204) Brown (175) Strong Roasted flavor

9 comments: said...

Awesome post Brian! I've heard others talk about doing this . . . you actually did it!!! Hearing your description of the pumpkin-scented candle lit while the grains were roasting suggested you should save some of those grains and make a pumpkin ale with them. However I must admit that your stout sounds interesting too! Thanks for sharing (there . . . I spelled "sharing" right).

Tobias Patton said...

Thanks for the blog! I made 1.5 lb of brown malt following your instructions. My Imperial Porter is in the fermenter now.

Anonymous said...

this is cool - i am trying it right now as i type this - the house smells good!

troutinthemilk said...

thanks dude, making a lavender imperial stout now with #.5 brown malt thanks to you.

Bean said...

Thanks for posting this. I used 2# in an extract recipe a few months back. The brown malt was the only adjunct grain steeped and had a tremendous impact on the overall color and flavor. Toasting 3# as I type this for another go tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever used a commercial maltsters brown malt? How did this compare in taste?

Homebrewer Brian said...

Hey, this is awesome that all you guys are having such great results with this brown malt. I really love the way this smell takes over the house. I have not ever used a commercial brown malt so I can't actually give a comparison of how mine fairs against them but I know this works pretty well...especially if you give the malt a little time to rest and mellow out after roasting it.

Kernel Bach said...

"especially if you give the malt time to rest and mellow"
I've read that you should use the fresh roasted malt ASAP ("Old British Beers"), but I've also read that you should let it mellow first. I wish there wasnt so much conflicting information. When should home roasted malt be used?

unsane said...

IMHO, the malt needs to rest for a week or so. I did my first batch of hometoasted brown malt a week ago, and it had an additional unpleasant acrid smell and taste. After hanging to air in a cloth bag for a week, the acridity is gone, and just a nice toasted smell and taste is left.
Off the cuff, maybe that acrid aroma was from heating of the oils in the husk, that'd be my guess anyway