Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements


Site Map
Introduction
Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions
19 Some of My Favorite Beer Styles and Recipes
20 Experiment!
21 Is My Beer Ruined?

 

 

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Chapter 20 - Experiment!

20.4 Toasting Your Own Malt

As a homebrewer, you should feel free to experiment in your kitchen with malts. Oven toasted base malt adds nutty and toasty flavor to your beer, which is a nice addition for brown ales, porters, bocks, and oktoberfests. Toasting-your-own is easy to do and the toasted grain can be used by both steeping and mashing. If steeped, the malt will contribute a high proportion of unconverted starch to the wort and the beer will be hazy, but a nice nutty toasted flavor will be evident in the final beer. There are several combinations of time and temperature that can be used in producing these special malts, so I will explain a couple of the factors that influence the flavor and describe the two methods I use.

The principal reaction that takes place when you toast malt is the browning of starches and proteins, known as the Maillard Reaction. As the starches and proteins brown, various flavor and color compounds are produced. The color compounds are called "melanoidins" and can improve the stability of beer by slowing oxidation and staling reactions as the beer ages.

Since the browning reactions are influenced by the wetness of the grain, water can be used in conjunction with the toasting process to produce different flavors in the malt. Soaking the uncrushed malt in water for an hour will provide the water necessary to optimize the Maillard browning reactions. Toasting wet malt will produce more of a caramel flavor due to partial starch conversion taking place from the heat. Toasting dry grain will produce more of a toast or Grape-Nuts cereal flavor which is perfect for nut-brown ales.

Table 17 - Grain Toasting Times and Temperatures

Temperature

Dry/Wet

Time

Flavor

275 F

Dry

1 hour

Light nutty taste and aroma.

350 F

Dry

15 minutes

Light nutty taste and aroma.

350 F

Dry

30 minutes

Toasty, Grape-Nuts Flavor.

350 F

Dry

1 hour

More roasted flavor, very similar to commercial Brown Malt.

350 F

Wet

1 hour

Light sweet Toasty flavor.

350 F

Wet

1.5 hours

Toasted Malty, slightly sweet.

350 F

Wet

2 hours

Strong Toast/Roast flavor similar to Brown Malt.

The malt should be stored in a paper bag for 2 weeks prior to use. This will allow time for the harsher aromatics to escape. Commercial toasted malts are often aged for 6 weeks before sale. This aging is more important for the highly toasted malts, toasted for more than a half hour (dry) or 1 hour (wet).

Previous Page Next Page
Experiment!
20.0
Just Try It
20.1
Increasing the Body
20.2
Changing Flavors
20.3
Using Honey
20.4
Toasting Your Own Malt
20.5
Developing Your Own Recipes
Real Beer Page

Buy the print edition
Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer