I don’t experiment much, I feel that I need to learn how to brew first. But once in a while brewing by style and others well proven recipes becomes uninteresting even when the beer turns out great!
What I’m going to do in this post is to walk you through my experiment of toasting my own malt using regular pale malt. What I’m aiming for is some kind of Brown malt that will be turned into a kind of porter-ish thingy.
To get started I picked up my newly arrived copy of How to Brew by John Palmer (Yes I know, but I’ve read the web version before – then found out it was seriously outdated…) and turned to page 246. He gives us a quick how to toast our own malt. Basically he says: Roast in oven for different periods of time at different degrees wet or dry to achieve the following flavors (table of flavors) and then store for a minimum of 2 weeks before using.
I’m going with 177° c for 1 hour to get what he describes as: ”More roasted flavor, very similar to commercial brown malt.” and 177° c wet malt for 2 hours to get: ”Strong toast/roast flavor similar to brown malt, but slightly sweet.”
I did one kg of each, dry and wet.
I used two regular oven trays and put 500 grams of Weyermann pale malt on each of them without anything done to the tray. Same proportion for the dry and wet.
Don’t make the layer to thick, I believe that it is easier to get an even roast if using a thin layer. The wet grain will take up a bit more space since it swells a bit after being in the water for 1 hour.
Place in oven at desired temperature. I used 175°c.
I may have gone a bit overboard with the first batch (dry grain) and swirled the grain every ten minutes. I think it is enough with every 20 minutes or so which is what I did with the wet grain. I had to move it around with a spatula the second time i took it out due to some grains sticking to the plate.
Moving the grains around will give them a more even roast.
Time to see what we got!
Almost finished product ready for storage.
Placing grain in a bowl for wetting. Pick a big bowl or two smaller so you have enough space for water.
I filled the bowl to the edge and then let the grain soak for 1 hour. (I did this while the dry grain was roasting in the oven)
After an hour it’s time to drain the grain. I just let it run off and didn’t force any water out of it.
Dry grain 175°c for 1 hour to the left and wet grain 175°c for 2 hours to the right. There is a clear difference between the two. Taste and aroma-wise i prefer the wet roasted grain. It had a more elegant and tasty sweetness to it. The dry grain was more harsh and …yeah, drier.
Out of curiosity I did 400 grams of dry grains for 3 hours. It’s on the oven tray in this picture. As you can see the 2 hours roast wet grain has more color than the 3 hour dry. The inside of the three hour dry was pretty nuked though. I may not use it for an actual beer if it has the same burnt flavor after storage.
Before using the grain it has to be stored. Palmer says two weeks and I will follow that as a minimum. I may wait a bit longer if I don’t get the time and opportunity to brew.
I used paper bags for storing the grain. That will keep the grain dry if kept in a dry space. I put in a cupboard since it will be used within a months time. My other roasted/toasted/special grains I store in the freezer.
I believe everything went alright this time and can’t say much more about the result before brewing with the roasted grains. I’ll keep you updated!
Thanks for reading.