Overview of malting process
- Green barley comes in from the field, is analyzed, sorted and stored.
- 1 – 3 months storage time from harvest to the beginning of malting.
- Steeping – to increase the total moisture of the barley
- Brings internal moisture content up to about 45% from the 10-14% that it already has
- Important Factors: Time (24-60 hours), Temp (48-60°F), Aeration, CO2 removal.
- Germination – to develop enzymes and make starch available to those enzymes
- Usually takes about 4 days
- Important Factors: Temp (60-70°F), Airflow, Moisture
- Rootlets grows from base of kernel, acrospire grows from the base towards the tip.
- Kilning – to dry the grain to roughly 4%, develop color/flavor
- Kilning program depends on finished grain requirements
- 16-40 hours, depending on end product desired.
- Roasting – used in alone (post germination) or in conjunction with a kiln to produce a variety of caramel and roasted malts
- No Standard system of classification
- Brewer's often classify by use (base, color, charachter, etc)
- Maltsters often classify by production method (base, kilned, kilned caramel, roasted caramel, dry roasted, etc)
- Everyone agrees on one major distinction: Base and Specialty malts
- Base: kilned at low temperatures to preserve pale color and enzymes
- e.g. pale, pils
- Some consider kilned malts that still retain diastatic power to be included in this category
- e.g. Munich, Vienna, Mild
- Kilned Specialty: Generally Kilned at slightly higher temps to encourage more melanoidin reactions (develop more flavor)
- Munich, mild, specialty pilsner malts, honey malt, biscuit, etc.
- Some of these malts retain enzymes and can be used like a base malt, others must be used in conjunction with a base malt
- honey, biscuit, etc must be mashed
- Kilned Caramel: after germination, heat applied to bring grain to 140- 160 at full moisture level, starches converted to sugar, then malt is dried/kilned
- Carapils/Caramel/crystal up to about 80L.
- Roasted Caramel: after germination, malt is transferred to a roasting drum. Same process as kilned caramel, but heat is applied with more intensity and more rapidly.
- Full spectrum of crystal/caramel malts can be produced this way
Production of Dry Roasted grain
- Dry Roastedmalts are processed twice
- Quick and intense heat application yields successively darker colors and roasted flavors as time in drum progresses.
- After germination, they are kilned almost to completion (about 6% instead of 4%)
- allowed to rest for approx. 3 weeks before transfer to a roasting drum.
- Amber, brown, chocolate, black patent, etc
- During roasting, the malt flavor progresses from sweet and malty to nutty, then toasty, then biscuity, eventually to coffee, chocolate, coffee again, then acrid
- Color and flavor coincide with internal grain temperature
- As desired temp is nears, the operator turns off heat, collects a sample, quickly analyzes flavor and color
- If all ok, malt is doused with water in the drum, tumbled for a few seconds, then goes to a cooling sieve.
- Rapid cooling is important to minimize addional color and flavor development
- Malt rests for an additional 3+ weeks.
3 major types of dry roasted grain: Chocolate Malt, Black Malt, Roasted Barley
- Provides flavor of dark toast (small additions) to bittersweet chocolate, coffee (larger additions)
- Roasted slower, to lower internal grain temp (unknown)
- Available from Crisp, Thomas Fawcett
- Roasted until internal grain temp reaches 300-450
- Color generally between 325 and 425°L (US), 350- 625°L(UK)
- Use 1-10% in Brown ale, porter and Stout
- Small amounts can be used for color/flavor in lighter styles
- Darker chocolate malts will generally tend to be sharper, more acidic, more bitter.
- Chocolate malts tend to increase body a bit
- Pale Chocolate made my limiting heat application
- Black Malt
- He patented his process, hence “Black Patent.” His patent has long since expired, so now it is usually called black malt
- Modern black malt developed in 1817, by some English guy.
- Made using same process as other dry roasted grain. Internal temperature taken over 500°F (sometimes up to 700°F)
- Color 475-550°L (US), 500-675°L (UK)
- Flavor is usually less intense than lighter roasted malts, leaving some coffee character, but predominantly acrid, ashy character
- Used above 5% (up to 15%), will contribute black color to porter and stout, lower amounts (down to .1%) in paler beer will contribute red hues to beer with out strong roasty flavors that come from Roasted barley used in the same way.
- Black malt tends to increase body
- Roasted Barley
- Grainy, husky, dark toasty flavor at low use rates. Good option for color adjustment in lighter beers. (<2%)
- Contributes more coffee flavor at moderate-heavy use rates. (>2%) Traditionally reserved for stout
- Roasted to 475 – 525 °L (US)
- Use 1-10%
- Small amounts contribute color, burnt toast character
- Moderate use contributes light coffee, burnt coffee flavor
- Contributes to dryness and thin body
- Dry, raw six-row barley is loaded into the roaster, and the heat is applied.
- Roasted Barley: similar temp profiles to chocolate malt (US versions)
- Roasted to 275 – 375°L (US), 500 – 700°L (UK)
- Don't use UK and US versions interchangeably!
- Contributes to dryness and thinner body.
- Black Barley is a US product that is darker than US roasted barley, similar to the darker UK Roasted Barley.
- What the Fuh is Carafa?
- Carafa is basically German chocolate, available in 3 grades
- Type I – 300 -375 L (similar to paler US choco malts)
- Type II – 413 – 450 (similar to dark US choco)
- Type III – 488-563L (similar to dark UK choco)
- Use 1-5% in all kinds of beer.
- Contributes similar characteristics to chocolate malts of same color range (bittersweet chocolate, dark toast, light coffee)
- 3 types give finer tuning across flavor/color spectrum.
- Carafa Special = dehusked version
- Contributes less grainy harshness, less burnt character
Choosing between Dark Roasted Malts
- Typically, darker color indicates sharper flavor.
- Don't sub UK for US, or vice versa, unless you want to change the character of the beer
- When planning a recipe, pick the roasted grain by desired contribution, not what is the most traditional choice
- These are all very modern malts, not similar to the ingredients used in historical Porters or Stouts of yore.
- Recent tradition dictates that Porters may contain chocolate and/or black malt, while stouts more frequently use chocolate, and roasted barley, perhaps with some Black Malt thrown in for good measure.
Sources and additional reading:
1. Lewis, Michael; Young, Tom. Brewing. Springer; 2nd Ed, 2002
2. Ockert, Karl, ed. MBAA Practical Handbook Vol 1: Raw Materials and Brewhouse Operations. Master Brewers Association of the Americas, 2006.
3. Sapsis, David. BJCP Study Guide -- Malt and Adjuncts. 8 December 2010 <http://www.bjcp.org/study.php#malt>