Originally Posted by Hermit
Roasting isn't too bad. I did it once when I needed a few ounces and the LHBS was out. Read up on the flavor profile and sniff often. You can smell the grain change 'flavors'.
The Nose Knows..... ;-) I appreciate your point. The nose is an extremely sensitive tool for chemical analysis. It will detect substances at just a few parts per million. I'm not a couch potato, an I have NEVER had a TV, so my evenings are spent on projects, reading, etc. If and when I build this, if someone calls me in the evening wondering what I'm doing, I can say "sniffing crystal"......... or would "snorting" be a better wording ;-)
At 100 miles from the LHBS, it makes sense to be able to make crystal...... I don't follow established recipes, in fact I have yet to make the same thing twice, though my "KiwiPils" has been a real success......... all 16 bottles of it. I don't have any pilsner malt at the moment, so I'm casting about for a way to achieve a similar result using 2 row. American Pilsner is extremely neutral, so American 2 row with a bit of rice or something should get pretty close. I've already made a couple of brews where I pan roasted some 2 row to darken it, assuming that it would convert with the rest...... and it did.
I've read several articles on making crystal..... Two different stewing systems.
One involves soaking for a number of hours, and heaping the moist grain in a pan in the oven for several hours at about 145-165 (normal mash temps), then drying at about 250, and roasting at about 350 for varying lengths of time, stirring occasionally. 10 minutes or so for CR20, 30 minutes or so for CR60
The other involves putting it in a pot with water and doing a mash with un-crushed grain at about 154, then drying and roasting. This guy does it pretty much exactly as you would your mash, mashing for an hour and doing a mash out at 170.
With a suitable container.... a metal cannister set up to run on the rotisserie, the moist grains packed fairly full .... perhaps 3/4....inside it, the slow rotation would result in fairly even heating....... Likewise the mesh cannister, which would be fairly easy to make, could be used to dry and to roast without issues of scorching.