I've recently taken a great interest in Maillard chemistry and its applications in brewing. I decided this weekend to get my feet wet and try some home baked maillard reactions. My intention was to create a medium crystal malt (~60-80 L) from some briess pale malt. I started by soaking 3.5 pounds in cold water for 24 hrs (per Mosher; Radical Brewing). This was then drained and brought to mash temps (155-160 F) in two cake pans in my oven. This temperature was held for about 3 hours. Iodine tests indicated that full conversion was not achieved, however the malt did become distinctly sweet. I then transferred all the grain to a screen-bottomed tray (~ 1 in deep) and brought the temp up to 220 F to dry and crystallize. I planned on then increasing temps to 300 or so to achieve desired color and flavor (the Maillard part). This is were things departed from my original plan. Drying took much longer than expected (~ 6 hrs), with stirring every 15 minutes or so. By the time the grain was crispy, the color had changed to about that of Special B (much darker than anticipated). However, the flavor is distinctly different. This malt is assertively sweet and tastes something like grape nuts with toffee and caramel, unlike the raisin-like flavor of Special B. While this isn't what I was shooting for, I am still excited to try it out (after mellowing of course). I plan on using it in something that really showcases the malt profile (i.e. Scotch or Scottish ale of some sort).
Just curious if anyone else has tried this and to what ends.