Homemade Brown Malt in a Porter

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
First...I love a good traditional porter (think Taddy Porter).
Second...I could give a crap about style appropriate BJCMGLDJSMLMNOP guidelines as I make beer for me.

Now to the meat of my question: I have never seen or used Brown malt but using a few online guides I made what I believe to be a good facsimile (50 minutes at 400'ish). Since I have not used it before but my understanding is it gives a nutty/roasty/not coffee flavor that I want to emphasize, I want to know if this recipe makes sense:

10 Gallon batch:

9# Pale Malt
4# Mild Malt
4# Brown Malt
.5# C20
.5# American Chocaolate

Hops and yeast are up for grabs but probably an "appropriate" two stage Fuggles and/or Goldings and a dry British yeast.

So is 22% way over the top? I want to emphasize it but not make an undrinkable mess than I have to blend with something else later.
 

meatcleaver

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
662
Reaction score
130
Location
NE Texas
I've only used crisp brown malt which has a well done (or slightly overdone) bread crust character.
I used it @ 10% in a brown ale & 20% in a porter.
both are on my list to brew again this fall/winter.
 

OswaldvW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
216
Reaction score
35
Location
Albany, NY
I would look at recipes using brown malt and make decisions accordingly. I think it's the kind of malt that you have to use judiciously. The original, traditional brown malt from 200 years ago was diastatic. Today's brown malt isn't. There is a guy on Youtube who made his own traditional diastatic brown malt. Just google "brewing beer the hard way."
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
15-20% is a good amount in porter (so 22% should be fine). It gives a dark booom bass note compared to the distinct and sharp notes of black patent or roast barley.

If you roast your own let it mellow. You don't want too much roast. Brown malt is surprisingly pale until you mill it. The husk is about same colour as amber malt but the inside is way darker.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
If you roast your own let it mellow. You don't want too much roast. Brown malt is surprisingly pale until you mill it. The husk is about same colour as amber malt but the inside is way darker.
That was about what I ended up with. Not easy to describe color of the kernel but it was almost a battleship gray. It was roasted for about 50 minutes at 385 f (my oven reads a little low so close to 400f in reality).

The malt has been in a paper sack for about a week and will likely be another week before I can use it.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Mill some and compare with crystal 50l or so. If it's darker, use less of it.
 

halpinhe

Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
Location
Ottawa
I just did this with 10% homemade Brown malt in the way you described and it turned out really great. I wouldn't hesitate to try 15% or more.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
Ok, had the first pints yesterday and today. I can say I like the flavor a lot but I can also say I did not produce what I believe to be a porter. Since I am not hung up style, no big deal. So I ended up with a dry brown ale, lightly hopped. Also, can't smell a thing after a reaction to the sawdust from a door I was planing down (apparently only this one door is Black Walnut in the whole friggin' house).

I did end up a gallon over volume (actually two but an extended boil brought it down) which dropped an already marginally low starting gravity into the low 1.040's.

The lack of any black barley/patent also meant there was no "sharp" character. This was by design as I wanted to make sure I understood the flavor of the brown malt.

Next round...hit my volume, add a touch of black patent and probably bump it up to around 1.055. Probably stay with a "clean" yeast like Nottingham to judge more the malt flavor on its own.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
And I must say, this beer does mellow a lot with age. More so than using chocolate or Black Patent to achieve similar color/bite/bitterness.
 

SomeN00b

New Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Can't really comment on the efficacy of how you plan to make brown malt, but I can say the best description of the commercial brown malts I've tried is "imagine you made toast and you burnt it, but you didn't burn it so badly that you plan to make a new piece of toast." While not original to me (I heard it on a podcast, I believe Jamil said it), everyone I've ever repeated that to agrees with the description, so take that for what it's worth. I imagine if what you are producing has this flavor, you are right on the money.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Can't really comment on the efficacy of how you plan to make brown malt, but I can say the best description of the commercial brown malts I've tried is "imagine you made toast and you burnt it, but you didn't burn it so badly that you plan to make a new piece of toast." While not original to me (I heard it on a podcast, I believe Jamil said it), everyone I've ever repeated that to agrees with the description, so take that for what it's worth. I imagine if what you are producing has this flavor, you are right on the money.
I often think of it tasting like a cake that slightly burnt and stuck to the base. Those burnt bits are delicious but not necessarily the madeira cake you were aiming at. Crusty, sweet and rich.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
Re-brewed last night with a slight couple of changes:

9# Pale Malt
4.5# Mild Malt
4.8# (produced a little more than planned) Brown Malt
.5# C20
.5# American Chocolate
5 oz of Black Barley

Made the brown malt about 10 days ago and I think I will keep making it just for how the house smells when doing it! Also, this is a very cost effective method as well since I pay bout a $1/# for Pale Malt and then just toast it any time I am going to have the oven on for another reason.

The "Version I" Porter(ish) is almost gone as my renter loves it.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
Re-brewed last night with a slight couple of changes:

9# Pale Malt
4.5# Mild Malt
4.8# (produced a little more than planned) Brown Malt
.5# C20
.5# American Chocolate
5 oz of Black Barley

Made the brown malt about 10 days ago and I think I will keep making it just for how the house smells when doing it! Also, this is a very cost effective method as well since I pay bout a $1/# for Pale Malt and then just toast it any time I am going to have the oven on for another reason.

The "Version I" Porter(ish) is almost gone as my renter loves it.
Looks good to me! How hoppy is it? I'd make it fairly clean and bitter (40-50IBU with no late additions or just a weeny one).
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
Looks good to me! How hoppy is it? I'd make it fairly clean and bitter (40-50IBU with no late additions or just a weeny one).
Not at all hoppy but about 35 IBU's...Porters I have liked have always been balanced and this really is still about testing the Malt. I used Magnum for the 60 minute and an ounce of US Golding for a 15 minute.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
Actually really well. It gives a really deep roasty flavor like I was aiming for but it subtle different than I expected.

Next round, just went in the fermenter, is floor sweepin's beer with basically no inherent maltiness in the grist and a lower temp mash (150 f) that one will be interesting as well.

I will be making more of the malt about every time I fire up the oven. I think will be nice addition is lower volumes to about any dark ale.
 

Rhaop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Messages
628
Reaction score
226
Location
Baltimore
You just lay the pale malt on a flat pan in the oven or something like that? I've skimmed through the section in how to brew but this thread has me thinking of trying it now
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
You just lay the pale malt on a flat pan in the oven or something like that? I've skimmed through the section in how to brew but this thread has me thinking of trying it now
Pretty much. I have a bunch of aluminum sheet pans from a former life and a few have not been turned into car parts. I pour about 2 #'s split over two full sheets put them in oven with the racks at the second and third from the bottom and turn it on for 395 f (my oven run 5-8 f hot...400 f is the target temp). At 20 minutes I pull them and stir the grain, put them back in on the opposite rack they came from for an additional 30 minutes. Your house will smell like slightly burned high end European bread forever!

After it is cool enough, put in a paper bag for 1-2 weeks. I make a total of about 4-4.5 # each 10 gallon brew right now.
 
OP
O

Onkel_Udo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
1,998
Reaction score
622
Location
HAMMOND
How does it compare with actual brown malt?
It has honestly been so long since I bought brown malt I could not tell you. My LHBS does not carry it and never think of ordering it. It is much darker than special roast and the husks are considerably charred.

I think the same effect with less husk charring could be achieved with an initial roasting for give or take those first 20-30 minutes at 400 f(lowering the temp just before the husks start smoking) then reducing it to closer to 325 f for an additional 45. This is assuming malt acts similarly to unmalted grain (I formerly worked for specialty baker in college). Never tried this method and it would require a lot more attention as the moisture content and kernel size are going to partially dictate when the turning point is.
 

JKaranka

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
2,333
Reaction score
340
Location
Cardiff
It has honestly been so long since I bought brown malt I could not tell you. My LHBS does not carry it and never think of ordering it. It is much darker than special roast and the husks are considerably charred.

I think the same effect with less husk charring could be achieved with an initial roasting for give or take those first 20-30 minutes at 400 f(lowering the temp just before the husks start smoking) then reducing it to closer to 325 f for an additional 45. This is assuming malt acts similarly to unmalted grain (I formerly worked for specialty baker in college). Never tried this method and it would require a lot more attention as the moisture content and kernel size are going to partially dictate when the turning point is.
Fair enough. It's a commonplace and cheap malt here so I wouldn't bother trying to emulate it at home, but I can see it's rarer over in the US (less recipes include it as well). Is special roast meant to be amber malt? I find brown malt to be surprisingly pale in colour until you crack the kernels.
 
Top