Making homemade specialty malts, Caramels, Chocolates, Toasted, etc.

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MVKTR2

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Guys I'm kicking around the idea of creating my own specialty grains. I'm wondering if there is a guideline for creating the standard basic grains like;
Crystal 20, Crystal 60, Crystal 120, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, maybe Victory etc. I've seen the recent roasted/caramelized malt episode on Basic Brewing, and it could be a starting point. Just wondering if there's a resource, or some input from "the braintrust."

No matter how it turns out, I think it'll be fun. The greatest challenge should be the highly roasted malts which might be easy to burn.

Begin input NOW! I'll check in later tonight/in the morning, off to the HBC meeting.

Schlante,
Phillip
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Check the science books threads for pdf links. IIRC, Brewing Science and Practice has some lengthy descriptors of heat ranges used for many of the specialties.

that, or any other text on malting practices should be a good springboard.

Good luck.
 

beerkrump

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Basic Brewing did a show on roasting malted barley. Google it and check it out.
 

COLObrewer

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. . I'm wondering if there is a guideline for creating the standard basic grains like;
Crystal 20, Crystal 60, Crystal 120, Chocolate, Roasted Barley, maybe Victory etc. . . .
I haven't seen a listing of guidelines all in one place, also I believe most maltings have their own specific guidelines and procedures that may or may not differ from others. The closest thing I've found is here:

BMG - Beeston Malting Company
Which says this towards the bottom of the linked page: "Beeston Crystal Malts
Beeston's caramalt and crystal malts are all produced from green two-row malt using the following method: The surface moisture is dried off at about 122 °F (50 °C) for approximately five minutes. The malt is then stewed at approximately 149-167 °F (65-75 °C) for about 40 minutes to stimulate the conversion of starches to sugars (crystallization). Drying and curing then takes place at about 176 °F (80 °C) for another 40 minutes, depending on the color required. The final drying and curing temperature varies among products; curing is typically done at about 275 °F (135 °C) for approximately two hours, depending on the color required. The darker the colors, the more intense the flavor."

There is a listing of a bunch of malt houses on the link and some of them have specifics as to time(s) and Temperature(s) for making their different specialty malts, as well as base malts. Some of them however don't give any details. Hope it helps.:mug:
 
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MVKTR2

MVKTR2

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Thanks for the hints GilaMinum/COLObrew

I'll have to look into some of this deeper.

I'm seriously wondering how someone goes about making the darker malts, choc. & roasted barley. It seems it would take a close watch to keep from burning them.

For the record I know I can purchase this stuff for a lot less pain in the neck than it will cost to make them. I'm just curious about making my own & tasting the results at some point.

Schlante,
Phillip
 

COLObrewer

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I'm seriously wondering how someone goes about making the darker malts, choc. & roasted barley. It seems it would take a close watch to keep from burning them.
I made some black and chocolate malts and roasted barley as noted in this thread, don't know if you've seen it yet: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happiness-home-malting-107409/index12.html#post1392078

But I haven't tried them yet. Also I have no idea what lovibond they are, etc. more research is needed. If you find some specs regarding any of this, please post them.:rockin:
 
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MVKTR2

MVKTR2

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I made some black and chocolate malts and roasted barley as noted in this thread, don't know if you've seen it yet: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happiness-home-malting-107409/index12.html#post1392078

But I haven't tried them yet. Also I have no idea what lovibond they are, etc. more research is needed. If you find some specs regarding any of this, please post them.:rockin:
Going to check it out now, thanks! Knew I wasn't alone in this quest, genius loves company;) Edit: Oh that's the famous "home malting" thread... wasn't expecting that, thought you were simply roasting, not doing the full monty... I'm not that crazy man!!!

Randy Mosher's book "Radical Brewing" has detailed instructions on both roasting grains and making crystal malts
Thank you. I've been kicking around which book would be my next to purchase; Radical Brewing, Designing Great Beers, or the Sam Caglionie (sp?) book the name excapes me right now!

Schlante,
Phillip
 

Hugh_Jass

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Thank you. I've been kicking around which book would be my next to purchase; Radical Brewing, Designing Great Beers, or the Sam Caglionie (sp?) book the name excapes me right now!

Schlante,
Phillip
Could the escapee be "Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home"?

Buy all three.:mug:
 

beretta

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I prepare my own grains, all from 2 row base malt, and pearled barley, the cheap stuff from the grociery store - $1.00/lb. I've asked my local Kroger's manager to please stock more cheapo pearled barley, and he asked "why?" - now I have someown else interested in homebrewing.

Anyway, I only been AG'ing for about 2 years, but since then I live too far from the homebrew store, I usually make my own grains.

Equipment Needed: Oven, two half-sheet pans, small cooler (mini mash-able), spatula.
For dark roasted grains, you'll need a pop-corn maker, the kind that blow hot air around, or you can use a hot-air gun, and metal bowl.

To prepare your grains:

Roasted Malts: Use them as is.
Roasted Barley: rinse off pearled barley to remove dust.
Caramel Malts: soak your un-crushed 2 row malt in 150 F water for about 1 hour. This takes a bit longer than regular mashing because the grains need extra time to temperature stabalize and rehydrate then crushed malt.

for light to medium roasted grains:

Spread about 1 lb of prepared grains over 2 half-sheet pans, and stick them in a 325-ish oven, preheated. For a light roast cook them about 20 minutes, light to medium, 40 minutes, and medium roast: 1 hour. The damp, wet caramel malt will take about an extra 15 minutes to cook, for it needs time to dry out. If your oven is too hot, usually more than 350 F, your grains will start to smoke, making the whole house smell like a toast factory, and usually setting off the fire alarms. Don't let the grain smoke!!! Get as close to 350 F as you can without smoking, specially for the caramel, as maltose sugars carmalize at 352 F (FLAVOR!) Use your spatula to stir the grains every 10-20 minutes, as the grains toward the edge of the pan will cook faster, and the idea is to get the whole batch to be close to the same "doneness".

Don't use the husk color of whole malt to determine doneness. You'll have to take a grain or two from oven and slit it up with your figure nail. Note the color of the inner endosperm (ha ha! I love that word) during roasting. It changes from white to cream to tan to redish to brown and finally black. Carmamel malts will get a bit mushy and hollowed during the mash, but there should be just enough inner grain to give you an idea. With pearled barley just use the outside color for "doneness".

For darker than medium roasted grains, you'll have to move outside. Plop 3-4 table spoons of grains in our handy pop-corn maker. Make sure the grains are all moving and rotating in the bottom of the machine. If the grain is not moving at a good pace, they'll take way longer to roast, will stick and burn, ruining your pop-corn maker. You'll have to pre-dry your caramel malts in the oven for 15-20 minutes before this procedure, as they'll stick like glue and burn. Roast your grains for 5-10 minutes each batch, and usually in about 40-45 minutes you'll have a pound of medium to dark roast grains. Here's the tricky part: your grains will lightly smoke during this process, specially with the whole malt, as a good portion of the grist will burn off. Don't let the grains smoke too much though, as this means the outside of the grains are burning, and you'll have charcoal on the outside and still light insides. To prevent this from happening, simply drizzle a few drops of water into the cooking chamber whenever you see smoke. The water will near instantly turn to steam, and immeadiatly stop the smoking, making the grain cook slower and more completely. This is especially true during the end of cooking. It's very easy to over cook the grains when making dark roast so keep watch of your grains! If the once moving grains start to slow down and stick to each other, pour out the grains into a metal sheet pan immediately. You cannot cook these grain further. They're as black as you'll be able to make 'em. When you dump the grains they will immediatly start smoking when they hit the fresh air (I don't know why). It's important that you cool the grain fast, as they'll burn and continue cooking. Stir and shuffle the pan to cool the grains off. (this is the same phenomina that happens with roasting coffee... youtube it)

Sorry for the long post. Thought the info may be helpful.
 

beretta

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Some homemade grain I made yesterday. Medium-Light Malt, Medium Caramel, Dark Malt, and Black Rosted Barley.
 
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MVKTR2

MVKTR2

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Some homemade grain I made yesterday. Medium-Light Malt, Medium Caramel, Dark Malt, and Black Rosted Barley.
Wow those look great & thanks for the input above!

I've done a bit more reading and am wondering if anyone uses or has used a toaster oven to "home roast" in? It seems smoke can be a real problem for the darker roasts so I'm thinking this would be a good way around it! Alas I threw out our toaster oven when we moved back in June. Asked my wife if she knew where it was last night... she quickly reminded me :mad:!

Schlante,
Phillip
 

chefmike

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Could the escapee be "Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast's Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home"?

Buy all three.:mug:
I got this book on a brain fart (was meaning to get radical brewing... extreme, radical, same thing, right?)

I do not recall anything in the book that will provide the detail that the OP is looking for. It is a well phtographed basic brewing text that offers some interesting extract recipes. All of them include AUN's (adjuncts of unusual nature).

I like roasting my grains as well, so I will follow this thread and read it more deeply later.
 

chefmike

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Sorry for the long post. Thought the info may be helpful.

No apologies needed! Fantastic post. This is what we are reading the thread looking for. Actual experience with pictures. Thanks for leading the charge!

:rockin:
 
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MVKTR2

MVKTR2

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No apologies needed! Fantastic post. This is what we are reading the thread looking for. Actual experience with pictures. Thanks for leading the charge!

:rockin:
I didn't say it earlier... but Ditto!:mug::fro::ban:

Schlante,
Phillip
 

mredge73

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I just used the advice above to make a 1lb batch of brown malt from Pilsner.
I have a convection oven, 35 minutes at 325 stirring every 5 minutes. Came out very well as far as I can tell. Taste like roasted peanuts.

I just finished a crystal batch of Munich but I am a bit worried that I may have extracted too much sugar by using too much water. I pre-soaked for 48 hours in fridge, I mashed at 150 for 1 hour and then boiled. After separating the water I checked the OG of the water (1qt left over) and it was 1.03 (saved it for a future starter). Afterward I became inpatient with the drying process after an hour at 200F so I cranked up the heat to 300F for 25 min and shut down the oven but left the grains in there since they were still mushy. I came home and they are dry and the inside is dark brown almost black. Kind of harsh right now; I will taste them in a week to see if they can pass as a dark crystal.
If you guys have any tips for improving this process let me know.

I used some of this site for reference as well:
http://barleypopmaker.info/2012/02/27/home-roasting-or-toasting-your-malts-part-3/
 

13ONK

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I did two lbs of 2 row. I noticed the water I did my "mash" in changed color a little. I wonder how many points I lost to the process. I should have taken a measurement but didn't think to until I was watching it swirl down the drain. I just got my own mill so I won't really have any idea on the loss. Might have to do a smash to dial in my efficiency then see how it drops from doing this.
 

13ONK

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Well my calculated mash efficiancy with these grains and my new mill was around 103%... So either my scale is off or my grains are a bit better then average. Either way the 2lbs of crystal I made didn't have any negitive effect on my mash efficiancy at all that I can see. My total grain bill was 11.6lbs. These grains put a great color in the beer. Can't wait to see how it comes out.

Edit. It was actually 1.6 lbs of homade crystal (after roasting and me and some friends sampled them) and 10lbs of 2 row I ended up mashing.
 
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MVKTR2

MVKTR2

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I'm the OP of this thread and just looked it over again. I still occasionally make crystal malts at home now and again. I like the repeatability of brewing but also dig the DIY and unique nature of the hobby so I don't do it often.

I will say generally my homemade crystal malts are sweeter than commercial versions. I also just did a new version where I roasted some of the malts to approximately a 200-250 lovibond. So they are roasted crystal malts. My last go round I made 40-80 crystal, 90-150 crystal and the roasted crystal. I will do an experiment soon with 2-row, .5 # 40-80 crystal and .75# roasted crystal to see how it turns out. 1.045-1.050 OG and 60 min hop addition for 20-25 IBUs. Should be fun.

FYI when mashing whole grains for the production of crystal malts generally longer is preferable to shorter. 30 mins doesn't convert all the starches, 60 minutes does the job, but 80-90 mins is ideal.
 

Schlenkerla

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I prepare my own grains, all from 2 row base malt, and pearled barley, the cheap stuff from the grociery store - $1.00/lb. I've asked my local Kroger's manager to please stock more cheapo pearled barley, and he asked "why?" - now I have someown else interested in homebrewing.

Anyway, I only been AG'ing for about 2 years, but since then I live too far from the homebrew store, I usually make my own grains.

Equipment Needed: Oven, two half-sheet pans, small cooler (mini mash-able), spatula.
For dark roasted grains, you'll need a pop-corn maker, the kind that blow hot air around, or you can use a hot-air gun, and metal bowl.

To prepare your grains:

Roasted Malts: Use them as is.
Roasted Barley: rinse off pearled barley to remove dust.
Caramel Malts: soak your un-crushed 2 row malt in 150 F water for about 1 hour. This takes a bit longer than regular mashing because the grains need extra time to temperature stabalize and rehydrate then crushed malt.

for light to medium roasted grains:

Spread about 1 lb of prepared grains over 2 half-sheet pans, and stick them in a 325-ish oven, preheated. For a light roast cook them about 20 minutes, light to medium, 40 minutes, and medium roast: 1 hour. The damp, wet caramel malt will take about an extra 15 minutes to cook, for it needs time to dry out. If your oven is too hot, usually more than 350 F, your grains will start to smoke, making the whole house smell like a toast factory, and usually setting off the fire alarms. Don't let the grain smoke!!! Get as close to 350 F as you can without smoking, specially for the caramel, as maltose sugars carmalize at 352 F (FLAVOR!) Use your spatula to stir the grains every 10-20 minutes, as the grains toward the edge of the pan will cook faster, and the idea is to get the whole batch to be close to the same "doneness".

Don't use the husk color of whole malt to determine doneness. You'll have to take a grain or two from oven and slit it up with your figure nail. Note the color of the inner endosperm (ha ha! I love that word) during roasting. It changes from white to cream to tan to redish to brown and finally black. Carmamel malts will get a bit mushy and hollowed during the mash, but there should be just enough inner grain to give you an idea. With pearled barley just use the outside color for "doneness".

For darker than medium roasted grains, you'll have to move outside. Plop 3-4 table spoons of grains in our handy pop-corn maker. Make sure the grains are all moving and rotating in the bottom of the machine. If the grain is not moving at a good pace, they'll take way longer to roast, will stick and burn, ruining your pop-corn maker. You'll have to pre-dry your caramel malts in the oven for 15-20 minutes before this procedure, as they'll stick like glue and burn. Roast your grains for 5-10 minutes each batch, and usually in about 40-45 minutes you'll have a pound of medium to dark roast grains. Here's the tricky part: your grains will lightly smoke during this process, specially with the whole malt, as a good portion of the grist will burn off. Don't let the grains smoke too much though, as this means the outside of the grains are burning, and you'll have charcoal on the outside and still light insides. To prevent this from happening, simply drizzle a few drops of water into the cooking chamber whenever you see smoke. The water will near instantly turn to steam, and immeadiatly stop the smoking, making the grain cook slower and more completely. This is especially true during the end of cooking. It's very easy to over cook the grains when making dark roast so keep watch of your grains! If the once moving grains start to slow down and stick to each other, pour out the grains into a metal sheet pan immediately. You cannot cook these grain further. They're as black as you'll be able to make 'em. When you dump the grains they will immediatly start smoking when they hit the fresh air (I don't know why). It's important that you cool the grain fast, as they'll burn and continue cooking. Stir and shuffle the pan to cool the grains off. (this is the same phenomina that happens with roasting coffee... youtube it)

Sorry for the long post. Thought the info may be helpful.
Necrothreadopoly - I love this post!

I'm inspired to go out and buy pearled barley!!!

This is how I made my own Chocolate Malt....

...spinning until its brown and roasty. Using a West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper.

 
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madscientist451

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Necrothreadopoly - I love this post!

I

This is how I made my own Chocolate Malt....

...spinning until its brown and roasty. Using a West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper.
Schlenkerla, if you're still around can you give some details about making the chocolate malt using the corn popper?

Thanks,

:mug:
 
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