Kilning and flavour development

28 Nov

I came across this really interesting graph while looking for information on kilning and diastatic power. It’s from a presentation titled “Unraveling the Malt Puzzle” by Joseph Hertich and the Michigan Brewer’s Guild. It shows the importance of moisture content and kilning temperature on flavour development, specifically stating that the 145-155F 62C-68C range at 25-35% moisture content is the most optimal for flavour development. This is new to me, so far everything I’ve read about kilning pale malt states that the temperature shouldn’t be raised above 50C until the moisture content is below 10% I think I’ll give this a try.Screen shot 2014-11-26 at 7.44.33 PMScreen shot 2014-11-26 at 8.47.09 PM


Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Pale and pilsner malts


7 responses to “Kilning and flavour development

  1. DC Yeast Lab

    November 30, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I can vouch for nice flavors in less time (at the same temperature) when I’ve kilned a few samples of wet malt. When I malted maize and rice for the first time I was very curious about how they’d taste, and so I just put a handful of kernels in the oven to try. I was blown away by the brown rice malt flavor in particular, after about only an hour. Too bad both times I tried the (hulled, as in hulls removed) rice molded over.

    Of course, working with grains with lower diastatic potential to begin with it’s a bad plan. Maybe just brown malts and whatnot? Or are they saying the usual maltsters (Briess, etc.) are actually kilning at higher moisture content?

    In any case, I do notice from walking into a homebrew shop’s grain room the “depth” of malty flavors hits me right away, compared to what I get from my home malted grains. I might just need to kiln my grain a few hours more.

    • jfdyment

      November 30, 2014 at 7:00 am

      I’ll post a link to the presentation. I think it does imply that modern malt is being made this way. As far as this kilning schedule goes I don’t mind losing a small amount of diastatic power if it means more flavour. On a related note, with my last batch of pale malt I air dried it for a day and a half and then kilned for 5 hours below 50 and then cured it and I do taste a “grassy” flavour. I thought I could avoid using my oven by air-drying it but I won’t do that again unless I’m purposely making a wind malt. With previous malts I’ve done in the oven (but still not going above 50 until reaching 10% moisture) I did not notice any grassiness.

  2. Ryan

    October 31, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    love your blog. I have been using it for about a year now malting mostly wheat I can do about 8kg at a time with my setup. I was having trouble finding barley but have got my hands on some now. So anyway my question to you is what way do you prefer to kiln your barley. This new way starting at 145-155f till done or the other way you posted starting at 100f for 22hrs and raising temp and so on.

  3. jfdyment

    October 31, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Ryan and thanks! Personally I prefer kilning low and slow so I can maintain as much diastatic power as possible and then use the special malts to add flavour. With this method you risk a longer mash time and I find my brew day to be long enough.

  4. José

    August 11, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    The link t the presentation is gone, I found it here:

    • jfdyment

      August 12, 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks for the link Jose! I’ll be sure to add it to the blog.

  5. José

    August 11, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Also, I have found this podcast “024-026: Malt Flavor Development” by the same author that seems to be related


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