Lightly Toasted Malts, Victory, Amber and Biscuit

06 Mar

These are easy malts to make because they start out as pale malts and are lightly toasted. There are several ways to make them and there is plenty of information to do this on the internet, but I wanted to try it myself so that I could see and taste what effect the different times and temperatures had. Victory and Amber malts are pretty much the same and are a little darker than Biscuit. However, these malts will vary between malting companies.  I found that the most pronounced roasted flavour came from a short roast at a high temperature. This is not surprising given the appearance of the malt. At 350F there is some significant darkening that occurs in a certain percentage of the grains, in other words, some grains look burnt, not charred, just well roasted.  I found that soaking did not have much of an effect on the flavour, it just extended the kilning time. Because of this, it was not possible to get a light coloured biscuit malt after soaking.  The flavour of the soaked grains was comparable to the grain roasted dry at a low temperature (250F) which was more mellow. Here are the times and temperatures I used to get malts with similar colours.


  1.  250F for 1 hour or
  2.  300F for 30 min or
  3.  350F for 20 min

Victory and Amber

  1.  250F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or
  2.  300F for 45 minutes or
  3.  350F for 30 minutes or
  4.  If soaked for 1 hour 350F for 45 minutes (or just until it’s dry)
  5.  If soaked for 2 hours 250F for 3 hours (do not recommend)

Amber Malt: From Malt and Malting:  An Historical , Scientific and Practical Treatise. H Stopes 1885 p. 159-161

Germinates as a pale malt

  • Kilning: First 12 hrs. below 80F  26.6C
  • End of hour 18  85F  29.4 C
  • End of hour 20 125F 51.6C
  •          ”          21  140F  60C
  •          ”          22  160F  71C
  •          ”          23  180F  82C
  •          ”          24  200F  93C
  •          ”          25  220F  104.4C
  •          ”          26  240F  115.5C
  •          ”          26.5  250  121.1C

Stopes also recommends that the final curing stage (last 5-6 hrs) can be carried out with dry beechwood in the kiln for the best flavour.

My version seen in the video was to start with a pale malt and kiln at 200F for 1 hr. 220F for 1 hour 240F for an hour then 250F for an hour.


Posted by on March 6, 2017 in Amber malt, Biscuit malt, Victory malt


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Lightly Toasted Malts, Victory, Amber and Biscuit

  1. Demy

    March 7, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Françoise Hello, very interesting experiment, I like this post! Sometimes I experience. I have noticed that to obtain a flavor of cookies, the best procedure is to dry malt at low temperature and long times. For malts with sweeter taste, it works well with wet malt, but not re-hydrated malt, but leaving the residual moisture in the drying phase (partially dehydrated green malt). I believe this is due to the fact that immersing malt clear for a short period, the umdità remains only in the outer layers of the grain, while the semi-green malt there is a sort of gelatinization of ‘whole grain. I hope that helps !!

    • jfdyment

      March 7, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Hi Demy, yes I agree and this is what I was expecting, soaking for a short time (an hour or two) and kilning for a short time (1-2 hours) has no effect on flavour. It isn’t re-hydrating enough on the inside or stewing enough to make a noticeable difference. I thought I’d try it because there is a lot of info on the internet claiming that it does. The flavour difference from soaking vs. non soaking comes from the more consistent heat and less burning of the husk in the soaked sample and it’s the same with the low temp. sample. However, I have made a caramel malt from pale by soaking for 12-14 hours to re-hydrate malt to a moisture content of about 50% this video is coming soon.

      • Demy

        March 7, 2017 at 9:51 pm

        Yes François, I knew right away it was a try .. it is true on the internet say that immersing malt up to 30 minutes in water and then drying is obtained caramel malt … I do not think they’ve ever experienced! I have a few things to point out (in the spirit of information exchange): Speaking of wet, a technique that I find interesting (I have tried it myself) is to spray fresh water every so often, when you toast the very dark malt (black, roast etc ..) this causes steam that drives away some volatile compounds, which cause burning smell. Another thing I tried a few days ago is sauergut (replaces malt sauer acid), which is obtained by fermenting a small juice with lactic acid bacteria present on the skin of the malts. I remember your post on acid malt (phenomenal !!) I thought that perhaps it may concern. If interested I will find the link.

      • jfdyment

        March 7, 2017 at 10:46 pm

        Yes I actually used to do this all the time when my local homebrew shop didn’t carry acid malt. We have soft water here so for light beers it’s very useful. I used to make some the day before brewing and kept it in a thermos filled to the top so there was no air. I made a bad one once (not sure what happened) and it made the beer taste kinda funky, luckily about this time I was able to find a store that sold acid malt.

      • Demy

        March 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm
        This is an interesting discussion where we talk about the method of making suergut. Perhaps it can be d ‘help or ignore ..! I thought it can also be used to improve acid malt homemade (your post), I read that sometimes acid malt is made by spraying this on malt, I think some kind of starter-lactic acid. I ran your acid malt method and it was great, you could spray sauergut in malt before sealing so as to obtain an improvement. Please excuse the off-topic, but this seems to be in style “hard way”

      • jfdyment

        March 8, 2017 at 3:18 pm

        Spraying is a good idea, that’s taking it to the next level! I’ve also used an anaerobic acidification step when I was trying to make Honey malt, before kilning I put the green malt in ziploc plastic bags and stewed it at around 37-40C. It’s possible to control the amount of acidification that happens based on the time spent stewing. I suspect that this happens to a small degree in the older methods when the malt was couched before kilning.

      • Demy

        March 8, 2017 at 3:59 pm

        It worked in honey malt? I have never used this malt … It may be that acidity interaggisce with malt compounds to form the distinctive flavors during drying? I know that melanoidins are formed under alkaline conditions so I think another reason …

  2. Nuke Dukem

    March 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Again, cool post.

  3. marco

    March 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Hello francois!! I’m almost ready for my first batch of home made malt (actually my setup is basic… no kiln yet but sun or fan for drying).
    I think i read it somewhere but don’t remember: how long is the lag after malting before using the malt in a brew?

    • jfdyment

      March 15, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      Hi Marco it’s best to wait three weeks before brewing with it. I’m assuming you’re still going to cure it? Cheers!

  4. marco

    March 17, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Thank you very much!
    I’m building some trays out of inox net which can fit in my home oven, so the curing phase is the only one i’m really set up for.
    But since i haven’t prepared any kiln or tunnel to fit these trays for drying, I’ll dry them by makeshift means, like a fan heater or spring sun.
    I also thought about using my Bosch dryier (which is a heat pump for 7kg, so it works at about 40-50° C, perfect for malting), but I think I won’t since I’m afraid the big dust might clog its filter or ruin it.

    • jfdyment

      March 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Drying at room temp with a fan will work. Also you can cure the malt on a roasting pan as you don’t need any airflow at this stage. Let me know how it turns out, cheers! Francois


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