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Category Archives: Brown malt

1804 Porter taste test

DSC00525This is the Porter based on the Barclay Perkins Porter from 1804 with Brown malt and Pale malt. I shouldn’t call this a taste test because that would imply that I haven’t tried any when in fact it’s almost all gone. But hey, can you blame me? It was the perfect beer for the Christmas holidays. After all the food, desserts, and chocolate it was nice to finish the evenings with something not sweet but full of dry roasted flavours. Dark toast and coffee dominate, the smoke is almost non-existent. It’s so subtle it’s  presence could be mistaken for a slight sourness but I recognize the flavour from my other pecan wood  brown malt porter. The hops are very low which doesn’t surprise me. These were the hops I picked on River Rd. just outside of Fort Langley. I have no idea what kind they are but I’m guessing the alpha acid level is around 3% so I could have used a lot more. The colour is gorgeous, no complaints there and it’s got a full mouth feel. The head doesn’t stick around for very long, but considering the disastrous brew day and the stuck sparge I’m extremely happy it turned out so well.

 

 
 

1804 Porter

What a disaster. This beer was loosely based on the 1804 Barclay Perkins TT recipe from Ron Pattinsons book The Home brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beers. I didn’t think I was going to use the whole batch of brown malt in one recipe but this gave me a perfect excuse to do just that. So 4lb of non-diastatic brown, 2 lbs of my diastatic brown malt samples in place of the Amber malt in the recipe and 6lb of pale malt. I also added 1 lb of pilsner malt just because I had some and to help with conversion. Everything was going great until I tried to sparge. This mash got stuck and I mean really really stuck. With brown malt being roasted it is very friable, the husk breaks down in to very small pieces and the inside is a fine dusty powder which turned into cement at the bottom of my mash tun and completely plugged the false bottom. A larger mash tun would have helped and definitely more rice hulls, a lot more, I would suggest one pound minimum. I tried giving it a stir – nothing, I tried blowing some air through it – still nothing. I finally ended up ladling it out into a bucket and throwing all the sparge water in, sort of a batch sparge and then just pouring it through a strainer, what a mess. I’d be very surprised if this turns out. I ended up with 4.5 gallons of a decent looking dark beer with an O.G. of 1.064.  It’s been bubbling away nicely and has just started to slow down, my fingers are crossed. I thought this post might at least be useful for anyone else trying to make this recipe,  Cheers!DSCN1180

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Brown malt, Diastatic Brown Malt, The beers

 

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New malt kiln

Still on the quest for a more authentic diastatic brown malt. I was pretty disappointed with the soot that appeared on my last batch and I wanted to play around with using higher temperatures so a new kiln was in order. Unfortunately I live in a townhouse, otherwise I would have built one by now using cinder blocks or anything I could get my hands on. Instead I had to settle for something on a more portable scale. I had originally thought of using a barrel so that I could take it to a campsite close by and put it over a fire pit, that way I could try using straw as a fuel. Then I figured why not use the gassifiers in the barrel, it’s clean, very safe, and I get one hour of burn time for each load of pellets. Every time I try burning straw it burns faster than paper, I still don’t get how this was used in the early malt kilns.

As I mention in the video I just didn’t have the time to perfect the design and my malt was at 10% moisture level after air drying for two days, it was more than ready to be kilned. The temperature crept up to 250 by the end of the first hour, there was still steam coming off at this point. During the second hour the temperature rose to 275 and then to 300 during the third. I knew this would probably be too hot for the malt to have any diastatic power left to convert itself but I wanted to see how a faster and hotter kilning would affect the colour.  My results were most likely inaccurate because even though my oven thermometer read these temperatures the heat coming out of the small holes in the barrel was much higher. The 4 oz. test batch came up with a 1.020 original gravity after an 8 hour mash.

Well at least now I know I can make a pretty descent blown malt, check out the snapping action in the video. As well this would be a great way to roast your grain outside, you could easily do 7 pounds at a time this way.

 

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This barley’s looking good in brown

My brown malt

One malt that has a unique procedure is brown malt. Historically used in porters this malt differs from other roasted malts in that it has a higher initial kilning temperature. Whereas chocolate and black malts start out as pale malts which are then roasted, brown malt is kilned at a higher temperature from the green stage. Procedures vary but here’s what I did:

From the green stage I kilned it at 212 F for 5 hours

Cured at 350 F for 40 minutes

I can’t wait to compare the flavour of brown malt to the other roasted malts I make with the same barley.DSCN1754 DSCN1755

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Brown malt

 

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