I had to do this again to finally nail down a proper kilning schedule. I know there’s more than one way to skin a cat but information on caramel malt is all over the map. So it’s high time to do a colour comparison since my last caramel went too dark too fast. I got some good results with this schedule and not meaning to brag or nothin’ but compared to the store bought stuff mine had a higher gravity reading. My samples were between 4-5 brix while store bought was 3 and I’m pretty sure I could have gotten better results with a longer germination which I’ll try next time. This malt germinated for 6 days, but we were going out of town for a few days so I had to kiln it. I germinated it as I would a pale malt, 43% moisture and kept it around 16-18 C during germination. Instead of a pot, I went with the tin foil technique for stewing which works great. Here’s the schedule:
- Total kilning time: 12 hours.
- Hour 1: 140F 60C covered
- Hour 2: Increased slowly to 158F covered
- Hours 3 and 4 -158F signs of liquification at end of hour 4.
- Covers removed and malt put on screens 3 hours at 158F Moisture down to 10%
- Temperature increased to 225 for 3 hours. Moisture down to 2% First sample taken (20-25L)
- Temp. increased to 250F 30 minutes Second sample taken. (20-25L)
- Additional samples taken every 30 min. at 250F. Third – 1 hour at 250 F approx. 60L
- 4th – 1 1/2 hours 250F approx. 100L
- 5th-2 hours at 250F approx. 140L
Update: To ensure proper saccharification of malt some texts recommend starting with a very well modified malt. Steep till 45-48% and try to extend your germination as long as possible, acrospires will average the full length of the grain. For dark caramels a couch phase is also recommended in the Wolfgang Kunze text (pg 180) at 45-50C during the last 30-36 hours of germination before the saccharification stewing phase (but not for dextrin or cara-pils malt).
The store bought 15 is surprisingly light. To get this colour I would stay below 200F until it’s dried out. My first two samples which are very similar in colour are a little lighter than the 30L. The third sample after an hour at 250F is very close to the 60L and my fourth sample after an hour and a half at 250 is a little lighter than the 120L. Finally my last sample is slightly darker than the 120L. I also got to check out the garden today, it’s looking pretty good, some seeds are still germinating and haven’t come up yet so it should fill out a little more.