Category Archives: Caramel malts

Caramel Malt Yet Again!

DSC00977I 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).

Top: Store bought 15L,30L, 60L, 120L Bottom : My malts

Top: Store bought 15L,30L, 60L, 120L
Bottom : My malts 20L, 25L, 60L, 100L, 140L

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.

Ready to be covered

Ready to be covered


Another thermometer picture!

Another thermometer picture!


Planted two weeks ago and coming up nicely.


Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Caramel malts


Caramel malt experiment

DSC00890Even though it’s only the beginning of March spring is taking hold. Trees are blooming and the birds are back so that means time to plant! This year I’ve planted 7 beds of barley with a total of 240 sq ft. I had planned to get another plot last year but unfortunately nothing suitable came up. There were a couple of plots free but they usually remain under water till April so I passed. In the picture you’ll see that I’ve used black fabric on a few beds. The garden store was all out of the white stuff and I just needed something to protect the seeds from the birds. Since I’ll be removing it in a couple of weeks it doesn’t really matter that it’s black. It might even be better since it will warm the soil and may discourage some weeds.

5 lbs. in one pot.

5 lbs. in one pot.

I decided to do an experiment with caramel malt using the feed barley. I wanted to see the results of  a fast kilning schedule which starts at 200F for 6 hours to dry the malt and then to 275F for colour. Instead of drying it at a lower temp for a longer time. Then I wanted to compare the colours against a store bought caramel malt. The results were surprising and somewhat disappointing. After doing this test I realize that 275F is way too hot and I’ve since corrected this on the Malts Times and Temp. post. (I’ve changed it to 250F)  I’ve made caramel malt at this temperature before but I’ve never compared the colour against store bought malt. As you can see from the photos the colour changes from around 15L to a little under 120L in a mere 30 minutes. So I totally missed the 30L and 60L malts. I’ll do this comparison again with the slower schedule and hopefully I can get a better range of colours. My apologies to anyone who got an overly dark caramel at 275F. Perhaps higher temperatures are used when kilning larger quantities of malt in a malt house or when using a drum roller kiln.

Great Western caramel malt on top. My malts on bottom.

Great Western caramel malt on top. My malts on bottom.

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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Caramel malts


Caramel malt video

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Caramel malts


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The end of the day (week) results


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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Caramel malts, Munich malt


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Caramel malt success!

Inside should appear glassy, this one may still have some starch in the center.

 I definitely need to get some proper textbooks on malting. There’s just too much differing information on producing caramel malts on the internet. Here’s the procedure I used:

Steeped grain until it reached 42% moisture ( see my video on how to calculate this)

Germinated until acrospire reached 3/4 length of grain.

Stewed in a large heavy cast iron pot with the lid on at 122 F 3 hrs Kept wet.

Raised temperature to 150-160 F for 3 hrs. (Could go for longer I think, about 10% looked a little starchy like one grain in the close up)

Kilned at 175 F for 12 hrs to dry (this is now dextrin malt)

Cured at 275 F to darken 1-2 hrs depending on colour. 


Posted by on October 9, 2011 in Caramel malts


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Caramel malts

Day three into the steeping process and the grain is soaking for the last time. It’s chitting as of this morning. Thankfully the weather has been co-operating. It’s been within the 10 -15 C range for the last week which is perfect for malting.

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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Caramel malts


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