How to Toast Malt

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Toasting your malt is a simple way to put your own stamp on your home-brewed beer. Chemical processes brought on by heating the malt in your oven can give your beer a nutty or even slightly sweet flavor. By experimenting with different temperatures and toasting times, you can find the perfect combination of flavors to create a beer that's uniquely yours.

Things You'll Need

  • Malt
  • Paper bag
  • Shallow pan
  • Water
  • Cookie sheet
  • Oven
  • Age the malt before toasting. If you've purchased your malt from a supplier, it will already have been aged. Otherwise, store it in a paper bag for about two weeks to allow its aroma to develop.

  • Soak the malted grains in advance if you want to produce a "crystal" or "caramel" malt. Place the malt to be toasted in a pan with just enough water to cover it and let it soak for three hours. Malt soaked in advance will have a more caramel flavor, while malt toasted dry will be nuttier.

  • Preheat your oven to the correct temperature. This temperature will vary depending on the type of effect you want to create. For a very pale gold malt, for instance, heat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. For most purposes, however, the temperature should be set at around 350 F.

  • Spread out the malted barley on a cookie sheet. Don't pile the grains too deeply; if they're more than an inch deep, you may want to toast them in more than one batch.

  • Place the baking sheet in the oven. Allow the malt to toast. The longer it remains in the oven, the darker the final product will be. For a very lightly toasted flavor, leave it for 15 minutes. For a moderate nutty taste, let it toast for 30 minutes. An hour in the oven will create a pronounced toasted flavor.

  • Remove the malt from the heat, allow it to cool and store it. Before the next step of the brewing process, crushing the malt, allow a few weeks for the flavor of the malt to mellow. Store the toasted malt in a dry area inside an airtight bag or container.

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