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
- Paper bag
- Shallow pan
- Cookie sheet
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.
- Photo Credit Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images