How to Build Your Own Malt Kiln


Beer is rarely apreciated for the beautiful looking beverage that it is, ranging from nearly clear to a dark-coffee-like pitch black. Homebrewers spend plenty of time fretting over the color of their precious beer, but without a kiln they have little control over the color of the malt they purchase. Homebrewing should be about choice and control over the beer you drink. So you may want to take control of the quality of your malt color, and build your own kiln.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cookie sheets
  • Aluminum foil
  • Propane BBQ grill
  • Wire grill brush
  • Grill thermometer
  • 6 to 10 unpainted/unglazed bricks
  • Remove the top shelf from your propane grill if you own a two-shelf grill.

  • Clean your grill throughly with a wire grill brush, scrubbing off any food or burnt-on materials which may cause smoking and impart off flavors to your grain.

  • Place 6 to 10 unglazed and unpainted bricks on, or below, your bottom grill rack. These bricks will help to keep even heat on the malted barely you plan to kiln/roast.

  • Turn on or light one side of your grill to low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Lighter malts cook at lower temperatures, and darker malts cook at higher temperatures. Seek out recipes for the malt style you prefer.

  • Monitor your grill temperature using a high quality grill or cooking thermometer, preferably ranging from zero to 500 degrees F.

  • Spread barley on cookie sheets, or wrap barley in flat aluminum foil packets purchased in the grilling section of the grocery store. For temperature and roasting time, cook according to your specific malt recipe.

  • Monitor the temperature and lower or raise your grill temperature as needed to match your recipe, by increasing and decreasing the gas.

  • Check the barley color often. When it is your desired color pull it from the grill.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your grill may need to be intermittently turned off for lower temperature recipes. The trick is to keep checking the temperature, turning down the gas as needed.
  • 212-500 degrees F. is the temperature range for most kilning.
  • Lighter malts can also be roasted in the oven using the same process, but darker malts create too much smoke to kiln in the house.

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  • Photo Credit barley image by saied shahinkiya from
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