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Brown Roasted Barley

I much prefer the flavor of roasted barley to that of black patent.

With that in mind, I’ve been designing a recipe that uses a heavy portion (10-15%) of brown malt to achieve a light color beer (think light brown ale) with significant roasty flavor. After making the correlation that brown malt (65L) = lightly roasted (~65L) black patent malt, I was wondering if there is a commercially available product that is the equivalent of lightly roasted (65L) barley. While my search has been coming up empty, I though maybe I could roast some pearl barley to the ~65L range and use that instead. Either that, or find some unmalted whole barley and roast that to ~65L.

Has anyone ever done something like this? Any opinions? I’m curious to see what people think and if you think it’s a dumb idea before I proceed.

Briess makes a light roasted barley in the 300L range. It’s not as light as what you’re looking for, but it’s still lighter than the typical 500+L stuff. It’s sort of the roasted barley equivalent of pale chocolate malt.

I was curious about the flavor difference between the light and regular roast barley, so I made a grain “tea” and spiked some amber ale I had laying around for a taste test. I posted my results on the AHA forum a while ago:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... ic=16278.0

Basically the light roast barley reminds me of medium roast coffee, while the dark roast reminds me of espresso. The dark roast has a smoother roast character, but it has some ashiness that I didn’t get from the lighter roast barley.

Brown malt is nothing like black patent. I think your basic premise is flawed. If you want a lower level of roast flavor, use less roast barely.

My thought process is that if brown malt and black patent malt are both produced by dry roasting malted barley to different temps, then one is related to the other.

Roasted barley is dry roasted unmalted barley. There is no very lightly roasted equivalent that I know of. As erockrph mentioned above, there is a 300L version but nothing down in the 60L range.

I do agree that brown malt and black patent are nothing alike, but that’s like saying C60 and C120 are nothing alike. Sure they have different flavors, but they are produced using the same technique with varying temperatures.

Additionally, what I’m going for here is a light(er) colored beer, with strong roasty notes. From my experience, brown malt packs a heck of a punch without a huge color contribution. I’m just wondering if the same thing would happen with, as I’m calling it, brown roasted barley.

I do like what brown malt does, very forward kind of flavor and somewhat unique. I’m drinking a brown ale thats made with brown malt right now. I just don’t think you’ll get a strong roast flavor from a malt/green barley that isn’t roasted to the point of being black. It’d be like expecting a French roast flavor from a coffee thats given a light roasting. In this case I think the color and flavor are coming from the same chemical constituent(s).

In any case, I can see where your intent is to make the opposite version of a black IPA. A “white stout” would be a bit unique, if only a gimmick.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I do like what brown malt does, very forward kind of flavor and somewhat unique. I’m drinking a brown ale thats made with brown malt right now. I just don’t think you’ll get a strong roast flavor from a malt/green barley that isn’t roasted to the point of being black. It’d be like expecting a French roast flavor from a coffee thats given a light roasting. In this case I think the color and flavor are coming from the same chemical constituent(s).
[/quote]
I agree, I’ve used Fawcett brown malt in a porter and got some nice roasted tones

[quote=“tom sawyer”]
In any case, I can see where your intent is to make the opposite version of a black IPA. A “white stout” would be a bit unique, if only a gimmick.[/quote]
White stout, you say

http://www.jpbrewery.com/casper.html

I saw that in a liquor store and was not at all tempted to try it.

I’m trying to think of how this could work. The roasting process produces mallard reaction products, which give both the flavor and the color. I’m thinking that you can’t get one without the other, but I may be wrong on that. Try roasting some pearl barley to the color you want and see how it tastes in a tea. You may also want to try roasting some rolled or flaked barley, I suspect that would give a very different flavor as well.

I’d think you’d want to roast something with a husk, namely unmalted unkilned barley.

[quote=“BrewingRover”][quote=“tom sawyer”]I do like what brown malt does, very forward kind of flavor and somewhat unique. I’m drinking a brown ale thats made with brown malt right now. I just don’t think you’ll get a strong roast flavor from a malt/green barley that isn’t roasted to the point of being black. It’d be like expecting a French roast flavor from a coffee thats given a light roasting. In this case I think the color and flavor are coming from the same chemical constituent(s).
[/quote]
I agree, I’ve used Fawcett brown malt in a porter and got some nice roasted tones

[quote=“tom sawyer”]
In any case, I can see where your intent is to make the opposite version of a black IPA. A “white stout” would be a bit unique, if only a gimmick.[/quote]
White stout, you say

http://www.jpbrewery.com/casper.html

I saw that in a liquor store and was not at all tempted to try it.[/quote]
As always, the key in coming up with something original is hiding where you heard of it.

I made an oatmeal rye ale with roast barley last fall that turned out better than expected. I used 0.5 lbs of flaked oats and 0.5 lbs of Briess roast barley. Between that and the rye, I ended up with a copper colored beer.

I was wondering the same thing. In any case, I bought some pearled barley and I’m going to give roasting that a try. It was easier to get in the short term and it should be an easy enough experiment.

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