Back to Shopping at

Everlasting toastiness

Ok so I wanted to get feedback on how to achieve a lasting toasted character in a beer. I know there a malts (i.e. biscuit, victory, special roast, vienna) that a characterized as giving a toasty or bready character, but I have brewed with several of them and cannot yet achieve the result I am looking for. What I really want is in the aftertaste, where a second or two after swallowing you get a warm kind of toasted flavor that engulfes your mouth and lasts for a good while (5-25 seconds).

Commercial examples I know of include Conway’s Irish Red and Oktoberfest from Great Lakes (awesome brewery IMHO), Left Hand Oktoberfest, Berkshire brewing Steel Rail pale ale). The prevalence in oktoberfest styles make me think its vienna or some type of crystal malt.

Does anyone have any idea what I’m talking about? If so, is this achieved through a specific kind of malt, or does it more have to do with quality/freshness of ingredients or something in the brewing process.

My gut tells me that the strength and length of a beers aftertaste (talking malt flavor/perception, not hops or bitterness) has to do with the stability of the ingredients being used, but that’s just a hunch. Great Lakes says their irish red is just caramel 60 and 2 row, so im wondering if thats accurate and its just a matter of getting a high quality base malt. Maybe it has to do with toasting your own malt a couple days before you brew?

Opinions and suggestions for additions to a grain bill if you have them. I know it may be a bit confusing on what I am looking for, but it is a very distinct perception that I recognize every time it is there.

P.s. this would probably go towards me creating an irish red shortly.


  • Craig

Try Pale Chocolate… leaves a very nice toastyness.

Try toasting your own malt in the oven. You can do 30 minutes at 300 F or 20 minutes at 350 F or whatever you want to make a nice amber malt that is plenty toasty. Maybe you’ll get better results from fresh home-toasted malt. You can use a ton of amber malt like this – 40 or 50% of the whole malt bill – to ensure that you’ll get a ton of toasty flavor. Add a little Munich malt on top of it if you want, just to make sure. That would make a real toasty beer.

Would a very small amount (I’m talking <5% of the grain bill) of a smoked malt give a toasty effect?

This is the way to get that toasty taste and aroma like bread crust. I usually toast 1/4-1/2 of my base malt in my low gravity English beers like Ordinary Bitters and Milds, instead of using Victory or Biscuit Malts. I’m very pleased. I usually toast Maris Otter at 350 for 20 minutes and stir every 5 minutes to get even results. You won’t believe the difference home toasting malt makes and it makes your house smell fantastic.

Nope. Smoked malt is altogether different from toastiness.

I’ve been seeking that flavor for a long time. SOme of my stouts have come close. I will definitely try toasting some malt! Thanks for asking the question - and thanks for the answers.

Yah, thanks for the tips. Glad this post got revitalized. I’ve missed St Pattys Day, but Im still thinking about giving an Irish Red a whirl, and doing something like 85-90% English Pale or Maris Otter (with a portion of that toasted), 10% caramel 60, and a pinch of carmel 80 or 120 and a pinch of roasted barley.

I think the roasted barley will add some character that supports an overall toasty impression. I know its generally a component to Irish reds, and is called out in the style guidelines.

Back to Shopping at