Brown Malt in stout?

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Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 21:52

I've been reading the Camra 'stout and porters' book and it seems that it was commonplace to use brown malt as the main base malt in stouts and porters back before black malts came about.

I think it would be interesting to make a blast from the past stout with say 80% brown malt.

Has anyone here done this before?

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Kyle_T » Mon Feb 08, 2016 21:56

Today's modern Brown Malt and yesteryear's are different. I think a chap called Orlando over on JBK made his own diastatic Brown Malt.

I use Brown Malt in all my Porters and Stouts to varying %.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 22:09

Indeed, I've read the same thing about modern brown malt being different - roasted in a different way too.

What kind of percentage do you use? Most of the modern recipes I've seen use it sparingly (no more than 500g).

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby KevinS » Mon Feb 08, 2016 22:18

The Durden Park recipes and those on Shut Up About Barclay Perkins tend to use higher percentages of brown malt than many modern interpretations.

Fuller's London Porter also has a healthy percentage. I quite like it myself, as far as tastes go.

Durden Park's little book also goes into brown malt in a bit more detail. I think in some cases they use more than most, but also specify the need for a brewing enzyme to be used to aid the mash.

It's well worth the read if you're interested in some some of the older brews
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby graysalchemy » Mon Feb 08, 2016 22:21

Alemans effing oatmeal stout uses it. Very nice beer.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby robwalker » Mon Feb 08, 2016 22:29

I always assumed it was a speciality malt for some reason. Read a little on the history of Porter and you'll see why it was so widely used - the whole London Porter style, leading to stout, developed from the advent of brown malt. Flavour wise, it's too...brown for me :D
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby 5hats » Mon Feb 08, 2016 22:41

Whitbread's 1850 porter uses about 15% brown malt in the durden park book, and Ron P shows it varies over the years, sometimes going as high as 25%. Earlier ones tended to use more than later ones.

Incidentally the 1850 porter is outstanding.
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 23:17

Sounds like I need to make this 1850 porter

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 09:32

graysalchemy wrote:Alemans effing oatmeal stout uses it. Very nice beer.


Where can I find the recipe?

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby KevinS » Tue Feb 09, 2016 09:37

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby KevinS » Tue Feb 09, 2016 09:38

And the Whitbread one for good measure :)

http://www.durdenparkbeer.org.uk/recipe ... Whitbreads porter

A very nice beer
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Graham_W » Tue Feb 09, 2016 15:36

HTH1975 wrote:I've been reading the Camra 'stout and porters' book and it seems that it was commonplace to use brown malt as the main base malt in stouts and porters back before black malts came about.

I think it would be interesting to make a blast from the past stout with say 80% brown malt.

Has anyone here done this before?

You will not get away with that percentage of modern brown malt for obvious reasons that have probably already been mentioned here. Old-time brown, amber, and pale malts were quite different to the more modern malts that became prominent in the 1900s. Modern brown malt is a completely different beast to the old stuff and cannot be used in the same way.

When scrutinizing old brewing literature, one thing that struck me was the astonishingly short times that pre-nineteenth-century malt spent on the kiln to dry and colour it. These malts were dried over a local fuel, usually a hardwood of some description, for very short periods of time compared to later practice. Brown malt was kilned for as little as four to eight hours over a high fire; amber malt for eight to twelve hours over a lower fire, and pale malt for twelve to twenty-four hours at a yet lower temperature; usually at the shorter end of these time ranges. Indeed William Ellis, writing in 1736, stated that it was typical for three charges of brown malt to be cured over the same kiln within a period of 20 hours. Allowing for a cooling period and time for shovelling each charge on and off the kiln it would seem that brown malt in particular was rarely kilned for much longer than 5 hours. These were very short times in comparison with nineteenth century, pale ‘ale’ malt, which was on the kiln for four to five days.

Modern-era malts are very gently dried before they are subjected to finishing temperature so that the malt is thoroughly dry before the temperature is raised to the final curing temperature. The first few days on the kiln is the drying phase and this accounts for much of the five days that pale ale malts spent on the kiln during the pale ale revolution of the 1900s. Malts produced prior to about the year 1800 were usually not afforded the luxury of a low-temperature drying phase before the ‘finishing’ stage of kilning; indeed, the green malt was shovelled on to the drying floors almost as soon as the malting phase was complete.

It seems clear that old-time malts were loaded onto a relatively hot kiln while the interior of the grain was still moist and this, under appropriate conditions, will induce what I term as an enhanced Maillard reaction. A degree of stewing would have taken place within the grain, which would produce sugars similar to mashing, and similar to the way that crystal malt is made today. The moist interior of the grain would activate the diastatic enzymes as the temperature passed through the saccharification range and this would then produce sugars and amino-acids from the starch. The higher temperatures reached at the end of the kilning process would cause the sugars to react with the amino acids, a condition known as the Maillard reaction. The initial moist phase affords the conditions for the production of the reducing-sugars and amino acids, both of which are necessary for the Maillard reaction. The higher temperature finishing stage provides the conditions for the Maillard reaction proper when much of the moisture has been driven off.

The Maillard reaction is a flavour-forming, colour-forming, and acid-forming reaction. A major product of the Maillard reaction are substances called melanoidins. Melanoidins impart rich, malty flavours, boost the mouthfeel, boost the perceived body and impart an enhanced degree of colouring to a beer.

I take from this that old-time brown malt would have imparted richer malty flavours than modern malts, more colour and would have been somewhat more acidic. Old-time amber and pale malts the same, but to a lesser degree. I cannot see any way of reliably replicating this with modern ingredients without someone attempting to replicate the malt.

Unfortunately, the old literature that describe such malting methods are more of a description than instruction, are probably incomplete, and were before the time of thermometers, so these descriptions lack the all-important temperature information. It seems certain that the making of good brown malt must have been a very hit-and-miss affair and the quality varied widely between different maltsters different localities and different batches.

Crystal malt is the major British malt in which an enhanced Maillard reaction is encouraged, but it is still nothing like brown malt.

I think that it will be necessary to look abroad for something similar. I know that diastatic amber malt is still being made in Belgium somewhere, and certain malts such as Munich and Vienna, among several others, are made with the object of producing an enhanced Maillard reaction, but they are unlikely to match the original stuff.

It will only be a matter of time before some enterprising maltster experiments with and produces an appropriate brown malt, but I am sad to say that it will probably be the Americans.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 18:33

I think you're right about the Americans being the ones to recreate the old brown malt style - there are many more breweries in the US to use this stuff (I'd imagine), so it would likely be a worthwhile grain to produce. In the UK, I just don't think it would make a financial return from the minimal demand. Would be good for someone knowledgable to try roasting their own.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Graham_W » Tue Feb 09, 2016 23:55

HTH1975 wrote:I think you're right about the Americans being the ones to recreate the old brown malt style - there are many more breweries in the US to use this stuff (I'd imagine), so it would likely be a worthwhile grain to produce. In the UK, I just don't think it would make a financial return from the minimal demand. Would be good for someone knowledgable to try roasting their own.


There is no reason why a British maltster could not make a batch of brown malt. Indeed it is likely to be more authentic if a British maltster did do it, because they should have access to old records and should intuitively know what to do when certain information is absent. The reason that I suggested that it is more likely to be Americans is not because of volumes, but because the European-style beers that American home brewers and American microbrewers are brewing is a new experience to them. It is totally alien to what the average American consumer has been used to for the last century or more, whereby the major American brewers pushed out virtually identical lager-type stuff such that it became known as ASB (American Standard Beer).

Those American home brewers that make British style beers are doing so because it is a whole new experience to them -- it is different.

Most British home brewers, on the other hand, generally brew stuff that they are accustomed to. Their aim is to match, or better, their favourite beer sold in the pub down the road, but at a more economical price. The furthest back in history that an adventurous British home brewer is likely to go is to the mid to late 1800s where British brewing was approaching its zenith, and the beers produced were broadly similar to today's but of much higher strength and quality. It is easier to replicate these with modern malts.

It just strikes me that Americans are more likely to jump headlong into yet another type of malt without really giving it much thought.

I should have made it clear earlier that old-time brown malt was diastatic, it could be mashed by itself at 100% of the grist. Indeed the original 1700s porters had a grist consisting of 100% brown malt. Modern brown malt, on the other hand, is roasted in a drum to a much darker colour than the old-time stuff. This roasting destroys the enzymes and probably much of its potential extract too.

I doubt if an original-style porter would find favour with the modern palate for various reasons, and the very long ageing times required for the stuff would tie up capital for long periods and would be regarded as uneconomical these days. So-called porters of the late 1800s and early 1900s were nothing like the original 1700s stuff that was first given the moniker "porter". So different that I regard it as being somewhat fraudulent to have continued to call them porter.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 01:11

I suppose asking someone to malt some brown the old way is worth asking.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby graysalchemy » Wed Feb 10, 2016 09:13

How many Tonnes do you need. :lol: :lol:

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:12

graysalchemy wrote:How many Tonnes do you need. :lol: :lol:


I'm a firm believer in 'you don't ask, you don't get'. On balance, it's highly unlikely that they're going to run off a single 25kg bag for me. However, stranger things have happened.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Springer » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:43

HTH1975 wrote:
I'm a firm believer in 'you don't ask, you don't get'. On balance, it's highly unlikely that they're going to run off a single 25kg bag for me. However, stranger things have happened.

Can't think of any myself. :) However if you fancy a go yourself there is lots of info on tinternet, as always, its not rocket science.
S

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby HTH1975 » Wed Feb 10, 2016 18:17

a DIY approach you say? - I'll have to look into that.

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby graysalchemy » Wed Feb 10, 2016 22:11

we did have a member on here that malted his own grain.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby orlando » Thu Feb 11, 2016 08:45

Kyle_T wrote:Today's modern Brown Malt and yesteryear's are different. I think a chap called Orlando over on JBK made his own diastatic Brown Malt.

I use Brown Malt in all my Porters and Stouts to varying %.



Not quite Kyle. It was made for me by a guy from Hexham (Fuggle Dog on the forums), who sadly has moved to New Zealand. He was fascinated by old malting techniques and made Brown and Amber using Oak, Hornbeam and Straw, as there was some regional variation. All this came to an end with the invention of coke which meant malt could be cured without the sulphur that coal produced. Significantly once the hydrometer was in general use brewers realised how expensive the less diastatic brown malts were and with an eye on profit soon started using Pale malt and black malt as a way to get the strength and colour punters were expecting. In my view using Brown Malt is almost a secret ingredient as it is little used these days and yet has a "smoothing" effect in a Stout or Porter and one malt I now use in both, with very pleasing results. It was the Durden Park book that set me down the road and found me bumping into Ben from Hexham over on Jim's. Although I can't get his hint of smoke Brown Malt any more, the modern stuff still brings something to the party. As to the question how much should be used, I haven't explored the upper limits but suspect that back in the day it could easily have been 100%, albeit incredibly inefficient because of its lower diastatic power. My last Stout had 18% and the Porter I'm currently drinking is at 8%. Both are drinking very well. :D

Have a look at this post to get a flavour of what Fuggle Dog was doing, Graham and Ron Pattinson's influence is acknowledged along the way.

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Kyle_T » Thu Feb 11, 2016 09:25

Ah, I knew you had some at some point so I wasn't far out. I have gone as high as 20% modern Brown Malt and it certainly leaves it's mark.

I have used 8% in a Mackeson Milk Stout type beer but I have yet to taste it. The best balance I have found for a lowish ABV Porter is 12% and for a higher gravity beer, 20% gives it a nice edge.

Next Brew: AG#63.

Beer Brewed (2015): 136.4 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2016): 90.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2017): 20.0 Gallons
Beer Brewed (2018): 0.0 Gallons

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Re: Brown Malt in stout?

Postby Graham_W » Thu Feb 11, 2016 14:20

orlando wrote:Significantly once the hydrometer was in general use brewers realised how expensive the less diastatic brown malts were and with an eye on profit soon started using Pale malt and black malt as a way to get the strength and colour punters were expecting.

I am not convinced that that is the whole story. While it is true that the higher the temperature that the malt is kilned, the lower would be the diastatic power and the lower would be its extract value, particularly if the grain is moist, another important effect was that the grain swelled up, expanded such that less would fit into a bushel-bucket. As malt was typically measured volumetrically in those days, it was less efficient than pale on an extract per quarter basis; on a weight basis there was very much less difference.

The often quoted original figures (by Richardson, I think) was controversial at the time because his experimentation was flawed. He heated pale malt in a pan over a flame, which was not representative of the real world. An efficient malthouse kiln heats green malt by hot air passing through the grain, which gives different results. In one of my electronic-format old-books (a Google scan) the author tests samples from different maltsters and concludes that standard brown malt is nowhere near as inefficient as Richardson(?) made out. It varied greatly between different maltsters and different types of brown malt. The worst of the lot, by far, was the Ware malts which, ironically, the London brewers preferred. One point is that there seems to have been several different grades of brown malt, but modern commentators seem to lump them all together as being the same thing, which they clearly were not.

I am also not convinced that the gradual switch over of porter from being 100% brown malt to mostly pale malt had very much to do with extract efficiency. The mild brown beer of the day, using "mild" in its contemporary context, was fairly rough, harsh, awful stuff without a degree of ageing. The whole point of porter was to improve a cheap mild beer by adding a portion of aged stale beer. In my view the change in grist was an attempt to reduce the expensive ageing period; expensive because a huge amount of capital was tied up in ageing a whole year or mores supply of beer for up to two years. The consequence of this grist change was that mild became more drinkable in its own right and it came to dominate public taste on a cost basis. At the time it probably required a couple of months ageing, but that was far preferable to a couple of years.

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