Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Diastatic brown malt

It fascinates me, diastatic brown malt. What exactly was it like? Could it be made again? If it's impossible to recreate, we'll never know how the first Porters tasted.

Based on the experiments in kilning a contact of mine, Ben, has made, we may well have answers to those two questions. Because Ben has managed to make self-converting brown malt.

Which immediately prompts another question: could this brown malt be made commercially?

Ben and I are contemplating approaching maltsters about making some. But there's something we need to know first. How many of you, professional and amateur brewers, would want to buy diastatic brown malt? Once we know that, we should be able to work out if the project is viable.

Would you like some of this malt? Just think - you'd be able to brew a 1740's Porter or Stitch. How much fun would that be?

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes. Definitely.

Erm ... what is it exactly?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to taste it. But possibly only once.

Anonymous said...

Where do I sign up?

stoutfellow said...

I would certainly buy some and brew a historical recipe. Defo.

Oblivious said...

I sure at the micro scale the would loads


Did he dry it over straw/wood

An the issue of commercial scale, could a small business/malters be viable given that insurance rates of such a methods must be high?

Séan Billings said...

As a home brewer and a fan of porter I would love to get my hands on some of this stuff. Whether it would become a regular purchase would depend on the resulting beer.

Ed said...

I'd buy 200kg straight off.

Arctic Alchemy said...

Is this the same Ben or "Fuggledog" from the Jim's beer kit forum? , if so, he did some nice experiments on using different wood varieties for malting and roasting.

I have access to a museum piece "malt roaster" (early 19th century) and working..er convincing a curator to let me try it. I believe the secret to blown/brown is using the right temperature and time, spreading it thin and knowing when it's done.

Ron Pattinson said...

Arctic, I do believe it's the same bloke.

Ron Pattinson said...

Oblivious, he tried different types of wood. Hornbeam seemed the best.

Tim said...

Oh, yes please!

Very exciting...

Thanks! Tim (Homebrewer)

EdG said...

Any comment on the notion of a smoked flavour in the malt as is often written?

Velky Al said...

I'd be up for that, definitely!

BrianW said...

Only if it has that delicious smoak taste that I crave!

Seriously though, I would definitely buy some.

Anonymous said...

that might be enough to bring back the ten gallon system from storage.

Graeme said...

I'd have a go! And I know someone else who I'm sure would too!

Ron Pattinson said...

The smokiness varies depending on the fuel used for kilning and the kilning technique. But I think it's quite subtle - nothing like the level of smokiness in rauchmalz.

Lisa said...

How exciting! I'm very glad to hear that this has gone well so far, and am curious to see how it turns out - I'd love to see a few people try the same historical recipe and compare the results. If only we could get those results in the same place!

I suppose the next question is how to breed back 18th century yeast with some degree of certainty...

Ryan Murphy said...

Yes, both currently as a homebrewer and as person starting a commerical brewery I would be interested in a diastic Brown Malt.

Historic Porters are something I am working on replicating and this would be ideal.

Ed said...

Brilliant idea! Has been a ambition of mine for a while to recreate a traditional old school porter.

Ed
@EdGrimley

Andrew Elliott said...

I would be interested in a few sacks to try it out first, then can work with several of the local micros to gauge their interest. A couple of them may be more interested in a one-off batch, but we'll see.

Jeff Renner said...

Yes. Hope you can get it to our side of the Atlantic.

Biertourist said...

I've been hiding in the shadows on this blog for a long time but I would be incredibly interested in this. (Not that I could buy a ton of it, just that I'd be really interested in it.)

I made a slightly OCD 1850 porter last fall/this spring based upon the "Loftus the Brewer" descriptions and after calculating the total diastatic power of the mash decided that it was absolutely impossible to brew even his 1850 recipe without diastatic brown malt. -I got as close as I could with 15% amber and 15% brown malt and it still took 2 hours to convert with the non-diastatic brown malt.


The OCD part was aging 1/3 of it for 6-12 months on oak and brettanomyces and lacto and pedio. -This is where I took a bit of artistic license as I really wanted to focus on the "stale" portion and get the acidity up a bit and get some oaky notes. (Controversial though I know both are.)


I would REALLY love to be able to brew Loftus the Brewer's porter exactly as he described it and it would take diastatic brown malt to hit that 33% brown, 33% amber, 33% pale grist that he talks about.


My recipe, process, and justification here: http://www.beoir.org/community/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=6252&p=67914#p67914


Adam
P.S. -I've saved a bottle of this in the back of my closet with the intention of eventually getting over my laziness and sending you a bottle, Ron. (I borrowed from this blog HEAVILY in my recipe formulation on that one.)
Get me an address and I can send it your way.

Bob said...

I have no idea what I'd homebrew with it, but I'd be willing to give something ago, especially if it was an old Scottish recipe... So count me in!

Biertourist said...

Sorry, I misquoted Loftus the Brewer's grist from memory; he actually said "9 of pale, 5 of brown, 5 of amber, 1 of black" which equates to 45% Pale, 25% Brown, 25% Amber, and 5% Black.

So my 605 Pale, 15% Brown, 15% Amber, 5% black grist wasn't THAT far off, but there's no way it would convert if I increased the brown and amber and didn't have diastatic brown malt.


Adam

Anonymous said...

I am a homebrewer, and an American. I would be interested for both experiments with porters and also tangy flemish-like mixed fermentation brown beers. That's a small bit of demand.

Perhaps a large commerical brewer could commit to a special experiemntal beer with the first exclusive malting run, and thus pave the way for us all to play with it. I'd happily wait for that.

Ron Groves said...

I enjoy making historical beers so yes - I would be interested in obtaining this malt.

The Professor said...

I'd definitely be interested in a bag of this stuff.
If you succeed in getting someone to make it, I hope we'll get to see some here in the States!

ealusceop said...

Hum... I'll need enough to brew a lot. I think i'll be a good client. By the way Ron, I know a small (micro) malster here in Québec, maybe he can make it in small batches? Or at least tell you if it's a viable project.

Anonymous said...

I'm only a home brewer, but I'd be interested in enough to try a couple batches with it. Assuming availability in the US.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely buy small amounts regularly if it was somehow readily available in Japan. However, I understand that likely is not possible given that I can't even get some basic malts here that most homebrewers elsewhere take for granted.

Tim said...

I'd like to echo the interest in diastatic brown malt. Maybe we could convince Valley Malt (valleymalt.com) to try it - they are small enough and seem to have an experimental bent to attempt it.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I would if it ever makes it to NZ.

MapperMatt said...

I'd take 5-10kg, possibly more as I know other who would want it. Another diastatic malt that is impossible to get hold of for old beers is Pale Amber, used loads in Durden Park book....

rosnblatt bro's said...

I would love to get some if it ever makes it to Israel.

Barm said...

Didn't we hear a couple of years ago that French & Jupp had had to stop making brown malt because nobody would insure them any more?

Anonymous said...

Exciting! And my guess would be that Weyermann would be totally game for it. They recently started a line of special malts aiming at recreating historical beer styles. They have Weizenrauchmalz for Grätzer, Tennenmalz for recreating the original Pilsner, why not diastatic brown malt?

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding, of course I'd buy some. I'm a homebrewer though and it would take a lot of homebrewers to make it worth while for a commercial maltster... Also, one of the most interesting things about the old brown malt is the involvement of smoke in the process. I would hope that any diastatic brown malt made would also involve some smoke so that particular part of the flavor of old porters could be experienced as well.

Evin said...

Yes, definitely interested. Evin - The Kernel Brewery

Biertourist said...

Yea! The Kernel guys are in!
What kinda quantity do we need pre-orders on to make this viable?


Adam

mentaldental said...

I'd love some. Put me down for a sack or two.

Adam said...

Yes, please.

Martin said...

I would like some. And I hope that I could find more people from Poland, willing to buy some diastatic brown malt. I think Weyermann is the one, that could make it commercially.

zgoda said...

Marcin is right, we love porters in Poland, not just our beloved baltic porter. All of them.

As for Weyermann, just recently they started making oak smoked pale wheat malt, specially for Gratzer, the beer that is no more. I think they could be interested.