From the HBD Archive
From: ony@spss.com (Tony Babinec)
Subject: dark grains in beer
Date: 1992-03-12 15:46:35 GMT

Dark, highly-kilned grains are used for two reasons: color and
flavor. In small amounts, they'll contribute color and have little
or no flavor impact. In large amounts, they'll contribute both.

There are three basic highly-kilned grains:

- roasted barley, which is made from unmalted barley,
- chocolate malt,
- black patent malt.

In a previous posting, someone alluded to a black unmalted barley.
I'm not familiar with it.

In darkening "power," for a given amount of malt added to a given
amount of wort, their order is chocolate malt-roasted barley-black
patent malt. Usage of malts should be dictated by style
considerations of the beer you're making. But I don't want to
legislate morality. Do whatever you want!

Roasted barley is the signature grain in dry stouts. Typical
additions are 1 pound of roasted barley for a 5-gallon batch of
stout. Dave Line's recipe for stout is useful here:

7 pounds pale malt
1 pound roasted barley
1 pound flaked barley
hops and yeast of course

Roasted barley can be used in smaller amounts in some other styles.

Chocolate malt is described as "sweet." It can be used in such
styles as mild, brown ale, porter, stout, Oktoberfest, or bock.
Amounts vary. In porters, you might use 1/2 pound or so. In an
Oktoberfest, you might be looking for a bit of darkening not
obtained by other grains in your recipe, such as Munich or crystal
malt, and so you add a couple of ounces, but maybe no more, of
chocolate or black malt to your mash. After all, you probably
don't want a chocolaty Oktoberfest. On the other hand, such a
flavor might be desired in a Traditional Bock.

Black patent malt is predominantly used as a coloring malt in small
additions. The exception is in porters, where its "sharp" flavor
character is desired. A black patent malt addition to a porter
might consist of 1/2 pound for a 5-gallon batch. More than that,
and you might have overdone it!

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