Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Toasting Your Own Grain - Fat Tire Clone

Well it would appeared that today's post would be geared solely to all grain brewers, but extract (w/ partial mash) brewers can participate in toasting grain at home as well.

Just like bread, you can toast malted grain to different levels of flavor. The technical term for this is the Malliard Reaction which basically translates to the browning of something which produces complex flavors and aromas different from the original product. I find this a great way to put your own twist on your home brewed creations.

Obviously maltsters already do this with malts like roasted barley, chocolate malt, victory, special roast, etc. But toasting in your own home puts a different profile into your beer, nutty toasted goodness can add a lot to ambers, pales, porters, stouts, or anything you really want to try it in.  

Different times, temperatures, and wetness of the grain are all going to give you different results. The best part about the experimental phase is that you are brewing beer that you can drink while you experiment with a different variable.

A great resource for this (as well as anything else brewing) is John Palmer's How to Brew which is available online. By clicking here you will be able to reach his section on toasting your own malt. Below I have posted his toasting table, this really is a nice reference to have but do not let that limit your creativity, try differences from the table and see what you can get out of your grain.

Table 17 - Grain Toasting Times and Temperatures
275 °FDry1 hourLight nutty taste and aroma.
350 °FDry15 minutesLight nutty taste and aroma.
350 °FDry30 minutesToasty, Grape-Nuts Flavor.
350 °FDry1 hourMore roasted flavor, very similar to commercial Brown Malt.
350 °FWet1 hourLight sweet Toasty flavor.
350 °FWet1.5 hoursToasted Malty, slightly sweet.
350 °FWet2 hoursStrong Toast/Roast flavor similar to Brown Malt.

Palmer recommends that after toasting your grain that you should store it in a brown paper bag for 2 weeks so that some of the harsher aromatics. I will never advise against any advice that John Palmer gives, however I will just state that I have used grain straight out of the oven and did not notice anything off about my beer. 

This is a Recipe of the Week post after all so I better post a recipe. Today's recipe comes from Brewboard member Hophead, and you can see the recipe posted here along with all of the banter following it. 

I live in the land of Fat Tire and this is a Fat Tire clone. No offense to New Belgium but I did a side by side taste test and they are very close but I somewhat prefer this recipe because it seems richer and a little toastier with the home toasted malt. This is not to say that I don't enjoy a good Fat Tire probably on a monthly basis or any of the other fine New Belgium beers. 

Flat Ass Tired

5 gallon batch

Grain bill:
6 lbs Belgian Pale malt
2 lbs Belgian Pale (home toasted at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes)
1 lb Munich malt
.5 lb Biscuit malt
.25 lb Crystal 10L
.25 lb Crystal 40L
.25 lb Special Roast 

Single infusion mash at 154 degrees F for 60 minutes

.75 oz Northern Brewer 8.5AA for 60 minutes
.5 oz Willamette 5.5AA for 30 minutes
.5 oz Willamette 5.5AA for 15 minutes
.5 oz Willamette 5.5AA for 5 minutes

Wyeast 1272 American Ale II or WLP051 California V Ale
ferment at 65 degrees F

OG: 1.058 
FG: 1.012-1.014
SRM: 12
IBUs: 37.2
Alc by vol: 5.5 - 6.3% 

If you have nothing on your mind for your next brew definitely try this out. Let me know your results. I may just have to make this my next batch as I have some Northern Brewer and Willamette hops in the freezer. 


  1. Great Article. I am almost positive I would mess this up. Looks and How about the next article "How to make moonshine in your basement".

  2. Well, I don't condone making moonshine in a basement, you may blow up your house...making moonshine in a backwoods deliverance type of area however...

  3. Why not go with the hops listed on their website... Target, Willamette and Goldens