I got a William’s Brewing catalog in the mail today and I was looking at the ingredients and the prices. I did come across a malt that I wanted to profile. From what I have read, Brown malt is a historical malt that was used in England two centuries ago. It appears that only a few maltster make true Brown malt today.

The catalog had a nice description about the malt. Back in the day, porters were brewed with brown malt exclusively. As time went on, Porters evolved. Because brown malt was being roasted to get its flavor and color profile, the roasting also reduced the amount of fermentable extract the malt could produce so brewers needed to use more and more of it. Porter were then made with black patent, chocolate, and pale malts since it was more economical to do so.

Flavor: Because it kilned over a hardwood fire, Brown malt imparts a smoky flavor. Biscuit and nutty were also mentioned.

Color: Ranges from 38 to 70 °L from site to site. William’s Brewing has it at 53 °L

Body: It adds some body because of the non-fermentables it brings to the party.

Use: Brown ales and porters…makes sense, eh? You can roast your own malt at home to make something similar to Brown malt. I may give it a try.