Homebrewing Blog and Resource

Roasted Barley

With Mike constantly refining his Oatmeal Stout recipe, he came to a conclusion about Roasted Barley.  He feels that this ingredient should be the main contributor of the dark color and roasty flavor to his beer and that he should eliminate Black Patent Malt from his recipe.  

Note that I wrote “ingredient” and not malt…since Roasted Barley is not malt.  It’s unmalted barley and does not have enzymes that are in malt that convert starch to sugar.  It is roasted until it turns the targeted color…which I think is right before it turns to ash.

Flavor: Roasty (natch), Intensely bitter, coffee notes, dry

Color: I have seen a range of 300 to 660 (!) Lovibond.  I think I will stick with a tighter range of 350 – 400 L

Body: I don’t think it modifies a beer’s body in a significant way.

Use: Stouts, primarily dry stouts.  Used in small amounts, it will add complexity to porters, nut brown ale, and other dark beers.


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  1. Aaron

    As I understand it, Black Patent vs Roasted Barley is supposed to be the main difference between a porter and a stout.

  2. Absolutely. I think that’s our thinking too. I think sweet stouts can get away with having some black patent in it, but it doesn’t really work for dry stouts.

    Porters should have a nice balance of chocolate and black patent malts.

  3. Aaron

    I don’t think black patent will HURT a stout – I think it mostly contributes color with very little flavor – it just doesn’t HELP a stout.

  4. Right on, Aaron. No disrespect for Black Patent.

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