Get Your Roast On

Written by Damon on March 26, 2009

In order to learn how to control malt aroma in my beers, I brew several similar beers in a row and compare mash temperatures and recipes to try and figure out how to formulate recipes with malt aroma in mind.

There were few months where I was concerned about the lack of malt aroma in my beers. I started paying more attention to aroma in my beers and in commercial beers.

After sampling a number of commercial examples, I realised that malt aroma is the exception rather than the rule. But I’d still rather my beers be the exception when I choose.

I also noticed that I get accustomed to aromas very quickly and need to give myself some time between tastes to fully appreciate the aroma.

Roast Aroma in Stout

I don’t write about ordinary beers because there are plenty ordinary recipes on the web.

Last month, I brewed two stouts and a porter. On their own they are very ordinary, but plenty good. Comparing the aromas, however, is very interesting.

The two stouts are interesting because one has a pleasantly strong roast aroma, while the other is bland.

The first stout used 0.83% roast malt mashed in at °149 F (°65 C) and has a very strong roast malt aroma.

The second stout used 0.55% roast malt mashed-in at °150 F (°66 C) and doesn’t have nearly as much aroma.

I believe the Roast Malt I use is from Pauls Malt, but I have to check with the local retailer to be sure.

Honey Malt Aroma

The Porter was a platform for learning what Gambrinus Honey Malt brings to a beer. I used 0.82% Honey Malt in the porter mashed in at a high °156 F (°69 C) and had almost too much Honey Malt flavour, but not nearly enough aroma.

I was led to believe that Honey Malt was very aromatic, so maybe the problem was with my high mash temperature.

If you’ve used either Gambrinus Honey Malt or Pauls Roast Malt, I’d love to hear how the aroma turned out and what mash temperature you used.