Historically, caramel malts were produced from green malt in a kiln covered with a tarpaulin. The tarpaulin reduced evaporation as the kiln was heated to perhaps 60°C to 75°C and kept at that temperature for up to 2 hours needed for saccharification of the starch in the endosperm. To dry and caramelize the grain, the tarpaulin would then be removed and the temperature raised up to more than 100°C while the grain was being ventilated.

Caramel Malts, as the name implies, impart a strong caramel flavor to beer, which is the result of an extra stewing process that takes place during malting, usually in a roasting drum, between germination and kilning. In a roaster, the green malt is kept at a temperature between 63°C and 75°C during saccharification (stewing) stage. This ensures that the starch from the endosperm is converted into a sugary liquid that is trapped under the husk. Subsequently, the stewed grain needs to be dried. Nowadays this drying is also done in the roaster.

The liquefied sugars are then caramelized into solid, semi-crystalline, glassy, long-chain, unfermentable dextrins. During this process two different reactions take place: the degradation of sugars into brown colouring caramel products (pyrones, furanones) and Maillard reactions between sugars and peptides (melanoidins). At higher temperatures both reaction products form (High Moluculair Weight) HMW melanoidins which are typical for high temperature roasted caramels.

Because the caramelized sugars cannot be degraded during mashing in the brewhouses, they contribute directly to wort gravity. They are also responsible for malty-sweet flavors, a deep color, a complex aroma, a fuller body and mouthfeel, and improved foam retention of the finished beer.

Medium coloured caramel malts are used in amber ales and lagers, red ales and lagers, Märzenbiers, and bock beers. High coloured caramel malts in Porter and Stouts, low coloured caramel malts as foam improver in Pilseners and lagers. And of course whatever the brewer composes…

Earlier this month we shared an article on our blog about Swaen Dutch Pale Ale malt. This variety is a real Dutch product, made 100% from local barley, so this time we brought you an original and traditional Dutch beer recipe. Although the beer consumption in the Netherlands was mainly influenced by Belgian brewers, there is a traditional beer style, which has almost been forgotten. Historians say that by the end of the19th century “Kuit” was the most commonly consumed beer in the Netherlands. Kuitbier, also known as Koyt, Kuyt is brewed from three kind of grains: malted oat, barley and wheat. Earliest versions were unhopped, and flavoured instead with gruit, which is a mixture of various herbs. Over centuries the style underwent several transformations. The final version, brewed in the latter half of the 1800’s, was very different from early versions. Nevertheless a few years ago the Brewers Association set guideline for this style. See those attributes in the below recipe.

Grain bill: Original regulations set the proportions at 3-2-1: 50% oat, 33% barley and 17% wheat, while recent rules say it must contain a minimum of the follows: 45% oats, oat flakes or oat malt / 35% Pilsner or Ale malt / 20% wheat or malted wheat. The appearance of the final product is straw to amber, with a wit-like haziness. Darker versions are not resulted by the grains, but the long boiling time, that can last up to 3 hours, over an open fire according to the traditional brewing method.

  The Swaen Malt Color Quantity Ratio
  Swaen©Oat 4 EBC 1,5 lov 3,0 kg 6,6 lbs 50%
  Dutch Pale Ale 7 EBC 2,6 lov 2,0 kg 4,4 lbs 33%
  Swaen©Wheat 4EBC 1,5 lov 1,0 kg 2,2 lb 17%

Some brewers recommend a beta glucan rest for this style to have the best results. Besides use more mash water than usual, min. 4 l/kg.

45°C – 20 min
62°C – 30 min
72°C – 30 min
78°C – 5 min

Hops: Only noble hop varieties are suggested to be used, like Hallertau Mittelfrüh, Saaz, Tettnanger, Spalt. Hop flavour and aroma should be at the lower end. Addition of herbs, spices, fruit or other ingredients are not allowed.

   Variety Quantity Lenght Alpha acid IBU
  Spalt 28 g 1 oz 60 min 7% 20
  Spalt 28 g 1 oz 15 min 7% 10

Yeast: Neutral ale yeast strains are recommended. Ferment between 15-20°C for 2 weeks.

Dry Liquid
Gozdawa British Ale Withbread WhiteLabs WLP029 German Ale
Gozdawa Hybrid Ale Notty Wyeast 2565 Kolsch Yeast

Results: Grainy, bready

OG 1.050-1.080
FG 1.006-1.015
ABV 4.7-7.9%
IBU 25-35
SRM 5-12.5
Batch size: 23 litre (6 gallon)
Efficiency: 70 %
OG: 1.056
FG: 1.010
ABV: 6%
Bitterness: 30 IBU
Colour: 13 SRM

The Swaen is a proud sponsor of the Beer Geeks Beat ALS Advent Calendar of 2021. In this calendar you will find 24 delicious, unique beers. These are often brewed especially for this event.

To support Stichting ALS Nederland (The Dutch ALS Foundation) even better, this year you can win prizes. Every day the corresponding brewer will offer a special prize. But that is not all.

The Swaen donates malt for the starter pack for the grand winner. In every box you can find a golden ticket that automatically gives you a chance to win this ultimate prize.

Do you want to increase your chances of winning? Then you can make an extra donation to this charity. For €5 you get an extra golden ticket and for €12,50 this rises to three. If you want to support Stichting ALS Nederland even more you can donate €17,50 and get five extra golden tickets.

Pre-order your box today. This can be done at Holland Craft Beer, Beerware.nl and in the store Mout & Stout in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a country “low by the sea” and has during centuries fought against, trade partner and enemy: the sea.

Many inundations with salty water have flogged the country. As a result of that the Dutch have always been looking for possibilities to win land from the sea and protect people and agriculture. The salt in the soil prohibit many crops to thrive. In the cereals group there is only barley who can grow with a sufficient agronomic yield.

So it is not strange that “polders” and islands in the delta of the Scheldt were mainly barley producers. So many new and always better adapted barley varieties have seen the first light in the polders of the Netherlands. Dutch Pale Ale is a tribute to the many people who contributed to the success of Dutch barley and beer.

We often get the question what the difference between Swaen© Ale and the new Swaen© Dutch Pale Ale is. The quick answer would be the origin, but there is more to it than that.

First, let us take a look at the similarities. Both are used to correct bleached malt, to produce a full golden beer. These malts are modified normally, instead of being overmodified. They are not just darker base malts, but a unique part of your unique recipes.

What makes the Dutch Pale Ale unique is that it is made from 100% Dutch barley. To achieve this, we closely work together with local top growers. This way, we can trace the quality in every production stage. These factors guarantee the availability of high quality malting barley.

The aim of this cooperation is the sustainable improvement of the barley crop and the building of the correct chain structure. Currently 30-40 farmers are growing for The Swaen.

Our Dutch Pale Ale malt makes excellent Pale Ale styles and bitter beers, as well as most traditional English beer styles and strong export beers.

The expression Stout was first mentioned in the late 1600’s as synonym of strong beers, having fuller body and strength. “Stout Ales” as well as “Stout Porters” existed back then. Later the name Stout has got closer to dark Porters, and in the 18th century it was widely used referring to the stronger version of Porters (also Guinness brewery had a “Stout Porter”). Thanks to the technical developments at the time black malt was invented and widely used in these styles. By the end of 1800’s Stout emerged as a distinctive style, with an addition of more dark malt and hops that Porters had back then.

Recent examples are brewed from a lower original gravity and there is no significant difference in ABV vs Porters. Stouts have a pronounced roasted taste, usually with a hint of coffee or sometimes chocolate. The majority within the style is usually on the more bitter and drier side. They are also called Dublin-type stout, that is made with a large addition of roasted barley. Nevertheless, there are some balanced versions with some malty sweetness (Cork-type stouts) getting their flavours from chocolate and other specialty malts. Draught versions are very popular, as they are typically poured by nitrogen, thus having a creamy, long-lasting foam and a silky mouthfeel.

This time we present a recipe for the drier version.

Grain bill: A basis of your grist should be pale malt. Just like Guinness, you need to add a large proportion of roasted barley. For the creamy textures and dry finish, we recommend to use at least 20% of barley flakes. For the dry mouthfeel your mash shouldn’t exceed 67°C (153 F).

  The Swaen Malt Color Quantity Ratio
   Swaen©Ale 8 EBC 3,6 lov 3,0 kg 6,6 lbs 67%
   Barley Flakes 3 EBC 1,7 lov 1,0 kg 2,2 lbs 22%
   BlackSwaen©Barley 1100 EBC 415 lov 0,5 kg 1,1 lb 11%

Hops: Add hops only at the begging of the boil for bitterness, aroma hops are rarely used in this beer.

   Variety Quantity Lenght Alpha acid IBU
   East Kent Goldings 50 g 1,8 oz 60 min 4,5% 32

Yeast: For the dry finish chose higher attenuation strains. Ferment at 19-21 °C (66-70 F) for 7-10 days.

Dry Liquid
Gozdawa British Ale Withbread WhiteLabs WLP007 Dry English Ale
Lallemand Nottingham Wyeast Irish Ale 1084

Results: Creamy maltiness, hint of coffee, easy to drink

Food pairing: Beef or lamb stew, steak pie, oysters

OG 1.036-1.044
FG 1.007-1.011
ABV 4.0-4.5%
IBU 25-45
SRM 25-40
Batch size: 19 l (5 gallon)
Efficiency: 70 %
OG: 1.041
FG: 1.009
ABV: 4,2 %
Bitterness: 32 IBU
Colour: 35 SRM
Carbonation: 1.6
pH: 5,2