The Journey of Malt – Caramelising

While the previous steps – which you can find below – were pretty straight forward, there are different ways to move forward after kilning. If you want to create base malt, you can actually stop here. The process is done.

But as a malt house that loves Specialty Malts, there are some additional steps you can do. The malt can be roasted (a process we will dive into next time) or caramelised. Caramelising is exactly what it sounds like. By heating or slightly roasting the malt, the starch is converted to smaller sugars that are then caramelised. This provides a golden to light brown hue, depending on the settings. It also imparts a slightly sweeter taste palette.

The most important tool here is our state-of-the-art drum roaster.  This is a dynamic process, where the drum continuously rotates. The blades inside ensure that the product is mixed homogeneously. The roaster gives us the chance to closely monitor every aspect of the way. We can distribute and control temperature and moisture, to create the product we need. Saccharification and caramelisation are even across the total batch, meaning every kernel gets the same attention.

Our range of speciality caramel malts (also known as Cara or Crystal) is called Gold Swaen. These are roasted with the utmost care, to provide complex flavours, from slight caramel sweetness to soft toffee notes. The process also ensures beers of a fuller body and mouthfeel, and better foam stability.

With our roaster we can also create black malt. But that is a story for another time…