Malt Kilning and Maillard Reactions with Randy Mosher- BeerSmith Podcast #271

Randy Mosher joins me this week to discuss the wide variety of processes and flavors developed while kilning and roasting malt. This includes the Maillard reaction, carmelization and Pyrolisis.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (49:30)

  • This week I welcome back Randy Mosher. Randy is the author of the books Mastering Homebrew, Radical Brewing, and Tasting Beer. (Full disclosure: Amazon affiliate links to books) He’s also partner in two breweries near Chicago Five Rabbit and Forbidden Root.
  • Randy briefly discusses his two breweries and the new book on tasting he is working on.
  • He introduces today’s topic which is the important flavors developed during three major processes that occur during malting: Carmelization, the Maillard reaction and Pyrolysis
  • We start with a bit on carmelization which is a process that mainly takes place in Crystal/Caramel malts which have a high percentage of simple sugars.
  • Next we discuss the Maillard reaction which is a dominant process in cooked foods as well as kilned malts.
  • We talk about some of the flavors generated and how they pile up on each other to create complex flavors in the beer.
  • Randy introduces pyrolysis which as the name implies is essentially a burning process that takes place during roasting at high temperature. Pyrolysis produces many of the roast flavors we associate with very dark malts.
  • We talk a bit about the compounds produced as well as the flavors from each.
  • Randy explains why roast barley (stout roast) is a different type of malt as it is made from unmalted barley.
  • We discuss the harsh zone, which is a region between roughly 70 and 200L where very few malts are produced due to the harsh flavors in this region.
  • Randy explains where astringency in very dark malts comes from.
  • He gives us his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Randy Mosher for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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