It has been known as blown, porter and snap malt, but homebrewers know it as brown malt, if they know it at all. Its mellow roast character, cheeky bitterness and acrid finish has warmed the cockles of many an Englishman over the centuries. It was once a malt of choice for many dark brews, especially porters and stouts. However, improvements in malting technology — including the development of pale base malts with better yields and dark specialty malts with more color — led to its decline. And it almost faded into brewing history. Almost. Today, a few maltsters — including Crisp, Thomas Fawcett and Sons, Hugh Baird and Beeston — produce brown malt and many homebrewers are discovering what made this lightly-roasted malt so popular in the past. Brown malt is back.
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