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.
Burnt? Acrid? Or just misunderstood? Learn the truth about how black malt is made and what it’s good for. Plus: four clone recipes
Got gluten? If you brew with barley, wheat or rye you do. For sufferers of celiac disease, this crosses those beers off the "to brew" list. However, there are gluten-free grains – including sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa, rice and corn – from which beers can be made. Learn the techniques required to make your brewery gluten free. Plus: two gluten free recipes