Featured Distillers’ Malt: Subtle and Surprisingly Complex Caramel Rye

Briess_CaramelRyeMalt_Blog01Briess has been producing roasted Caramel Malts in the USA since the mid-1950s. That tradition continues today, with Briess producing a wide range of roasted Caramel Malts in small batches in drum roasters. Roasting, rather than kilning, is necessary in order to develop the glassy centers and rich caramel flavors associated with caramel (sometimes called crystal) malts.

Briess operates seven drum roasters. Each has been custom designed and engineered specifically for roasting malt and barley. The custom engineering allows for the application of significantly higher temperatures to green malt, which is a must for the caramelization of sugars, uniform temperature application to all kernels, and precise control of airflow and moisture. Full, caramel flavors and aromas are not achievable with kilning. Drum roasters also produce more uniform and consistent results within each batch and from lot to lot — a mark of quality that Briess customers have come to expect.

It took several years to develop our Caramel Rye Malt. The work and wait was well worth it. Like other Briess caramel malts, our roaster operators carefully drum roast Caramel Rye Malt in small batches from germinated, wet grain until the starchy center is crystallized. This process actually tames the grain’s characteristic spicy rye flavor and develops some sweetness with upfront roasted, malty flavors and an array of subtle but complex bready, caramel, earthy, rye and dry background notes.

 

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