[Sca-cooks] Brown Ale - was, Re: newbee cook attempting feast for the first timeindecember

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sat Jun 6 22:18:30 PDT 2009

>>>Do we have any strong evidence for the existence of dark malts in 
>>>period? I'm pretty sure Digby and Plat never specify what kind of malt 
>>>to use, or how to make it, and Markham tells how to make it, but never 
>>>says anything (that I can recall) about roasting it; as far as I know, 
>>>what he's using is raw, white malt.
> At our event today, I noticed that one A&S entry was a lovely brown ale. 
> I asked about roasted malts and was told they have roasted malt "as long 
> as there have been ovens".  That's not proof thought.
> Ranvaig

Markham actually addresses this in his chapter on malt.  The malt is dried 
to be light in color and sweet and he warns against overcooking the malt 
(apparently a common problem), which may equate to what we think of as 

A couple of other sources I looked at made a point that roasted malt is used 
in producing porter and stout.  From the phrasing, it suggested to me that 
brown ale might not use roasted malt.  A brewer's website provided some 
other information that light malt is used in the preparation of most brown 
http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/07/09/brown-ale-recipes-brewing-styles/ . 
The site also makes the point that what we refer to as "brown ale" may have 
just been "ale" prior to formal usage of the term "brown ale" beginning the 
early 18th Century.  While this make linguistic sense, I'm hesitant to 
wholly accept the explanation without references to support the logic.


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