The Maillard Reaction

All about grains. Malting, smoking, grinding and other preparations.
Which grains are hot, which are not.

Moderator: Site Moderator

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:19 pm

"The Maillard reaction is a form of nonenzymatic browning. It results from a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing sugar, usually requiring heat.
Vitally important in the preparation or presentation of many types of food, it is named after chemist Louis-Camille Maillard, who first described it in 1912 while attempting to reproduce biological protein synthesis.[1][2](p79)
The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar reacts with the nucleophilic amino group of the amino acid, and forms a complex mixture of poorly characterized molecules responsible for a range of odors and flavors. This process is accelerated in an alkaline environment (e.g., lye applied to darken pretzels), as the amino groups are deprotonated and, hence, have an increased nucleophilicity. The type of the amino acid determines the resulting flavor. This reaction is the basis of the flavoring industry. At high temperatures, acrylamide can be formed.
In the process, hundreds of different flavor compounds are created. These compounds, in turn, break down to form yet more new flavor compounds, and so on. Each type of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during the Maillard reaction. It is these same compounds flavor scientists have used over the years to make reaction flavors."

The Maillard Reaction takes place in for instance the baking process of pumpernickel or black rye bread. The colour indicates Maillard is at work. And where the Maillard Reaction is doing it's thing, tasts and flavors develop. It makes me understand why my rye bread sugarhead whiskey has more and more complex tastes to offer than even my All Grain malted rye.

So how can we use this (to me) new learnings? Easy, to improve an UJ or SF where grains are used for taste. This is how it is done (or can be done):

Take 3.2 kilo's of flaked/cracked corn or Sweet Feed and put them in 3.2 liters of boiling water. Stirr well. Put the lid on it and maybe wrap a towel or blanket around the pan. Let it cool overnight. The slower it cools the better.

Now comes the next day. Put the mixture in a baking dish, put alufoil on top and put it in the oven for 6 hours at 90 degrees C or 194 degrees Fahrenheit. You might want to add some extra water halfway down the road.

Now when the six hours in the oven are done, proceed as per normal. Give the replacement grain from each new generation a "Maillard" treatment as well, and you will end up with a stronger, more interesting taste profile.

I think this method is applicable in an All Grainer as well. It shouldn't hurt convertability of grain starches. A partial "Maillard" treatment, instead of treating all the grain is another option that should enhance the taste profile further.

For my experience so far, in my rye bread whiskey see: http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... 3&start=24

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Tater
Admin
Posts: 8852
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:19 am
Location: occupied south

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Tater » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:24 pm

Makes me wonder if this way why my oatmeal cookie likker had such a different but flavorful taste then just oats.Either way it was very tasty.
I use a pot still.Sometimes with a thumper

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:30 pm

Cookies are baked and slightly browner than the meal they are made of. This means the beginning of a Maillard Reaction must have taken place. Yes Tater, that's what explains the taste difference in your results. I am pretty sure of it.

But the cooky baking process can be optimized by:
1. A longer cooking period at a lower temperature (90 degrees C / 194 degrees F for 6 hours);
2. In an alcalyne environment (by adding tap water).

The Maillard Reaction should be fully realized that way and taste and flavor should go awalk on you.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:02 pm

Just thinking some more ... Scottish all malted barley whisky makers smoke the sprouted, malted barley over a peat fire. Relative low temps. Should give them the beginning of a Maillard Reaction as well. Especially since the malt is relatively wet. Not a full reaction as in rye bread, but a beginning. Might explain much of the complexity!

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:11 pm

I will just keep on posting things related to this Maillard Reaction.

For an interesting explanation, please see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk_rPkglyao" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:54 pm

Beer brewers have been using Maillard reactions forever to make diverse and interesting beers. For our spirit adventures we could (should) learn from them to make more interesting spirits, maybe tossing a few pounds of crystal malt (avail in many lovibond ratings (degree of browning) from 10 (very light) to 300 (really freakin dark). Or roasted barley, or chocolate malt, or black patent (roasted to black, like coffee), etc etc. There are dozens of malt products intentionally darkened up to one degree or another to make beer more interesting.

http://morebeer.com/search/102159///Specialty_Malts" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

User avatar
MitchyBourbon
Distiller
Posts: 2304
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:03 pm

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by MitchyBourbon » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:22 pm

Very interesting, I would like to try some specialty malts in my next bourbon.

If I used a roasted malt would that be an application of just caramelization or would it be both caramelization and the mailard effect?

I don't like any molecules with poor character in my bourbon :).
I'm goin the distance...

Lupus
Novice
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Lupus » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:16 pm

An interesting read with large potential for our hobby. I have come across references to the Mailard Reaction from basic reading into cooking and some commentary by Heston Blumenthal in one of his shows.

Guess I need to do more reading, but a question comes to mind. It is noted that the effect occurs with heat and us accelerated by alkaline environments. Odin has noted heating in the oven for 6 hours at 90C. Is there an effective temperature range which is most effective at?

Would the result also occur in cooking the grain (ie in a liquid medium more akin to stewing than baking?)

While cooking grains for six hours would be a scorching nightmare, I was curious if the effect would be seen in a pressure cooking environment as per Rivver's thread on cooking/canning corn thread.http://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopi ... =3&t=35600

As pressure would allow for higher temps to be achieved, would extending the cooling time, thereby keeping the higher temps longer allow for the Mailard Reaction to occur?

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Dnderhead » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:47 pm

I thank you will fiend its more like roasting than boiling.
dry roasted makes more of a dry flavor thank "coffee or "toast"?
wet roasted is more of a caramel flavor.thank ,,caramelized sugars,molasses,syrup,honey.?

TheRevDr
Novice
Posts: 93
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:58 pm

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by TheRevDr » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:49 pm

Somewhere on a forum I saw a recipe where the author used whole (non-dried) corn and placed it in the oven to brown. Then he used a blender to liquify it, somewhat. It has always been in my mind to try some day. I know grilled corn has a completely different flavor profile compared to steamed corn.

frozenthunderbolt
Distiller
Posts: 1417
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:01 am
Location: North island of New Zealand

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by frozenthunderbolt » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:57 pm

Slowcooker/crock pot could be the way to go.

I cook my sweetfeed overnight in a crock pot before adding it - it never burns but there is a dark caramel coloured crust on top where it has dried out and the grain closest to the edges of the pot tends to colour up some as well.
Do i get good flavour? Hell yes - better than other SF? Not a clue, as i've always used my slowcooker to precook grain - same with UJSSM

P.S. as an added note, i usually cook in dunder/backset; acidic conditions, next time i'll try some water and calcium carbonate instead and just add backset to my sugar to dissolve it! Woo-hoo thanks Odin :clap:
Where has all the rum gone? . . .

Every new member should read this before doing anything else:

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:04 am

I think the reason distillers dont delve into these roasted or kilned crystal malts (aka caramel malts) is primarily economic. Not that crystal malts are expensive, its that they are not entirely fermentable. The darker you roast malt, the less PPG it adds to the fermentability in your wash. For brewers its accepted because the residual unfermentable sugars add a sweetness to the beer, its really the purpose. That sweetness doesnt do us distillers much good when its left behind in the dunder.

Having said that, Im still putting an all grain barley malt recipe together with a few pounds of various crystal and roasted barley. Im sure the darker roast flavors will come through. Chocolate malt is roasted brown and adds a great flavor to beer. Black Patent malt add a coffee roast flavor to beer. Crystal malts are caramelly, to different degrees based on the roast color. (Lovibond rating). Ill let you know how it turns out. Hope them flavors come through in the vapors.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Dnderhead » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:15 am

basically the scotch was drying the malt over a peat fire, most likely some left it on longer than others.
but id thank it would be a light "toast".

elektrosport
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Lalaland

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by elektrosport » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:12 pm

+1 Dnderhead: There's no more maillard going on in peated malt than ordinary pale or pils malt. Same/same but different.

There's a difference in caramel malts and malts of various roasts. When making cara malts, the malt is wetted and the grain then heated thus caramelising the sugars, rendering it unfermentable. A roast malt is a dried malt which is further roasted to achieve colour and flavour, sugars are not caramelised making it still fermentable.


Cheers,
El Sporto

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:34 pm

Not sure that's what Dunder is saying ...

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

elektrosport
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Lalaland

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by elektrosport » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:58 pm

No, actually maybe not - I misread.

What I was trying to say though, is that peated malt isn't a darker roast than pale malt. In general it's the same process and temperature, it's the fuel that differs - coke, peat, gas etc - and where the smoke goes.


Cheers,
El Sporto

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:31 pm

I interpreted him as saying, since we're talking peat fire, rustic compared to factory kilns, that the malt prolly has some variation in browning.

Maybe this maillard variation in scotch peat dried malt, account for some of the unique flavor of scotch, of course along with the smokyness from the peat itself.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:58 pm

Exactly my thoughts, Jim! Some Maillard Reaction going on. Not much. Not like in what we see in rye bread. But cooking on low temps in a alkalyne environment will induce this and so give of extra taste.

The Maillard Reaction is not to be compared to caramalization. That is another beast all together.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

elektrosport
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Lalaland

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by elektrosport » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:12 pm

I'm with you on the difference between caramelization and Maillard reaction - I will not (and this is a promise) confuse those two terms again.

I loosely base my assumptions on whiskey (or peated) malt having the same EBC as standard pale or pils, I conclude there's no more Maillard going on in peated malt than in ordinary base malt. Maybe at a micro maltsters they do something different on a floor, but on the industrialised scale I believe it's very consistant as they introduce the smoke into the kilns in controlled amounts.

Again, these are only my assumptions.


Cheers,
El Sporto

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:38 pm

No problemo, El Sporto! It is just that I don't want to confuse people. It is technical enough as is. It's the Maillard Reaction that boosts tastes. And you get this browning by cooking at low temps for long times at alcalyne environments that does it. I wouldn't want a beginner to start throwing caramalized pilsners in their UJ or SF and say: okay it is different in taste, but where is that taste explosion that you prommissed me? But it is interesting to find out what caramilization or using caramalized grains does for taste. For sure it will be interesting.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

elektrosport
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:59 am
Location: Lalaland

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by elektrosport » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:28 am

You are absolutely right, getting the terms right is key to avoiding confusion! And by the way thank you for the research you've been doing on this subject it's been a quite interesting read - getting wiser by the minute. :)

I think Darek Bell has experimented with cara malts, amongst other type grains..


Cheers,
El Sporto

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Dnderhead » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:29 am

well i know how diferant malt is made ,i not so sure on toasting grain the closest thing iv done to that was to brown flour.and that will not brown whet.
distillers malt is malted longer than brewers malt,then dried slowly.almost no heat,brews malt is dried with more heat whet or dry depending what their making.i have a book from briess?some distillers do use brewers malt in whiskey.witch can be toasted/roasted or caramelized.depending on flavor profile.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:18 am

Hadnt thought of this until stumbled on this whilst perusing the web...... The delicious flavors toasted oak impart on our beverages are also Maillard reactions on the sugars in the oak. It explains why plain oak just makes a beverage taste woody and toasted oak makes it taste delicious ;-) Even more variables, knobs to turn in this hobby, is degree of toast in the oak :)
http://scienceofmixology.com/?page_id=51" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow (click slide to advance to the oak bit)

Also, I used a pile of rolled barley in a beer recipe once (trying to use this shit up) and it just made the beer taste like horses ass. No roast on the barley = blah on the tongue.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:32 am

+10 Jimbo! "The flavors from toasted oak are also from the Maillard Reaction". Yes, you might be very right there. Given heat and time, some caramalization as well, I expect, but it is the M. Reaction that adds the complex tastes.

Love to see where this is taking us ...

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:02 am

What might be a nice outcome of this exercise is a 'List of favorable Maillard reactions' with examples that we can reference to influence the flavor of our hooches.

For example

- 10% addition of 100L roast barley adds a ________ flavor profile to NCHOOCH's bourbon recipe
- x ounces char'd oak per gallon adds _____ flavor
- same above for medium toast, light toast etc.
- Toasted 'chips', 'cubes' and 'barrels' differ from each other with xxxx observation.
- half a loaf of rye bread toasted golden brown in the toaster, added to 100% Wheat malt AG recipe ROCKED my tastebuds :P
- etc

The list could get long and include many M reaction influenced ingredients we add or may want to add to our hooches to steer interesting flavors.

Just thinking outloud.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:28 am

And please keep doing that!

Some first experiences or observations I can make. On 100% grain having had the full Maillard Reaction treatment (aka Dutch rye bread):
- Strength of the Maillard Reaction is such that in a UJ-like approach, backset for taste development is not needed. Taste (lots of it) from gen I onward.
- Strength of the Maillard Reaction is such that only half the amount of grains (1.5 kilo's in the above experiments) is needed as compared to a normal UJ-like recipe (where 3.2 kilo's of grain is used in 20 to 25 liters of total ferment).
- Taste is different. It has flavor qualities that do not directly connect to (in this case) rye. It is not just "more of the same" it is "more of something else" if you get my meaning.

Others?

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:49 am

i like it! lets keep working on this.

Ever made a grill cheese sammich, and had some of the cheese ooze out and brown on the griddle. Maillard on the lactose sugars? God damn that tastes good! Not sure its one for our hooch list tho. LOL The greeks have known about that one for a long time with their saganaki cheese. OPA!!! Damn Im making myself hungry!!!
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

Dnderhead
retired
Posts: 13667
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:07 pm
Location: up north

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Dnderhead » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:30 am

caramelizing takes place above 100c,so toasting your bread,toasting /charring wood is caramelizing.

User avatar
Odin
Site Donor
Site Donor
Posts: 6844
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:20 am
Location: Three feet below sea level

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Odin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:30 am

Yes, the Maillard Reaction takes place under 100 degrees C. Look at the cooking temp of dense black rye bread: 90 degrees C.

Odin.
"Great art is created only through diligent and painstaking effort to perfect and polish oneself." by Buddhist filosofer Daisaku Ikeda.

User avatar
Jimbo
Master Distiller
Posts: 8376
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:19 pm
Location: Down the road a piece.

Re: The Maillard Reaction

Post by Jimbo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:14 am

There's lots of confusion out there in the big wide web on Maillard. Even them slides I posted below from Drambuie oak are in error? http://scienceofmixology.com/?page_id=51" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" rel="nofollow

For the purposes of our reference list, does it matter if its officially Maillard or caramelization at work? Both add flavor components via heat. Altho if its true that Maillard affected ingredients are still fermentable and add PPG, and caramelized products dont, then maybe we do care, as distllers?

Dunno, just thinking outloud again.
In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.
My Bourbon and Single Malt recipes. Apple Stuff and Electric Conversion

Post Reply