Amber Malt is a traditional British malt made from winter or spring barley. Its principal function is to impart color and flavor to darker ales, especially to porters and stouts, as well as to old ales, mild ales, brown ales, and bitters, and to furnish these with some viscosity and a brownish head. Amber malt was a common type in the 1800s and widely used in porters, where it sometimes made up the bulk of the base malt. For many years amber malt was unavailable, but specialty maltsters have started to produce it again due to demand from craft brewers. Amber malt is made much like typical English pale malt, but after steeping, germinating, and kiln- drying, it acquires its color by undergoing an additional, brief, and severe heating step. In the old days of direct-fired kilns, this final step was carried out over an open fire, which also gave the malt a slight smokiness. Nowadays, the final heat is applied either in an air-heated kiln or, for a more homogeneous product, in a revolving roasting drum at approximately 150°C (300°F).