Basic Barley Information

If you have the imagination, beer can be brewed from pretty much any grain, but in Western society barley is the main grain used in beer. In its malted form, barley is usually responsible for all of the colour and alcohol in addition to much of the flavour of beer; however wheat, other grains, and sugars can have some say …

Malt Types

Malts are divided into categories by the way they are kilned and how they are utilised by brewers. The groups move from light in colour and enzyme-rich to intensely roasted and void of any enzyme action. The terminology related to malt can be unclear. There are usually different names for the same malt, and the same word can denote different things …

The Malting Process

In its basic state, barley is pretty much flavourless and almost impossible to brew with, but the malting process alters it in extreme ways, making it much more appropriate for brewing. To put it simply, malting is when the barley is tricked into sprouting and then dried; this process adds varying amounts of colour to the final malt. Malting gives …

Kilning & Roasting

Once the malt has achieved the anticipated degree of modification, it is kilned, this is a monitored heating process which extracts moisture, preventing further development and stabilizing the malt for long-term storage. The addition of colour and aromatic flavours during kilning is known as browning. Each time you put a slice of bread into the toaster, you’re doing the same …

Malt Extract – What is it and How To Use It

For the majority of brewers, their first batch started with a bit of malt extract either in dry or liquid form. Using malt extract makes a lot of sense, allowing someone else to do the hard work and convert the malt starches into sugars, perfect the colour and sometimes even add hops to it, makes the brewing process so much …

Unmalted Grains

Unmalted grains boast a long history in beer, but malts have certain advantages: user-friendliness, readily available extract, and flavour. Whilst unmalted grains are valuable in brewing for mouthfeel, head retention or flavour. 90% of the world’s beer is supplement-based mass-market lager made using corn or rice, this makes the beer more drinkable whilst cutting costs. Nevertheless, it is possible to …

Roasting and Smoking Your Own Specialty Malts

Performing your own toasting/roasting of malt is actually fairly straightforward, and allows you to form malts unobtainable from commercial sources to provide unique flavors and aromas in your beers. Depending on which malts you have access to will determine if this is worth the effort, but it’s easy to try and requires no specialised equipment providing you have access to …

Understanding a Malt Analysis

Maltsters produce numerous measurements of their malt for quality control reasons. When you purchase a huge amount, you receive measurements for that specific batch. Those who buy in lesser quantities have to settle for more general descriptions, for most homebrewers this is enough. Most maltster post their specs on the Internet, making it easy to find information on what you’re …