A Simple Guide to Home Brewing Malt

Malt is one of the main ingredients found in beer; and it’s what provides beer with a distinct color, flavor and body. But while the concept of malt can be quite simple, one of the first questions any beer-maker asks when they first start out is, “What is malt?”

Malt, in its most basic form, is barley or other type of grain that has gone through a malting process. That process includes germinating the grain, soaking it, and drying it so that it can provide a superior flavor and important sugars to beer and other products. The entire process includes a variety of malting products from which you can typically choose to malt yourself, or purchase malt extract or dry malted grains.

However, no matter what type of products or process you’re using, you’ll still be able to choose from a huge variety of different types of malts.

Standard base malts include 2 row pale malts, 6 row, Pilsner, and wheat malts. Specialty malts are also available, and these malts typically add a stronger flavor, color, and body to the overall beer. These types of malts include Carapils, Honey malts, Munich, Rauch, Rye, special roast, Victory, and Vienna.

If none of these specialty malts can provide that rich, distinct flavor you’re looking for, crystal malts may be able to do the trick. And they’re a completely different type of malt altogether.

When crystal malts undergo their malting process, their starches are turned to a sugar; and that sugar then becomes caramelized. Once that has taken place, crystal malts provide a rich, sugary taste along with good head retention and a color that can be anywhere from light tan to deep mahogany.

The world of malts is just one that you need to understand when you set out to create your own special blend of home brew. The good news is that it’s a fun area to explore, and it helps you create your own uniquely flavored beer! To read more about the various malted barleys and the role the play in a beer recipe, you might want to take a look at another blog post: “What Are The Different Malts Used in Homebrew Recipes?

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