Malting Malting is nothing new - the process has been around for thousands of years, with historical documents showing malted grains used to make beer in ancient Egypt and China. That said, maltsters are still, millennia later, creating new and exciting malts, which in turn make for unique and interesting beers. The process begins with steeping. Barley grains are soaked in water to increase the moisture content from around 12% to around 46%, taking two days. The barley is then moved to a germination floor or vessel. Here the conditions are optimised for growth – with both air temperature and humidity under careful control to maximise enzymic activity. If left too long, the precious extractable sugars will be lost to the roots and shoots of the grain, so timing is imperative. The grains are then transferred to the kiln, where they are suspended above streams of warm air to drive off the moisture and dry the malted barley until it is stable. The drying process determines the malt’s potential to produce sugars in the brewhouse. It also controls the colour and flavour of the finished malt. Pale Malt The majority of the malt in beers is pale malt. This has a sweet, slightly biscuity smell - think of Horlicks and you’re there! These can be made from different varieties of barley, with each variety having its own subtle distinctions. Historic varieties tend to be the most flavoursome. Maris Otter is a prime example of this - unique tasting, and turning 52 years old this year – most barley varieties last just five. Vienna & Munich Malt If the malt is left on the kiln a little longer, deeper, more biscuity flavours can be developed. Used in golden lagers, pale ales, and milds, Vienna and Munich malts have relatively low colours but much richer flavour. Other speciality malts are produced in one of two ways. Following germination, either the grains are stewed, or roasted fully- malted from the kiln. Stewing Malt Stewing creates cara and crystal malts, bringing sweet caramelised and toffee flavours in varying degrees. The process activates the enzymes that break down starches into sugar within the grains. These are then heated to cause the sugar to caramelise. Cara malts are light crystal malts - adding body and depth to beers. Lower colour crystals give lovely orange/red hues to beer and bring toffee sweetness. Medium crystals become more complex and can impart flavours and aromas of forest fruits, as well as a caramel-like flavour. As they effectively balance out the bitterness of hops, no bitter should be without them! The darkest crystal malts begin to approach the realms of roasted coffee and treacle toffee. They are fabulous for porters, bringing deep ruby hues of colour to these wonderful beers. Roasted Malt The second process involves the roasting of fully malted grains in a drum. Browning reactions create warm toasty flavours and aromas, which increase alongside colour with the roast. Amber malt, the lowest coloured of this group of malts, has a warm, toast like aroma and flavour, working great in milds, best bitters, and light porters. Brown malt begins to taste more roasted and has a dryness on the palate. This malt brings burnt biscuit aromas and flavours, making it perfect for traditional bitters, and of course brown ales. Chocolate malt brings delicious dark bitter chocolate aspects to milds, porters and stouts. Black malt is like a strong cup of black coffee, bringing a dryness and astringency along with deep roasted notes. When it comes to grains for brewing, the only thing stronger in flavour is roasted barley, used in the darkest stouts to bring burnt roast flavours and astringency. That’s a brief overview of barley malt, but that’s only scratching the surface of what’s possible. Brewers are now exploring other cereals varieties; wheat, rye and oats can all be malted, and each bring their own unique qualities. British maltsters provide an incredible palette of colours, flavours and aromas for craft brewers all over the world. The craft beer scene has never been so diverse, and brewers are experimenting with new or underutilised ingredients to make interesting tasty beers that will delight drinkers. Malt is at the forefront of this experimentation. Picture: Crisp Crystal and Chocolate Malts - copyright Red Flame Comms 34 BREWING & BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES BUSINESS Malt flavours and how they translate into beer taste An overview from Crisp Malt Hops online! Brook House Hops is changing the way that hop farmers and brewers trade, by selling its hops online; claiming to be the first direct-to- brewer hop grower in the UK. Traditionally, hops are sold via merchants. However, hop farmer Will Kirby believes that this new direct approach will be well received by brewers who are looking for greater transparency, provenance, freshness and access to specialist varieties, at a time when there is a boom in craft beers. The 2017 hop crop is available to purchase now on The Lupulin Exchange, an online marketplace for hop buying which is already popular in the United States. In addition Will has plans to offer a sales portal through his own website in the near future. News INGREDIENTS For more information visit: For more information visit: 34_Layout 1 16/05/2018 09:30 Page 1