Beer is made from fermented sugars extracted from malted barley, which is mostly maltose. The malt is generally used for making various things associated with malted barley and maltose. The malt used for brewing is not the one used for making Malted Milk Shakes, Malted Milk Balls, etc. In those cases, that malt is referred to as the use of maltose as sugar.
However, the beer malt is that specific type of malted barley that’s processed for yielding an extensive range of fermented maltose sugars. These malts include Pale Malts, Lager Malts, Vienna Malts, Toasted/Chocolate/Roasted Malts and Munich Malts.
What is malt and its purpose during the brewing process?
Malting is the process that uses soaked and well-drained barley for initiating the germination of a plant from the seed. When those seeds germinate, certain enzymes are activated to start converting proteins and starch reserves into amino acids and sugars that are used by the growing plant. The use of malting in the grain is to release those enzymes for brewer’s use. When the seeds begin sprouting, the grain gets dried in a kiln for stopping enzymes until the brewer is all set to use the grain again.
After that, the brewer crushes the malted barley and further soaks it in hot water for accelerating and reactivating enzyme activity to convert barley’s starch reserves in the form of sugars within a short period. The resulting product is further boiled with hops and also fermented using the yeast to brew beer.
The sugar solution is drawn out, pasteurized and put into vacuum chambers to get dehydrated – during the malt extraction process. The wort sugars won’t caramelize with heat when water is boiled under a partial vacuum. But a lighter tasting extract is formed. For making the hopped extract, you must add an acid (iso-alpha acid) extract of hops with hop oils for providing a complete hop attribute to the final wort extract. All these hops are added at the last step for preventing any loss at the time of dehydration. Hence, malt extraction takes lots of work during the brewing process.
Reasons why malt is important during the brewing process
Here are some important reasons that ensure that malt is essential during the brewing process:
- The flavour, colour and foam properties of beer depend on malt
The very first thing you must see when looking at a beer glass is its colour. Its colour comes from the malt used during fermentation. According to the malt quick review, the base malt gives your beer a light amber hue. If you add more coloured malts, the deeper and darker will be the colour of your beer. The coloured malts contribute to certain chocolate, roasted or caramel flavoured beers. Malt even has proteins that are responsible for your brew’s foam properties.
- Malt releases sugars for fermenting beer
Malt helps in the production of sugars that are essential for the fermentation process. While you may get sugars from certain adjuncts like corn or rice, most of the sugars come from the malt. Even the residual sweetness of malt can add flavour to the beer.
- Malt gives a health aspect to your beer
Castle Malting Malt is a grainy product and a few of the polyphenols from the grain can survive through and lead to health. Malt has a good profile of containing vitamins and minerals required during the brewing process, including silica and vitamin B.
Beer mainly is a product of four ingredients, i.e. malt, water, hops and yeast. Of all these four ingredients, malt is the most important one because it leads to various sensory attributes of beer. However, this ingredient is often overlooked during the brewing process. After reading the aforementioned reasons, you now know the importance of this major beer ingredient. Hence, you must not neglect it, especially when fermenting beer.