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Making malt

Brewing starts with barley. The starches in barley cannot be fermented so they must be converted into a fermentable form by malting. The grains of barley are soaked in water and allowed to germinate. The sprouted grains are then heated and turned regularly, either in the traditional ‘floor’ maltings or via a more mechanised  industrial process.

When germination has unlocked the rich natural sugars in the barley, the grains are heated in a kiln, which stops germination. The degree of heat affects the type of malt produced and its flavour – high heat produces dark roasted malts, lighter heats lighter coloured malts. Malt doesn’t just provide the sugars to be fermented into alcohol, it also contributes greatly to the colour, flavour and mouthfeel the beer (also known as body).

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