What is Malt?
Malt is the toasted version of cereal grain of any kind. Whether you use the unique Castle Malting malt or any other malt, it contains wheat, barley, oat, wheat, rye, etc. It is also known as “Malted Wheat” or “Malted Barley.”
In many beers, the “malt” used is barley due to its high enzyme content that makes it ideal for brewing. The cereal grain is toasted to access abundant enzymes and sugars within the grain. All these enzymes and sugars form the substantive, sugary backbone of a delicious beer. The starches found in the cereal grains are not easily accessible in their raw form. Therefore, these need to be toasted well before use.
Types of Malts
Here are different types of malts used for making the finest Belgian beers:
- Lager Malt 2 L: This malt is used for brewing lagers and ales. If you want to brew a pale lager, lager malt is needed for preparing this brew. Soon after germination, this particular malt is heated in a kiln up to 90F on the first day for 12-20 hours. Further, it is cured at 175F to 185F for 4 to 48 hours. This way, malt is produced with a mild flavour and has significant enzyme potential.
- Château Cara Clair: Château Cara Clair malt is a special Belgian caramel malt. This malt is used for intensifying beer’s body. It even promotes and adds smoothness to the brew. It is also known as Dextrin malt. It is a typical foam and body enhancing natural agent in a beer due to its complex proteins and dextrins. The beer produced from this malt is known to have a fantastic aroma with soft biscuit notes.
- Château Arôme: Château Arôme malt is known to offer a rich malty flavour and fragrance to dark and amber lager beers. Compared to conventional hued malts, Château Arôme has a smoother bitterness and a higher diastatic power.
- Château Abbey: Château Abbey malt is a highly toasted type of pale malt. It is known to provide a strong flavour of nuts, cooked bread and fruit to the brew. It also has a bitter taste that mellows down with ageing.
How to Brew?
Here’s how to brew your beer:
Step 1: Malting
The first step in the beer brewing process is malting. Barley is commonly used for brewing beer. This grain or any other cereal is taken, dried out and cracked during the heating process. On opening these grains, the enzymes become ready for the mashing step.
Step 2: Mashing or Steeping
In this step, the malted enzymes are mashed in boiling or hot water and further activated. During this step, the sugars are released in water, and the grain becomes ready for fermentation.
After steeping for two hours, the grains are taken out from the sugary water/wort or the unfermented beer.
Step 3: Boiling
Now, you have to boil the wort. It’s the point where spices and hops are added to the wort. Then, the mixture is boiled further to release aromas and flavours into the water. This process takes about one hour to extract the full flavour from spices and hips.
Step 4: Fermentation
This step is essential to produce alcohol content in beer. Without this process, there would be no alcohol in beer, as it will be simply flavoured and sugary water.
The process of fermentation begins by adding yeast that acts as a catalyst. When yeast reacts with sugars present in the wort, it produces alcohol.
Since this procedure takes time, the yeast is added and stored for many weeks in wort until it gets fermented for producing the desired amount of alcohol.
Step 5: Bottling and Ageing
The final step is bottling and ageing. It is done in many ways. But many brewers choose to let the bottles carbonate naturally during the fermentation process.
Once you’re aware of what malt is and how to use it for brewing beer, you can easily prepare the finest beer on your own. Even when looking for the best craft beers in the finest breweries, you again need to know what type of malt is present in the brew. So, you can find the perfect beer with the right aroma and flavour your desire.