Fermentation Lab Sheets‎ > Malting

Barley which is well suited for beer-making is double-rowed, has good germination properties, is low in protein and is uniform in size. To malt the barley, it is first soaked until it has become totally saturated. This is called steeping. After this, the barley is spread out on an airy floor, for instance, where it begins to germinate. As it does so, enzymes are produced which convert starch into sugar during the mashing. Germination is stopped when there are enough enzymes and the cereal is dried with warm air, the so- called kiln drying. The barley is now malt. Drying is done is different ways depending on the type of malt required. The most common malt is pilsner malt which is obtained by drying the malted barley to about 80 degrees. Pilsner malt is used to make light (in colour) beer and therefore is a raw material in the most common sorts of light beers, irrespective of whether they are sweet or bitter. To obtain a darker beer, caramel malt must be added. This is obtained by heating the malt to about 110 degrees. The beer from a caramel malt has more flavour and acquires a coppery colour. English and German ales, for instance, contain caramel malt. Black malt is obtained by drying the malt to 200 degrees. It is so dark that it can be compared to roasted coffee beans in colour and taste. Porter and stout, for instance, are made from black malt. About 15-20 percent of black malt is added to the lighter pilsner malt to get a darker colour and almost burnt taste.

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