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THE BRUPAKS GUIDE TO GRAINS

INTRODUCTION

It is malt that gives beer its flavour, colour, body, head retention and alcohol content. Although other grains can be malted, barley is the preferred source of fermentable extract. 

Barley in its natural state cannot be "mashed". The malting process breaks down the starches contained in the barley husk into their component parts and renders them convertible to fermentable sugars by the naturally occurring enzymes collectively known as diastase.

 The first step in malting is to steep the barley in tanks of cool water until the grains have absorbed the maximum amount of moisture. The next step is to spread the barley over the "malting floor" where germination takes place. The grains must be regularly turned to enable the excess moisture to evaporate. The growing shoot, the acrospire, must not be allowed to protrude from the end of the barley kernel. The maltster's skill is his ability to determine when the acrospire has almost travelled the length of the husk. At this point the malt is considered fully "modified".

 The malted barley is now transferred to a kiln where it is first dried and then roasted. The differing moisture contents, kiln temperatures and kiln times provide the maltster with the means to produce many different types of malt which in turn enable the brewer to make his own individual beers as simple or as complex as he wishes.

 There follows a brief description of the grains stocked by Brupaks. We hope that this will tempt you to experiment with them and widen your brewing horizons.

There is a scale for determining the colour of malt and beer, which is used throughout Europe. The colour is measured in EBC units, where the lowest rating is the palest colour. From the very palest Pilsner Malt at 2.5 EBC to Roasted Barley and Black Malt at anything up to 1500 EBC, there are a vast number of ways to reach the desired beer colour. Only the palest malts, however, contain the enzymes necessary for starch conversion. The bulk of any beer recipe must consist of these malts. The diastatic power of each malt is shown as the maximum percentage that is recommended in the grist.

 

MALTED BARLEY

PILSNER MALT ( Germany, Belgium, Czech)

Usually produced from German, Belgian and Czech barley, Pilsner malt can be used on its own, provided the pH of the mash is correct, or in combination with other grains to produce the classic Continental lager beers. The malt is kilned slowly from 50°C to 60°C to completely dry it before it is toasted at 80°C.  The inclusion of a small amount (3% - 5%) of acid malt is highly recommended when brewing Pilsners.

Colour 2.5 EBC; Maximum Percentage 100%

 

MARIS OTTER EXTRA PALE ( UK)

Kilning is stopped early to produce this very light coloured pale malt, suitable for light-bodied summer ales.

Colour 2.5 EBC; Maximum Percentage 100%

 

LAGER MALT ( UK)

Lager malt is the British version of Pilsner malt. It is kilned at slightly higher temperatures, from 55°C to 82°C, and can be substituted for Pilsner malt if that is unavailable. Again, the inclusion of acid malt is desirable.

Colour 3 EBC; Maximum Percentage 100%

 

ACID MALT ( Germany)

Acid malt is a very useful adjunct for producing high class Lagers. It contains lactic acid, which lowers the mash pH, giving a softer palate than if gypsum is used. The inclusion of a small percentage of this malt is recommended for all pale lagers.

Colour 3 EBC; Maximum Percentage 10%

 

CARAPILS MALT ( Germany)

Produced from Bavarian spring barley, this malt is produced by loading the modified grains into a sealed kiln while the moisture content is still around 50%. The grains are then heated to between 65°C and 80°C, which enables them to mash themselves and caramelise the resulting sugars. The final kilning is at around 110°C for just long enough to dry the grain without undue darkening. When used in lager beers, Carapils promotes head formation and retention and gives the beer a fuller rounder flavour. As the starches have already been converted during malting, this malt is ideal for use by extract brewers.

Colour 3 - 5 EBC; Maximum Percentage 10%

 

PALE MALT ( UK)

Pale malt is the basis of all British ales. Several varieties of barley are used with Maris Otter being the most highly prized, although Halcyon, Optic and the newcomer, Pearl, are also excellent malting barleys. Also available exclusively from Brupaks is the legendary Golden Promise, which has its own unique character. Experimentation is strongly advised, as the subtle differences between pale malts are difficult to put into words. British pale malt is kilned very dry at temperatures between 95°C and 105°C.

Colour 4 - 5 EBC; Maximum Percentage 100%

 

RAUCHMALZ - SMOKED ( Germany)

Probably the rarest malt of all, Rauchmalz is only produced in Bamberg, Germany and is used to brew that town's world famous Rauchbier. The kilning of this malt takes place over open fires made of beech wood logs. The phenols released from the wood permeate the malt and give it its smoky taste and aroma. Besides making Rauchbier, this unique malt can add interesting flavour notes to a wide variety of beer styles. It is particularly effective in Brown Ales and Porters which were traditionally brewed with traditional brown malt, also kilned over open fires but no longer available.

Colour 3 - 6 EBC; Maximum percentage 100%

 

MILD ALE MALT ( UK)

Mild malt is kilned slightly hotter than pale malt to give a fuller flavour. We strongly recommend the use of this malt to obtain the luscious sweetness evident in the best Mild Ales.

Colour 6 EBC; Maximum percentage 100%

 

PALE MALT ( Belgium)

Belgian pale malt gives a more significant malt flavour and a darker colour than the British equivalent due to its different production method. Kilning takes place at a lower temperature (85°C to 90°C) but is continued for longer in order to obtain the correct colour. Brewers of Belgian ales should always use this malt for authenticity.

Colour 7 EBC; Maximum percentage 100%

 

VIENNA MALT ( Germany)

Vienna malt forms the basis for the famous Märzen and Oktoberfest beers, whose characteristics are a golden colour and full malt flavour. Caramelisation is not required for this malt so it is dried fairly cool before being roasted at around lO5°C.

Colour 6 - 8 EBC; Maximum percentage 100%

 

BISCUIT MALT (Belgium)

As the name suggests, this lightly roasted malt gives a sweet, biscuity aroma to beer. Use only in very small amounts to add a distinctive character.

Colour 50 EBC; Maximum percentage 15%

 

MUNICH MALT (Germany/Belgium)

As the name suggests, this malt is used to brew the famous rich, sweet beers associated with Munich. It can, however, be used in small quantities to enhance the maltiness in other beer styles. Many Belgian ales contain this malt and even some of the more adventurous British breweries are experimenting with it. Munich Malt is kilned while the moisture content is still quite high (about 20%). The gradual raising of the temperature to around 1OO°C allows for some caramelisation.

Colour 15 - 25 EBC; Maximum percentage 100% (although rarely used at over 80%)

 

CARAHELL ( Germany)

This malt is mainly used to accentuate the fullness of flavour in special German festival beers, although it is unsurpassed as a flavour booster in low alcohol lagers. Produced in the same way as Carapils but kilned off slightly hotter. Greatly increases head formation and retention.

Colour 20 - 30 EBC; Maximum percentage 40% (Higher in low alcohol beers)

 

BRITISH CARAMALT

The palest of all crystal malts, this grain is used when a crystal character is required without unduly darkening the beer. Particularly suitable for pale ales and bitters.

Colour 30 - 40 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

CARA RED ( Germany)

A new malt from Weyermann in Bamberg. Use to add body and increase malt aroma in many beer styles. Provides greater depth of colour and a reddish hue.

Colour 40 - 60 EBC; Maximum percentage 10%

 

DIASTATIC AMBER MALT ( Belgium)

This unique grain is the palest of all roasted malts.It is roasted at a lower temperature to preserve the diastatic enzymes. Although produced in Belgium, it is Indispensable when recreating historic English beers.

Colour 50 - 60 EBC; Maximum percentage 80%

 

CARA AMBER ( Germany )

A new malt from Weyermann in Bamberg. Improves flavour stability and promotes fuller body. Provides deep red colour. An interesting addition for all amber and dark beers.

Colour 60 - 80 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

PALE CRYSTAL MALT ( UK)

This light version of the British classic is ideal for increasing body and fullness while preserving a pale colour. Unsurpassed in Bitter beers and Pale Ales for adding subtle sweetness to balance the customary high hop rate. Crystal malt is produced in much the same manner as Carapils except that kilning is prolonged until the desired colour is reached.

Colour 80 - 140 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

MELANOIDIN MALT ( Germany )

Malt flavour is defined by melanoidins, compounds formed by non enzymatic browning of malt sugars and low molecular weight proteins during the kilning process. Munich malt and Belgian aromatic malt are quite high in melanoidins, but for a high malt profile this very special malt is unsurpassed. This aromatic malt from Bamberg, Germany produces flavours similar to those from decoction mashes. Melanoidin malt promotes fullness of flavour and rounds off beer colour. It can be used to good effect in all medium to dark beers, especially Munich style lagers. Experimentation is strongly advised.

Colour 60 - 80 EBC; Maximum percentage 15%

 

CARAMÜNCH ( Germany)

A very special and rare malt only produced in Bamberg in northern Bavaria. It is made in a similar way to Munich Malt except that caramelisation is allowed to progress further and kilning is conducted at higher temperatures. Although only used in small quantities, it has a marked effect on the fullness of flavour and aroma in golden to brown lager beers and ales.

Colour 80 - 100 EBC; Maximum percentage 10%

 

AMBER MALT ( UK)

Amber is a very rare British Malt. The grain is dried to about 3% moisture and then heated quickly to above 95°C. The temperature is then raised slowly to around l40°C where it is held until the correct colour is achieved. An interesting alternative to crystal malt in bitters and outstanding in dark ales, especially Porters.

Colour 5O - 90 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

CRYSTAL MALT ( UK)

The classic British body builder and a British invention. Unsurpassed in Bitter beers for adding subtle sweetness to balance the customary high hop rate. Crystal malt is produced in much the same manner as Carapils except that kilning is prolonged until the desired colour is reached. Crystal malts cover a wide range of colours but in the UK the usual level is around 120 EBC.

Colour 80 - 140 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

BROWN MALT ( UK)

Although not produced in the traditional manner (wood smoked), this malt can be used in old recipes calling for brown malt, especially if used with a proportion of rauchmalz. Brown malt can also add complexity to styles such as porter and old ale.

Colour 140 - 160 EBC;  Maximum percentage 20%

 

AROMATIC MALT ( Belgium)

Aromatic malt provides a very strong malt flavour and aroma. Although not a roasted malt, it is kilned at close to the maximum possible temperature of 115°C until the desired colour is obtained. Perfect for any beer in which a high malt profile is required and can be used in fairly high quantities as some diastatic power is retained.

Colour 150 - 160 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

DARK CRYSTAL MALT ( UK)

A very dark crystal malt which has undergone a substantially extended kilning. Use in beers that require a deep copper colour without too much crystal character, or in porter and old ale.

Colour 230 - 250 EBC; Maximum percentage 20%

 

SPECIAL B ( Belgium)

Special B is produced in the same way as other Belgian caramel malts except that it undergoes a second roasting. Its profile is that of a cross between dark caramel malt and medium roasted malt. The resultant distinctive flavour and aroma enhances many Belgian classics, but could also add interesting flavours to British ales, especially milds, brown ales etc. An interesting usage is to blend Rauchmalz with Special B (60/40) to emulate the flavour of the traditional English brown malt, traditionally kilned over open fires.

Colour 250 - 300 EBC; Maximum percentage 10%

 

LIGHT CHOCOLATE MALT ( UK)

A highly roasted malt which when used in small quantities imparts a rich chocolate flavour to such beers as Brown Ales and Porters. Can also be used to darken Bitters if used carefully.

Colour 600 EBC; Maximum percentage 5%

 

CHOCOLATE MALT ( UK)

A highly roasted malt which when used in small quantities imparts a rich chocolate flavour to such beers as Brown Ales and Porters. Can also be used to darken Bitters if used carefully

Colour 800 EBC; Maximum percentage 5%

 

ROASTED CARAMALT DE-HUSKED - CARAFA SPECIAL I ( Germany)

Produced in Bamberg, Germany by Weyermann, this exclusive malt is produced from de-husked barley which greatly reduces the harshness usually associated with highly roasted grains, while retaining the required colour, aroma and body. Use for dark lagers and as an alternative to chocolate malt in all beers.

Colour 800 EBC; Maximum percentage 5%

 

ROASTED CARAMALT DE-HUSKED - CARAFA SPECIAL 3 ( Germany)

Produced in Bamberg, Germany by Weyermann, this exclusive malt is produced from de-husked barley which greatly reduces the harshness usually associated with highly roasted grains, while retaining the required colour, aroma and body. Use for dark lagers and as an alternative to black malt or roasted barley in all beers.

Colour 1200 EBC; Maximum percentage 5%

 

BLACK MALT ( UK)

This is produced by roasting British pale malt as far as possible without burning. It is the preferred darkener in sweeter Stouts and Porters and can be used for minor colour adjustments in other beers.

Colour 1400 EBC; Maximum percentage 10%

 

OTHER MALTED GRAINS

 

MALTED OATS ( UK)

Oats are extremely difficult to malt and to crush efficiently but their contribution to the flavour of certain speciality ales is significant. Oats are rich in oils and tend to promote a velvety texture in beer. Although many old recipes called for large quantities of malted oats, it is recommended they should be used with caution.

Colour 2 EBC; Maximum percentage 5%

 

PALE WHEAT MALT ( UK)

Wheat is a difficult grain to malt as it has no husk to protect the delicate acrospire. It has, however, many beneficial properties for the brewer to take advantage of. It is generally used only in top fermented beers, especially the Bavarian Weissbiers, but can be used to enhance roundness of flavour and head formation in most beer styles.

Colour 3 - 4 EBC; Maximum percentage 70 %

 

DARK WHEAT MALT ( Germany)

Not particularly dark in colour but richer in flavour than the standard Wheat malt. It is only produced in Germany and is used for Weissbiers, Kölsch, Alt and some other top fermented beers. Could be incorporated into many British style recipes, particularly those low in alcohol.

Colour 15 - 17 EBC; Maximum percentage 70%

 

CRYSTAL WHEAT MALT ( UK)

A very rare malt from Bavaria, this is in effect crystal malt made from wheat. It can be used in all German style top fermenting beers to increase the fullness of body and intensify the wheat malt aroma.

Colour 100 - 120 EBC; Maximum percentage 15%

 

CHOCOLATE WHEAT MALT ( UK)

Roasted to a very high colour, this is only used for top fermented ales such as Alt and dark Wheat Beers. Even in very small quantities it intensifies the beer's aroma as well as its colour:

Colour 800 EBC; Maximum percentage 2%

 

PALE RYE MALT ( UK)

Use alongside crystal and roasted rye malts to brew the classic German top-fermented rye beer " Roggenbier" or in smaller quantities to add interesting flavours to other ales.

Colour 4 - 6 EBC; Maximum percentage 50%

 

CRYSTAL RYE MALT ( UK)

A very recent addition to the range of malts available to the home brewer. Strongly flavoured and distinctive. Use sparingly in dark beers or be a bit more generous in German Roggenbier.

Colour 100 - 120 EBC; Maximum percentage 10% (more for a strong rye flavour).

 

ROASTED RYE MALT ( UK)

Although rye is a very difficult grain to malt, its unique flavour makes it a must for your grain store. It can be used in conjunction with pale rye and wheat malt to make Bavarian Roggenbier or used to increase the complexity of flavour in many other top fermenting styles. Experimentation is strongly advised.

Colour 8OO EBC; Maximum percentage 3%

 

UNMALTED GRAINS (ADJUNCTS)

 

Most unmalted grains are best used in flaked form. The flakes are produced by first cooking the raw grains in water until the starches have been gelatinised. They are then dried and passed through rollers to flatten them. The enzymes contained in the malt can then easily convert the starch.

 

FLAKED RICE

The perfect substitute for any recipe calling for the addition of sugar. It is virtually flavourless but provides some body without darkening the colour. A highly recommended adjunct as its low nitrogen content assists in clearing.

Maximum percentage 10%

 

FLAKED BARLEY

Flaked barley is a versatile adjunct, particularly useful in Stouts. It imparts a lovely grainy flavour and can be used in quite large quantities in black beers. Flaked barley can, however cause haze problems in paler styles, where the percentage should not exceed 5%.

Maximum Percentage 20%

 

TORREFIED WHEAT

Available whole and flaked, this grain is used extensively to promote head retention in Bitters. Its use is definitely recommended in all recipes where a good firm head is required. Ideal for brewing Belgian Witbier .

Maximum percentage 10% (or up to 40% for Witbier)

 

ROASTED BARLEY

This is simply raw barley, which has been roasted as far as possible to make the darkest of all grains. Its slightly bitter burnt taste finds favour in Irish type Stouts but it can be used sparingly to darken other beers.

Maximum percentage 10%

 

FLAKED MAIZE

Derived from corn kernels, this cereal gives a delicate corn taste to beer if used sparingly. Its use is beneficial for clearing purposes due to its low nitrogen content.

Maximum Percentage 10%

 

FLAKED OATS

An easy to use alternative to malted oats. Use for oatmeal stout and sparingly in Belgian witbier.

Maximum Percentage 10%