What is Malt?
The heart of beer is barley.. only the most premium grade barley is used for the production of beer.
Farmers harvest their barley and send it to malting facilities.. It is here at the malting facilities where barley becomes malt through steeping.
During the malting process, barley is tricked into thinking its growing into a new plant by controlling the temperature and moisture content. Once the barley is converted into malt it is then dried in a kiln, and there you have your base malts. These base malts is where the brewer will extract all the sugar from them to control the alcohol content of the beer. Base malts are also converted into all other types of specialty malts. By roasting them in massive ovens the sugars crystallise and become crystal malts. These are used to add amber colours to beer and give them some sweetness/caramel flavours, or burned to create black and roast malts used for making stouts and porters.
There are hundreds of varieties made by dozens of maltsters the world over, all for the brewer to choose, blend and balance to create any beer styles. From malt the colour, alcohol content, residual sweetness and all of the vital minerals and nutrients needed to survive and ferment amazing beers is determined.