Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process
known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in
water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot
air. Malting grains develops the enzymes required for
modifying the grain's starches into various types of sugar, including
the monosaccharide glucose, the disaccharide maltose, the
trisaccharide maltotriose, and higher sugars called maltodextrines. It
also develops other enzymes, such as proteases, which break down the
proteins in the grain into forms that can be used by yeast. Depending
on when the malting process is stopped one gets a preferred starch
enzyme ratio and partly converted starch into fermentable sugars. Malt
also contains small amounts of other sugars, such as sucrose and
fructose, which are not products of starch modification but were
already in the grain. Further conversion to fermentable sugars is
achieved during the mashing process.
Malted grain is used to make beer, whisky, malted shakes, malt
vinegar, confections such as
Maltesers and Whoppers, flavored drinks
such as Horlicks, Ovaltine, and Milo, Cho-chos (chocolate malted ice
cream cup), and some baked goods, such as malt loaf, bagels, and rich
tea biscuits. Malted grain that has been ground into a coarse meal is
known as "sweet meal". Various cereals are malted, though barley
is the most common. A high-protein form of malted barley is often a
label-listed ingredient in blended flours typically used in the
manufacture of yeast breads and other baked goods.
Malted grain for beer production
The term "malt" refers to several products of the process: the grains
to which this process has been applied, for example malted barley; the
sugar, heavy in maltose, derived from such grains, such as the baker's
malt used in various cereals; or a product based on malted milk,
similar to a malted milkshake (i.e., "malts").
4.1 Diastatic, and nondiastatic
4.2 Base and specialty
4.3 Two-row and six-row
Malt extract production
7 See also
Samanu decorated with pistachio
Malted grains have probably been used as an ingredient of beer since
ancient times, for example in Egypt (Ancient Egyptian cuisine), Sumer
In Persian countries a sweet paste made entirely from germinated wheat
is called Samanū (Persian: سمنو) in Iran, Samanak (Persian:
سمنک), (Tajik: суманак); (Uzbek: sumalak) or Sümölök
(Kyrgyz: сүмөлөк), which is prepared for
Nowruz (Persian new
year celebration) in a large pot (like a kazan). A plate or bowl of
Samanu is a traditional component of the
Haft sin table
Haft sin table symbolising
affluence. Traditionally, women take a special party for it during the
night, and cook it from late in the evening till the daylight, singing
related songs. In
Afghanistan they sing: Samanak dar
Jūsh u mā Kafcha zanēm - Dīgarān dar Khwāb u mā Dafcha
zanēm. (meaning: "Samanak is boiling and we are stirring
it, others are asleep and we are playing daf"). In modern times,
making samanu can be a family gathering. It originally comes from the
Great Persian Empire.
Easter Porridge, is a traditional Finnish Lenten food.
Cooked from rye malt and -flour, mämmi has a great resemblance (in
recipe, colour and taste) to Samanū. Today, this product is available
in shops from February until Easter. A (non-representative) survey in
2013 showed that almost no one cooks mämmi at home in modern-day
Main article: Malting process
Barley is spread out on the floor of a malthouse during a traditional
Malting is the process of converting barley or other cereal grains
into malt, for use in brewing, distilling, or in foods and takes place
in a maltings, sometimes called a malthouse, or a malting floor. The
cereal is spread out on the malting floor in a layer of 8 to
12 cm (3 to 5 inch) depth. The malting process starts with
drying the grains to a moisture content below 14%, and then storing
for around six weeks to overcome seed dormancy. When ready, the grain
is immersed or steeped in water two or three times over two or three
days to allow the grain to absorb moisture and to start to sprout.
When the grain has a moisture content of around 46%, it is transferred
to the malting or germination floor, where it is constantly turned
over for around five days while it is air-dried. The
grain at this point is called "green malt". The green malt is then
dried and pre-toasted in an oven (or kiln) to the desired colour and
specification. Malts range in colour from very pale through
crystal and amber to chocolate or black malts.
The sprouted grain is then further dried and smoked by spreading it on
a perforated wooden floor. Smoke, coming from an oasting fireplace
(via smoke channels) is then used to heat the wooden floor and the
sprouted grains. The temperature is usually around 55 °C
(131 °F). A typical floor maltings is a long, single-storey
building with a floor that slopes slightly from one end of the
building to the other. Floor maltings began to be phased out in the
1940s in favour of "pneumatic plants". Here, large industrial fans are
used to blow air through the germinating grain beds and to pass hot
air through the malt being kilned. Like floor maltings, these
pneumatic plants are batch processes, but of considerably greater
size, typically 100 ton batches compared with 20 ton batches for floor
As of 2014[update], the largest malting operation in the world was
Malteurop, which operated in 14 countries.
Barley is the most commonly malted grain, in part because of its high
content of enzymes, though wheat, rye, oats, rice and corn are also
used. Also very important is the retention of the grain's husk,
even after threshing, unlike the bare seeds of threshed wheat or rye.
This protects the growing acrospire (developing plant embryo) from
damage during malting, which can easily lead to mold growth; it also
allows the mash of converted grain to create a filter bed during
lautering (see brewing).
Diastatic, and nondiastatic
As all grains sprout, natural enzymes within the grain break down the
starch the grain is composed of into simpler sugars which taste sweet
and are easier for yeast to use as growth food.
Malt with active
enzymes is called "diastatic malt".
Malt with inactive enzymes is
called "nondiastatic malt". The enzymes are deactivated by heating the
Base and specialty
Malt is often divided into two categories by brewers: base malts and
specialty malts; base malts have enough diastatic power to convert
their own starch and usually that of some amount of starch from
unmalted grain, called adjuncts, while specialty malts have little
diastatic power, but provide flavor, color, or "body" (viscosity) to
the finished beer. Specialty caramel or crystal malts have been
subjected to heat treatment to convert their starches to sugars
nonenzymatically. Within these categories is a
variety of types distinguished largely by the kilning temperature (see
Two-row and six-row
In addition, malts are distinguished by the two major cultivar types
of barley used for malting, two-row and six-row. The most common
varieties of barley used for malting in the U.S. from 2009–2013 are
two-row AC Metcalfe and Conrad; and six-row Tradition and Lacey
Homebrewing malt extracts: liquid in a can and spray dried
Barley malt syrup being slowly added to flour in a bagel recipe
Malt extract, also known as extract of malt, is a sweet, treacly
substance used as a dietary supplement. It was popular in the
first half of the twentieth century as a nutritional enhancer for the
children of the British urban working class, whose diet was often
deficient in vitamins and minerals. Children were given cod liver oil
for the same reason but it proved so unpalatable that it was combined
with extract of malt to produce "
Malt and Cod-Liver Oil."
was given as a "strengthening medicine" by Kanga to
Roo in The House
at Pooh Corner, and was also Tigger's favorite food in the book.
The 1907 British Pharmaceutical Codex's instructions for making
nutritional extract of malt do not include a mashout at the end of
extraction, and include the use of lower mash temperatures than is
typical with modern beer-brewing practices. The Codex indicates that
diastatic activity is to be preserved by the use of temperatures not
exceeding 55 °C (131 °F).
Malt extract production
Malt extract is frequently used in the brewing of beer. Its production
begins by germinating barley grain in a process known as malting,
immersing barley in water to encourage the grain to sprout, then
drying the barley to halt the progress when the sprouting begins. The
drying step stops the sprouting, but the enzymes remain active due to
the low temperatures used in base malt production. In one
before-and-after comparison, malting decreased barley's extractable
starch content by about 7% on a dry matter basis, and turned that
portion into various other carbohydrates.
Malt Extract ad
In the next step, brewers use a process called mashing to extract the
sugars. Brewers warm cracked malt in temperature-modulated water,
activating the enzymes, which cleave more of the malt's remaining
starch into various sugars, the largest percentage of which is
maltose. Modern beer mashing practices typically include high
enough temperatures at mash-out to deactivate remaining enzymes, thus
it is no longer diastatic. The liquid produced from this, wort, is
then concentrated by using heat or a vacuum procedure to evaporate
water from the mixture. The concentrated wort is called malt
Liquid malt extract (LME) is a thick syrup and is used for a variety
of purposes, such as baking and brewing. It is also sold in jars as a
The LME may be further dried to produce dry malt extract (DME) which
is crystalline in form similar to common sugar.
Brewers have the option of using a liquid (LME) or dry (DME) form of
it. Each has its pros and cons, so the choice is dependent solely on
the individual brewer's preferences. Some brewers choose to work
only with LME, because they feel it works best for the result they
wish to achieve. Also, it requires one fewer processing step, so it is
appealing to those favoring the purest form of product available.
However, it is very sticky and, therefore, messier to work with and
has a shorter shelf life, and some feel the results are just as good
A new encapsulating technology permits the production of malt
Malt granules are the dried liquid extract from malt used in
the brewing or distilling process.
Scientists aim to discover what goes on inside barley grains as they
become malted to help plant breeders produce better malting barley for
food and beverage products. The United States Agricultural Research
Service scientists are interested in specialized enzymes called
serine-class proteases that digest beta-amylases, which convert
carbohydrates into "simple sugars" during the sprouting process.
The enzyme also breaks down stored proteins into their amino acid
derivatives. The balance of proteins and carbohydrates broken down by
the enzyme affect the malt’s flavor.
Look up malt in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Malta (soft drink)
Cho-cho (chocolate malted ice cream cup)
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^ "Quality Factors for Malting,
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^ "What is malting?". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
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^ Horace Kephart (1922). Our southern highlanders (eBook ed.). New
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sprouted corn is then dried and ground into meal. This sweet meal is
then made into a mush with boiling water, and is let stand two or
^ Mills, Margaret H.; Claus, Peter J.; Diamond, Sarah (2003). South
Asian folklore: an encyclopedia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India,
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ISBN 0-415-93919-4. Retrieved 10 April 2011. The grain's own
conversion of stored starch to sugar while sprouting ("malting")
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Nowruz in Tajikistan, BBC Persian".
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^ "24 ساعت - نو روز باستانی در کشور عزیز
ما افغانستان". 24sahat.com. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
^ "How to tame your mämmi? on the Porridge and Potatoes food blog
^ "Malting - Whisky.com". www.whisky.com.
Malt is Made". www.ukmalt.com. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
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^ "Bad barley crop probably won't affect beer prices". Frederick
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Malt Use in
Brewing Beer". www.beer-brewing.com.
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^ Goldhammer, Ted (2008), The Brewer's Handbook, 2nd ed., Apex,
ISBN 0-9675212-3-8, p. 31 ff.
Barley Variety Surveys and Industry Data via
^ a b British pharmaceutical codex. Pharmaceutical Society of Great
Britain. 1907. pp. 401–404. Retrieved 28 March 2011. The
extract is given to children and adults for its nutritive properties.
... Extract of malt is used as a vehicle for the administration of
cod-liver oil (see Extractum Malti cum Oleo Morrhuae), ...
^ Joseph La Villa (2010). The Wine, Beer, and Spirits Handbook: A
Guide to Styles and Service. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 347.
ISBN 978-0-470-53757-2. Retrieved 30 March 2011. The base malt in
any brewing process is called pale malt. It is dried at around 122°F
(50°C). Specialty malts are made either by heating the barley before
it is dry or by roasting the dried malt.
^ a b Stevens, Roger; Dennis E. Briggs; Chris Boulton; Brookes, Peter
(2004). Brewing: science and practice. Cambridge: Woodhead.
p. 123. ISBN 0-8493-2547-1. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
See tables 4.15 & 4.16
^ "How to Brew - By John Palmer -
Mashing Defined". Retrieved 28 March
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^ "Patent EP1385931
Malt Granules". www.freepatentsonline.com.
Retrieved 25 May 2009.
^ "Like Malt? You'll Love This Malting
Barley Research!". USDA
Agricultural Research Service. 2 February 2010.
^ "Secrets to Superb Malting Barleys Explored by ARS Researchers".
USDA Agricultural Research Service. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 7 March
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Christine Clark, The British Malting Industry Since 1830, Hambledon
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