Malts are partly germinated grains that have been dried. The malting process stimulates enzymes in the grain, converting starches into sugars that yeast may consume during fermentation. The resultant malted grains have a diverse taste character and offer essential sugars for fermentation.

Brewers typically employ two types of malt: malted grains and malt extracts. Malted grains are whole or crushed grains that are used to produce mash, which is a grain and hot water combination. During the mash process, enzymes in the grains transform the starches in the grains into fermentable sugars. Brewers often utilize a variety of malted grains to obtain a certain flavor and color character in their beer.

In contrast, malt extracts are concentrated versions of malted grains that have been treated to remove the fermentable sugars. Malt extract is classified into two types: liquid and dry. A thick syrup created by evaporating water from the mash is called liquid malt extract. Dry malt extract is created by spraying liquid malt extract over a heated surface and allowing the water to evaporate.

Malt extracts are a popular choice for new brewers since they are simple to use and need less equipment than whole-grain brewing. Many skilled brewers, on the other hand, prefer to use whole grains since they give them greater control over the brewing process and can generate more nuanced tastes in the beer.

Overall, malted grains and malt extracts are important elements in the brewing process, and each has benefits and drawbacks. Whether to use whole grains or extracts is a matter of personal preference and the intended outcome for the beer being brewed.

Malts and Adjuncts

Below is a list of the most common malts and adjuncts used in brewing. Let me know if something should be added or updated.

GrainDescriptionUsageLovibondBeer StylesCommercial Examples
Pilsner MaltLight in color, provides a crisp, clean flavorBase malt1.5-2.5Pilsner, Lager, Kolsch, Blonde AlePilsner Urquell, Bitburger
Pale Ale MaltToasty, biscuity flavorBase malt2.5-4.0Pale Ale, Amber Ale, IPA, Brown AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale
Munich MaltRich, malty flavorBase malt8.0-10.0Oktoberfest, Bock, Amber AleSamuel Adams Oktoberfest, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
Vienna MaltMalty flavor with a slightly toasty characterBase malt3.5-4.5Vienna Lager, Oktoberfest, Amber AleNegra Modelo, Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Wheat MaltCreamy mouthfeel, subtle wheat flavorBase malt2.0-3.0Wheat Beer, Weissbier, WitbierSchneider Weisse, Allagash White
Rye MaltSpicy, peppery flavor with a dry characterSpecialty malt3.0-5.0Rye Beer, RoggenbierFounders Red's Rye IPA, Two Roads Rye 95
Crystal MaltSweetness and bodySpecialty malt10.0-120.0Amber Ale, Brown Ale, IPA, StoutBell's Amber Ale, Goose Island IPA
Chocolate MaltChocolate and roasted flavorSpecialty malt350-500Stout, Porter, Brown AleFounders Breakfast Stout, Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter
Black Patent MaltStrong roasted flavor, black colorSpecialty malt500-600Stout, Porter, Black IPAGuinness, Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Black IPA
Acidulated maltAdds a tart flavor and lowers mash pHSpecialty malt2.0-3.0Berliner Weisse, Gose, PilsnerWeihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner
Aromatic maltAdds a strong malt aroma and flavorSpecialty malt20.0-25.0Amber Ale, Belgian Dubbel, Scottish AleSamuel Adams Boston Lager, Duvel Belgian Golden Ale
Biscuit maltAdds a toasty, biscuity flavor and aromaSpecialty malt22.0-28.0Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Tripel, Brown AleFuller's London Pride, Chimay Red
Brown maltDarkens beer and adds a nutty, toasty flavorBase malt50.0-60.0Brown Ale, Porter, StoutSamuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Guinness Draught
Cara MunichAdds a malty, caramel flavor and reddish colorSpecialty malt35.0-45.0Amber Ale, Bock, OktoberfestMärzën, Hofbräu Oktoberfestbier
Cara ViennaAdds a sweet, malty flavor and light red colorSpecialty malt20.0-25.0Vienna Lager, OktoberfestMärzën, Great Lakes Eliot Ness
Caramel WheatAdds a sweet, caramel flavor and creamy textureSpecialty malt45.0-60.0Wheat Beer, Dunkelweizen, Belgian WitbierAyinger Bräu Weisse, Allagash White
Chocolate rye maltAdds a chocolatey, spicy flavor and aromaSpecialty malt250.0-300.0Rye Beer, Brown Ale, StoutBell's Porter, Founders Red's Rye IPA
Chocolate wheat maltAdds a chocolatey, roasted flavor and creamy textureSpecialty malt400.0-500.0Porter, Stout, DunkelweizenDeschutes Black Butte Porter, Young's Double Chocolate Stout
Coffee maltAdds a coffee-like, roasted flavor and aromaSpecialty malt500.0-600.0Stout, Porter, Belgian DubbelFounders Breakfast Stout, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Carapils maltAdds body, foam retention, and a slight sweetnessSpecialty malt1.0-2.5Pilsner, Belgian Tripel, American Pale AleMonchshof Kellerbier, Chimay Cinq Cents
Flaked barleyAdds a creamy texture and head retentionAdjunct1.5-2.5Irish Stout, English Bitter, Brown AleGuinness Draught, Fuller's ESB
Flaked maizeAdds a light, clean flavor and pale colorAdjunct0.5-1.0American Lager, Cream Ale, Light BeerBudweiser, Coors Light
Flaked oatsAdds a creamy texture and mouthfeelAdjunct1.0-2.5Oatmeal Stout, Belgian Witbier, American IPASamuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, Ommegang Hennepin
Flaked ryeAdds a spicy flavor and silky textureAdjunct2.0-3.0Rye Beer, Saison, RoggenbierBell's Rye
GrainDescriptionUsageLovibondBeer StylesCommercial Examples
Flaked wheatAdds a crisp texture and head retentionAdjunct1.5-2.5Witbier, Belgian Tripel, American Wheat BeerHoegaarden Witbier, Allagash White
Golden promise maltAdds a sweet, biscuity flavor and light colorBase malt2.5-3.0Scottish Ale, English Bitter, American Pale AleEdinburgh Castle, Theakston's Old Peculier
Honey maltAdds a honey-like sweetness and malty flavorSpecialty malt20.0-25.0Scottish Ale, Belgian Dubbel, Belgian TripelFlying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale, Unibroue Maudite
Marris otter maltAdds a rich, nutty flavor and golden colorBase malt2.5-4.0English Bitter, English Pale Ale, Belgian BlondeBoddingtons Pub Ale, Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
Mild ale maltAdds a malty flavor and light colorBase malt3.0-4.0Mild Ale, Scottish Ale, English BitterFuller's London Pride, Theakston's Mild
Pale 2-row maltAdds a clean, neutral flavor and light colorBase malt1.5-2.0Pilsner, American Pale Ale, Blonde AleBudweiser, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Pale 6-row maltAdds a grainy, slightly nutty flavor and light colorBase malt1.5-2.0American Lager, Cream Ale, Light BeerGenese Cream Ale, Schell's Light
Peated maltAdds a smoky, peaty flavor and aromaSpecialty malt2.5-3.0Scotch Ale, Smoked Porter, RauchbierLaphroaig, Schlenkerla Rauchbier
Roasted barleyAdds a dry, roasted flavor and dark colorBase malt300.0-500.0Stout, Porter, Irish Red AleGuinness Draught, Murphy's Irish Stout
Smoked maltAdds a smoky flavor and aromaSpecialty malt2.0-9.0Rauchbier, Smoked Porter, Scottish AleAecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Alaskan Smoked Porter
Special B maltAdds a raisin-like sweetness and dark colorSpecialty malt140.0-155.0Belgian Dubbel, Belgian Tripel, Belgian Dark Strong AleRochefort Trappistes 8, St. Bernardus Abt 12
Toasted maltAdds a toasty, nutty flavor and aromaSpecialty malt25.0-30.0Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Scottish AleAnchor Steam Beer, Samuel Adams Boston Ale


There are several firms that manufacture malts for brewing beer, each with its own distinct range of malts. Below are some of the most well-known malt makers, as well as some of their most popular malts.:

  1. Weyermann (Germany): Weyermann is a German maltster that produces a wide range of malts, including specialty malts like CaraMunich and Carafa. Some of their well-known malts include:
  • Pilsner Malt
  • Munich Malt
  • Vienna Malt
  • Carafa Malt
  • CaraMunich Malt
  1. Crisp (United Kingdom): Crisp is a British maltster that has been producing malt for over 150 years. They produce a range of base malts, including pale malt and Maris Otter malt. Some of their popular malts include:
  • Pale Malt
  • Maris Otter Malt
  • Extra Pale Malt
  • Crystal Malt
  1. Simpsons (United Kingdom): Simpsons is a British maltster that specializes in high-quality specialty malts. Some of their popular malts include:
  • Golden Promise Malt
  • Chocolate Malt
  • Roasted Barley
  • Crystal Malt
  1. Muntons (United Kingdom): Muntons is a British maltster that produces a range of malts for brewing, including base malts, crystal malts, and roasted malts. Some of their popular malts include:
  • Maris Otter Malt
  • Pale Malt
  • Crystal Malt
  • Black Malt
  1. Briess (United States): Briess is an American maltster that produces a range of malts, including base malts, specialty malts, and organic malts. Some of their popular malts include:
  • 2-Row Brewers Malt
  • Vienna Malt
  • Carapils Malt
  • Chocolate Malt
  1. Rahr (United States): Rahr is an American maltster that produces a range of malts, including base malts and specialty malts. Some of their popular malts include:
  • Pale Malt
  • Pilsner Malt
  • Munich Malt
  • Crystal Malt
  1. Castle (Belgium): Castle is a Belgian maltster that produces a range of malts, including base malts and specialty malts. Some of their popular malts include:
  • Pilsner Malt
  • Vienna Malt
  • Aromatic Malt
  • Special B Malt
The various malts that make beer

Each of these maltsters has a distinct assortment of malts and the malts that brewers choose to depend on the kind of beer they are brewing and the taste profile they are attempting to produce.

Finally, malts are an important element in beer production since they influence the flavor, color, and aroma of the beer. There are many distinct varieties of malts, such as base malts, specialty malts, and roasted malts, each with its own flavor character. Brewers can utilize a wide range of malts in their recipes, sometimes mixing several varieties to produce the desired flavor and color. While many brewers prefer beer to utilize conventional malted grains, malt extracts are now available for those seeking a more convenient brewing method. Maltsters from all around the world offer high-quality malts for brewers to pick from, each having its own distinct malt selection. Finally, the choice of malt is up to the brewer and is determined by the sort of beer being brewed and the flavor profile desired. The process of brewing your own delicious beer is well worth the effort. So grab a brew kettle, and some malted barley, and start brewing!

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Author: Stu

Meet's founder and head brewer, Stu. He began homebrewing as a hobby 13  years ago and has now made it a full-time career. He gives his advice, recipes, and reviews of equipment on in an effort to encourage others to experience the satisfaction of homebrewing beer. You can find him trying out new breweries and beers, or unwinding at home with a pint of his most recent creation, when he isn't busy brewing or writing about beer. Cheers!

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