A Beer Lover’s Guide to Malt Beer
Malt (in beer) refers to the maltose (sugar) extracted from key grain ingredients like barley or wheat. Malt is extracted from the barley grains through a process called malting where they are soaked and drained to initiate germination. This process activates the enzymes that slowly convert starch reserves and proteins into sugars and amino acids.
Once the barley grains sprout, they are dried in a kiln to stop the enzymes until ready to be used for brewing. The malted grains are then crushed and soaked in hot water, reactivating and accelerating the enzyme activity to quickly convert starch reserves into sugar which is then processed further to brew beer. Besides malted barley, wheat malt is the second widely used malt grain for brewing beer. Compared to barley, beers brewed using wheat malt are refreshing and light with just a hint of acidity. Ideal for consumption during hot summers, wheat beer is great when paired with light meals or seafood.