Types of Brewing Malts Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The beer’s backbone is malt. In malted barley form, malts are the foundation for a beer’s mouthfeel, flavor, and color. They are also one of the three critical recipes that found their appellations in the 1516 German Beer Purity Law (the Reinheitsgebot ). As unsung heroes, these grains create an interactive platform for additives, yeast, and hops.

These types of brewing malts guide will detail malts characteristics so that you know your malts, whether you are a brew fan thirsty for more beer knowledge or a homebrewer that wants to expand their style.

With that being said, homebrewers have a different variety of malts available than ever before. They are indispensable if these home brewers are looking to brew to style and use authentic ingredients.

One aspect of the all-grain brewing experience is learning about malted grain. Therefore, a serious all-grain homebrewer with an interest in a recipe formulation will find this as a reference. Also, the extract brewer wanting to know about steeping grain will find this guide relevant.

Without wasting much time, let’s dive into different types of brewing malts.

The History of Brewing Malts

Malt still retains the same form as we all know it today. People recognized it as an essential product far before the era of recorded history. In some records, historians believe that 4000 BC witnessed the era of beer brewing by Egyptians.

They backed it with the Cairo Museum’s artifacts that show its third millennium BC’s transformation into a disciplined technology.

Malt Brewing Process

Malt Brewing Process

There is a legend that early Egyptians placed malt in a wicker basket to manufacture it, even though historians have search antiquity without finding its actual origin.

Then, they would lower the wicker basket into the open wells of that era. The first time of lowering it into the well was for steeping. Then, the germination process would follow by raising it to the water level.

They controlled the germination rate by adjusting the basket height within the well. With that, workers would lower the basket to a lower temperature level as the heat developed and germination progressed. As such, they can dissipate heat and retard growth. They would simply raise the basket to a higher level to speed up germination.

They then agitated the basket after raising the malt to the well top to keep it from matting. Finally, when it comes to drying, brewers resorted to the natural ways, spreading the malt on the ground to receive a direct sunray. Beverage purposes were the only thought of using malt at this time.

The Birth of Floor Malting

The number of wells limited the malt production of this time. As such, malsters then used natural caves and artificial cisterns to increase production. And for centuries, these natural processes continued.

But, in the middle European countries, they discovered the malting process’s next advancement. After that came the rise of the malt requirement and the necessity to create artificial techniques for controlling the humidity and temperatures.

They have malt houses of this time at the bottom of a mountain or hill adjacent to a stream, which provided low-temperature water through gravity. These malt houses had mortar or stone floors with huge stone walls. The only ventilation means were the small windows set.

They would receive barley into these malt houses and be ready for steeping by dropping it into the deep cisterns. Next is depositing it for germination on the malt house’s stone floor. Heat would generate as the growthd. People would then spread the malt towards the front of the room in a thin bed after they have shoveled it from the pile.

The process would accomplish any further cooling during the night hours or cool evenings when the workers shoveled the malt’s first thin layer forward to another spot of the ground, allowing it to fall in a light shower and throwing it into the air. They would then apply the proper moisture by using the old method of sprinkling can.

These brewers would move the bed to the forward end of the floor from the rear through the shoveling process to control temperature. With that, they would deposit each successive steep from the steeping cistern onto the floor, going down the floor-length with its predecessor.

Modern Malts Brewing

Modern Malts Brewing

Centuries witnessed the prevailing of these basic early malt house principles. However, people continued to search for new techniques to increase production. The major malting process changes occurred with the advent of electrical power and steam.

Types of Brewing Malts

As a grain, professionals can convert malt into sugar. Then, yeast consumes that sugar to create alcohol, a process known as fermentation. Likewise, the malt comes from grain that then becomes beer.

As a homebrewer, you have several malt types you can use. There are two broad categories of these malt types, malts required to be mashed (all-grain brewing needed) and malts that can be steeped (perfect for extract brewing).

Roasted Malts

roasted malt

Any grains or malts roasted to an extremely high degree are roasted malts. They are delicious, bready, deep, and dark. You can mash them for all-grain or steep them for extract brewing before adding plenty of color and complexity in pretty low quantities. Here are a few varieties:

  • Distaff cousins ​​​​like pale chocolate and de-bittered black malt. People use steep roasted malts for extract brewing or all-grain when mashed.
  • Kiln-coffee malt
  • Weyermann® range of Caraga® malts
  • Roasted barley, chocolate malt, or black malt (also known as patent malt)

You don’t have to be like some homebrewers who get gun shy about roasted malts. While they are delicious, you have no worries about roasted malts going overboard: you would typically use 10 percent of it (average five-gallon batch will require one pound). It will be pretty hard to go wrong when you stay below this amount.

Check out roasted malts here .

Toasted & Kilned Malts

Toasted & Kilned Malts

These malt types boast aromatic malts, special roast, amber, and biscuit. In addition, they contribute unique flavor with a five-gallon take half a pound; people typically use them in low quantities.

  • Tangy flavor and impart a slightly reddish, darker color.
  • Another light option is victory malt that sits between amber and biscuit and has traits of both.
  • Amber and brown malts are the same toasted malts, but amber does not have a pretzel-like flavor, and brown is more bready or toasty and darker.
  • Aromatic malt is maltier and darker, while biscuit malt has a light saltine cracker flavor.

Adjunct Grains

Adjunct Grains

These are starchy, unmalted things that people know as cereal grain. Essentially, homebrewers typically use things like potatoes and pumpkin as well.

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • squash/pumpkin
  • terrified wheat
  • Maize (corn)
  • Flaked oats and flaked barley
  • Starchy grain or vegetable

Adjuncts are not like crystal malts that have sugars available. Thus, people cannot steep them for extract brewing. And since adjuncts are not the same as malted grains , they don’t have enzymes, and brewers don’t need to mash them with malt base to extract their sugars.

Caramel & Crystal Malts

Caramel & Crystal Malts

Generally, homebrewers use crystal malts to add color and sweetness to all-grain and extract brews since there are steep. As a general rule, darker crystal malts add nuttiness and sweetness to their sweetness, while brewers will have the motto “sweet’ in the lighter-colored crystal malts.

There are dextrin malts at the extreme light end. These dextrin malts add dextrins that bring a thicker and body mouthfeel. However, crystal malts are anything with the label of caramel or crystal .

Base Malts

Malts base

What makes up most of all-grain beer’s grist is the base malts , with astounding, frankly, variety. These malt types get their name from the corns’ formation on the barley stalk. The region they malt or grow it, or the variety impact impart their names.

  • British malts are biscuit-like, bready, and maltier, while American base malts tend to be generally fairly and mild neutral.
  • High-kilned malts are responsible for the European malty, dark lagers and their characters endear them to base in some ales. Prime examples are Vienna and Munich malts.
  • Rye and wheat malts are non-barley based malts.
  • Barley malts include mild ale malt , Munich malt , Vienna malt , Pilsner malt , pale malt , and more.

Malts grown in the European climate have an elegant, clean character since they are made from Continental barley. The delicate, soft maltiness character of pilsner malt typically defines pale larger. The roof high-kilned malts are the base since brewers heat their malting process end to a higher temperature. Mild ale is also in this same category. A more malty, toasty flavor of their darker colors lends them lighter base malts.

How to Get Started with Brewing Malts – Essential Kits

The fact that you can make them in batches gives you the biggest benefit of making homemade malts. Another benefit is that you can adjust your home brewed malts flavors.

If you are ready to start your home brewing journey, you will need some vital kits. This section will show you some quality kits for your malt brewing ventures. Continue reading to find some of the best home brewing kits in the market today!

Craft the Brew Brown Ale Beer Kit – Best Variety

Craft the Brew Brown Ale Beer Kit – Best Variety

When it comes to getting an amazing beer-making kit that will give you some of the tastiest malt types like dry cider, toasty Irish stouts, or dark brown ales, you will have the perfect use with Craft A Brew Brown Ale Beer Kit .

Serves around one gallon of lip-smacking malt at parties that each flavor produces. If you are a beginner homebrewer, you will appreciate the brewing method with the product’s straightforward instructions as a quality starter kit. The complete kit includes a thumb clamp, transfer tubing, racking cane, funnel, a carboy, and more!


  • Easy-to-follow guide
  • Fresh tasting malts


  • Shipment and quality control issues

BrewDemon Craft Beer Brewing Kit Signature Pro – Best for Fermenting

BrewDemon Craft Beer Brewing Kit Signature Pro – Best for Fermenting

A conical fermenter comes with the BrewDemon Craft Beer Brewing Kit Signature Pro , similar to what larger breweries typically use. As such, you will find this kit to have everything you need if you want to learn how to make authentic malts. In addition, the unique kit eliminates any nasty byproducts and produces clearer malt and beer.

Brewers can make two gallons of smooth and light fermented malt and beer. Essentially, the kit has one-quart bottles, a temperature gauge, a stopper, a unique venting system, and more. This kit can make an excellent malt fermentation kit for novice and beginners alike as a whole.


  • Pro-conical fermenter
  • easy to clean
  • Quick fermentation time


  • The plastic fixture can crack with time

Northern Brewer – Essential Brew – Perfect For Advanced Brewers

Northern Brewer – Essential Brew – Perfect For Advanced Brewers

Northern Brew Essential Brew is a great brewing kit for any serious brewers out there. The kit can yield around five gallons of fruity and fresh-squeezed herbal IPA beer. Any brewer can enjoy their caribou slobber version if they are looking for more complex flavors.

You will get your standard home brewing equipment with each IPA beer-making kit. However, this upgrade has extra tools, including an immersion wort chiller and an eight-gallon Mega pot. It also includes a translucent bucket and a fermenter without a siphon for easier bottling and transferring.


  • rapid chilling
  • Upgraded equipment with full kit


  • Quite expensive
  • Does not include bottles

Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making Starter Kit – Ideal for Novices

Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making Starter Kit – Ideal for Novices

Mr. Beer Complete Beer Making Starter Kit will be the perfect kit for you if you want the easiest means of starting your homebrewing journey. The product has shatter-proof bottles, a two-gallon fermenter, and more to make it easy for homebrewers to use. The brewing extract can come with the kit contains all-natural malted hops and barley.

As a DIY homebrewing kit, Mr. Beer can yield a caramel, sweet golden ale perfect for making cheese fries. Generally, homebrewers won’t have to deal with any complicated process using this kit, as it has step-by-step instructional directions on how to make malt or beer.


  • The product has reusable bottles
  • Lightweight, compact fermenter


  • There can be a leak in the keg

Mr. Root Beer Home Brewing Kit – Good For Root Beer

Mr. Root Beer Home Brewing Kit – Good For Root Beer

Everyone knows that alcoholic beer is not good for kids. That is why Mr. Root Beer Home Brewing Kit will get you covered if you want your kids to enjoy something sweet. With the kit, you can brew non-alcoholic, creamy beer. It boasts funnel, caps, and four one-liter bottles.

In addition, there is also a package of yeast, flavor crystals, and root-beer extract for flavors. You can whip up any malt recipe with this flavor-packed root beer. Ultimately, enjoy making your malts with your little ones through its easy instructions.


  • Complete kit with bottles
  • fast brewing
  • easy to make


  • May leave a yeasty aftertaste

The Best Brewing Malts Recipes to Get Started

You must become a maltster if you want to take your homebrew venture to another level. A maltster creates the malt used in brewing by adding a little heat and sprouts whole grain. Essentially, you have all the skills and equipment required to make your malt from scratch if you can read a thermometer, have a large baking pan, and a kitchen oven.

Using Whole Barley

Using Whole Barley

You would be getting to the “home” in your home brewing adventures with this step. You will also save some money with it. First, however, ensure that they have not treated your whole barley with pesticides or other harmful chemicals that can cause sickness when buying it.

The grain with the husk on is the whole barley. Since the husk is critical for the mask brewing lautering process, you cannot use pearled barley of other de-husked barley types. Pet shops that sell bird seed and country stores that cater to ranchers are likely sources of whole barley.

You can also find an ideal bargain by buying some bushels directly from the farmers at harvest time in August and September if you live in a place where they grow these grains. We recommend you test one pound to ensure it is a viable seed capable of germinating before buying a large amount.

By following the procedure we outline below, you must see around 90 percent of the grain sprouting. You can try a different brand or another supplier if it is not viable.

The Germinating Process

The Germinating Process

The main ingredient needed is raw barley. For the all-barley malt homebrew gallon you propose to make, use two pounds of whole barley until you start malting. Remember, you will see significant improvement in your extraction rate with practice. After that, you can adjust the amount with your desired definite gravity.

You can start the process by washing the barley thoroughly in clean water to eliminate the trash that floats to the surface. Next is to drain the barley and put it in a covered container with enough water to reach inches above your grain.

Leave the grain to soak for about eight hours. Then, drain it and allow it to stand for another eight hours without water. You should start seeing whitish bulges at the tips of the barley grain after the final eight hours of soaking. These whitish bulges are the emerging roots.



Homebrewers can change green malt into crystal (caramel) malt or pale malt when drying at different temperatures.

Put on a 100 degree to 125 degrees of heat source and place the large baking pan on it to make pale malt. Do this for 24 hours or till the malt has about 12 percent moisture, original test pound of about 18 ounces.

You can use an oven with the pilot light on it as your heat source. The top of a gas refrigerator is also perfect for it. You will also have a temperature of around 140 degrees to 160 degrees for the final drying process.

The malt will have an initial amount of about 16 ounces, and the absence of debris like husk dirt will compensate for the malt’s moisture weight. Dry the malt slowly by turning it every half hour, thereby protecting the starch-converting enzymes by raising the temperature over time.

The lower temperature of 100 degrees to 125 degrees will dry the entire malted wheat. You will have a slightly sweet taste and crunchy bite to the finished barley malt.

We will recommend not using the barley malt if you have a glassy interior or rock hard. It means something is not right with germination. As you try another batch, ensure to be careful with the process.

Put green malt on a cookie sheet in a 212 degrees oven for an hour to make crystal malt. You can also leave it until golden brown grains. Homebrew has brown color and sweetness from crystal malt without the roasted malts’ burnt flavor characteristic.



Your first homebrew batch from homemade malt can use any recipe when you know of a one-third increase in the grain bill. Ensure to use four homemade pounds if you need to use pale malt of around three pounds in the recipe.

Here is an English-style ale with various homemade malts incorporated in it.

English Ale – All-Grain With 2 Gallons

English Ale


  • 1/3 cup priming sugar
  • Dry Muntons ale yeast
  • 8 grams. Fuggle hop pellets for 90 min.
  • ½ tsp. gypsum
  • 1 oz. dark roasted malt
  • 6 oz. toasted Munich-style malt or crystal malt
  • 7 oz. malted corn or malted wheat
  • 50 oz. pale malt

The Process

Water at 127 degrees and mash into 6 quarters of water. After that, rest at 122 degrees as you allow 45-minute protein rest. Ensure to maintain the temperature for 90 minutes after raising it to 151 degrees.

Sparge with water at 170 degrees as you mash out at 167 degrees. Next is to add your hops and leave them for about 90 minutes to boil. Pitch yeast, aerate, and cool to room temperature. Use priming sugar to bottle it when fermentation is complete. Then leave it for about two weeks before sampling.

Don’t be discouraged if you notice low content in the first few batches. As you get more experience at malting, it will go up. Then, you will have a truly homemade malt without planting your hops or barley and complete satisfaction.

Safety Tips for Brewing Malts

Safety Tips for Brewing Malts

Many homebrewers learn the hard way regarding homebrewing safety. Some of them wear shorts and flip-flops without taking caution about the dangers around them.

That is why you need to know that it is dangerous as cooking soup. Meaning that you can sustain second-degree burns that could be an unpleasant thing Except you are inattentive and careless, this result is not likely.

Therefore, watch out for some of these crucial safety gear and precautions in your homebrewing.

Using Open-Toed Shoes

As we mentioned earlier, many homebrewers cannot remember what they dropped or spilled on their feet. After dropping a carboy with their toes cut open from the exploding glass, many had to switch to boots.

Don’t let smashed and burns toes be part of your homebrewing experience. Some of these steel-toe boots will be ideal for you.

Climbing Ladders in Gravity Setups

Don’t try to do this because it is an easy and quick way to fall, scare or burn yourself.

Not Testing Gravity of Malt Before Bottling

Homebrewers refer to this situation as “bottle bombs.” Ensure your malts have fully fermented before capping the bottles to prevent the explosion. This case is similar to grenade shrapnel, and it can turn into a big mess. You can prevent this from happening by using a cardboard box for your bottled malts to soften the blow.

Unaware of Bleeding Pressure from Kegs Before Opening Lids

Many new homebrewers know nothing about CO2 pressure when they start kegging. That is why you need to bleed the built-up gasses inside the kegs under pressure before trying to open the lid. The fly can fly off with significant force into your face if you fail to bleed off the pressure.

Not Cleaning Spills

You can have a big slip and fall with a small spill. It can lead to falling, getting your arm or leg swelled up, and become infected with any disease. Therefore, clean up any spills.

Our Top Recommendations

Our team has collected some of the homebrew advice and tips from various sources with many years of homebrewing experience. Ensure to follow them to achieve success with your homebrewing journey.

General Homebrew Tips

General Homebrew Tips

Here are some general homebrew tips to follow:

  • The ingredients will be of the same quality as your malt or beer quality. Always go for the best and freshest quality possible. Ensure that your hops are green and nice and the extract is within any specific dates.
  • Bulking priming your malt can be a simple addition to your bottling process since doing this will add greater consistency and control to your bottle’s priming sugar level.
  • Choose a bottling bucket or fermenter without any tap if you can.

Ahead of Brewing Day

Beer equipment sanitizing

Before you start your homebrewing journey, ensure to:

  • Read and understand the recipes before you start brewing. Ensure to start only when you have all the ingredients ready.
  • Ensure to put some of the sanitizers you intend to use in a spray bottle for easy sanitation during brew time.
  • Don’t use bleach as your sanitizer because it can be hard to rinse out or even ruin your batch if it contacts your wort’s maltose.
  • Have the habit of sanitizing anything you see with your beer after the boil.

Pitching Yeast

Pitching Yeast

Follow some of these for pitching yeast.

  • Put the whole brew pot onto a tub or sink of cold water when cooling a partial boil. It is faster, and you only need to change the water a few times.
  • If you are new to homebrewing, you will find dry yeast packets perfect since they are pretty easy to use and have a high cell count.

Improving Fermentation

Improving Fermentation

To improve your malt fermentation, you will need to:

  • If you intend to use a two-stage fermentation, use a bottling bucket since you will only need a hose length to the rack into the secondary.
  • Put your fermenter in a big water container to cool it and prevent temperature fluctuations if you want to control fermentation temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s discuss some of the questions concerning malt brewing and what other things you need to know.

Question: What Kind of Malt is Used in Beer?

Answer: Malted barley processed to yield a range of fermentable maltose sugars are those that brewers recommended. These are chocolate or roasted malts, Munich malts, Vienna malts, pale malts, and lager malts.

Question: Which Malt Can Be Steeped?

Answer: Best briess malts for steeping are caramel malts, extra special malt, victory malt, and carapils malt .

Question: Can Victory Malt be Steeped?

Answer: Yes, you can steep victory malt since it has no diastatic power. A perfect candidate for this malt is nut-brown because of its flavor effects.

Types of Brewing Malts Guide – Final Thoughts

We have given you all you need to know about the types of brewing malts, and if you are ready, we recommend using Craft A Brew Brown Ale Beer Kit because it offers the premium homebrewing kit you need to get started. In addition, it is a viable investment since the product has reusable equipment.

Apart from this added convenience, it can also yield up to a gallon at a time. Finally, though it has no bottles and has a relatively small brewing capacity, the kit provides a seamless and fast extract process.

As you get set to brew your malt, ensure to refer to some of the best tips and tricks discussed above. Remember to check out some of the safety tips to have a pleasant experience with every brew.

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