Membership questions? Log in issues? Email

Author Topic: Malt differences  (Read 975 times)


  • Guest
Malt differences
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:29:37 am »
I see a lot of malts in the 3.5–4.5 luv range and they are called everything from Pale Ale, Vienna, Mild, Stout and Amber malt.  What really is the difference? Is it how they are made, just a regional appellation, different barley strains, etc.?  Can you have different flavors resulting from different moisture contents,temperature and time even though the end resulting luv rating is the same?

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7781
  • Underhill VT
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Malt differences
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 09:40:01 am »
There are a lot of things that affect the color and flavor of a malt.

How it was malted (floor v drum),
What temp and duration it was dried at,
What temp and duration it was kilned at,
The variety of barley may be different as well and that does make a difference (Optic vs marris otter vs harrington (NA two row))

then there is the marketing angle. I would guess that 'Mild' is kilned at a higher temp than 'Pale Ale'. I THINK (could very well be wrong) Vienna is dried and cured like pilsner malt and then kilned darker which will have an effect on the flavor. that's part of the answer I think
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline kylekohlmorgen

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1363
  • Saint Louis, MO
    • The South House Pilot Brewery
Re: Malt differences
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 04:04:41 pm »
Short answer: YES, they are all different.

Best way to figure out the differences? Brew with them.

Huge cop-out answer, I know, but its true. I've been skirting it for years; I just started digging into individual base malts, buying a bag of one malt at a time, brewing at least one SMaSH, switching it up when I run out. First was Weyermann floor-malted BoPils (SMaSH pils, saison), now I'm onto Best Munich I (SMaSH Marzen).

I was never motivated to brew single-malt beers before because I thought they'd be boring, but the results (so far) have been delicious, AND have given me perspective on my ingredients.
Twitter/Instagram: @southhousebrew

Recipes, Brett/Bacteria Experiments: