Malt, the soul of beer
What is Malt?
Malt is derived from the barley plant. Upon harvesting, the kernels are removed from the plant and undergo malting and drying. These processes condition the grain for the brewing process, where it takes on a unique flavour, colour and biochemical profile based on how it has been treated. Although predominantly barley, other grains such as rye, wheat and oats can also be processed as malt.
How does Malt contribute to the flavour of beer?
Depending on temperatures, moisture content and duration of heat exposure in drying – maltsters work to develop a range of malt flavours from the grainy sweetness of Pilsner malt up to the char and coffee of Roasted malts. Brewers work with various proportions of malts to produce a beer with a certain flavour profile. A base of pale malt and a small proportion of dark malt will yield a beer with a subtle roast profile. Increase the proportion of dark malt and the beer picks up a stronger roast intensity – its flavour gravitating towards that of a porter or stout.
Can other grains be used in beer production? Why is barley so popular?
Barley has gained popularity for beer production due to a few reasons.
The barley grain, when malted and dried, contributes a full range of substances that yeast need to turn sugary liquid into a pleasant beverage. Having an appropriate protein content for yeast nutrition, enzyme activity to digest starches within into simple sugars and an outer husk which helps form a filter bed – barley has been praised as the “perfect brewing grain”.
Some beers contain adjuncts. What are they, and do they indicate an inferior product?
Adjuncts include unmalted grains and sugar sources which are used to supplement the main ingredient of malted grain. For example, rice and corn are traditionally used in mass market lagers. They help to reduce the flavour intensity compared to using 100% malt in beer, and increase drinkability by lightening the texture and/or body of the beer.
The usage of adjuncts is not necessarily bad. Styles such as New England IPAs and Belgian Wit rely on a proportion of flaked oats or wheat in the recipe which adds haze and texture to the beer. On the other hand, malt liquor is often made with a proportion of sugar purely to create a strong alcoholic industrial beverage without consideration for flavour.
麥芽來自大麥。大麥收成後，將籽粒從植物中取出並進行發麥和乾燥等工序。 這些過程使穀物受到影響，根據其處理方式，賦予獨特的風味、顏色和生物特徵。 雖然麥芽主要原料是大麥，但其他穀物如黑麥、小麥和燕麥也可以加工成麥芽。
根據溫度，水分含量和乾燥時間 – 發麥人員會開發出一系列味道，從皮爾斯麥芽的甜味到烤麥芽的焦糖和咖啡味。 啤酒廠以各種麥芽比例釀造出不同風味的啤酒。以淺色麥芽為基底加上一點深色麥芽，能釀造出具有含蓄烤肉味的啤酒。增加深色麥芽的比例，可提高啤酒的烘烤感 ，其味道傾向於波特或黑啤。