Before heading to the subject ‘what does malt taste like,’ we will further talk about the process below to better understand the grain and what process requires to make it a perfect taste of Malt!
What Is Malt Processing?
Malted cereal grains are germinated in a process known as “malting”, after which they are dried by being spread out over linen nets. Malt barley is a source of starch, enzymes, protein, vitamins, and minerals. It has a high nutritional value and can be used to make food products such as malted milk, malted beer, malted bread, and flakes.
Wheat malt is a grain containing carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins. It is combined and prepared in a variety of ways to provide a wide range of flavor profiles. It is used in beer and whisky as well as bread, cereals, pasta sauces, and soups.
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Soaking the grains in water and drying them with hot air is the key to effectively growing wheat, as it causes the seed’s enzymes to germinate and prepare them for growth. Malt is a key ingredient in many types of food and beverages. Malt extract is made by soaking barley in water, which breaks the plant’s cell walls and releases enzymes that produce malt sugars; including monosaccharide glucose, disaccharide maltose, trisaccharide malt triose, and higher sugars called maltodextrins.
Moreover, Malt is used to produce enzymes that both break down the proteins in the grain and are then used by yeast in fermentation. When the malting process is stopped during the conversion of grain starches into fermentable sugars, one can get different ratios of starches and sugars. This determines whether one will get a malt that is more likely to break down when used in producing beer or bread.
Malt also contains small amounts of other sugars, such as fructose and sucrose. These are not products of starch modification but were already in the grain. During the mashing process, further conversion to fermentable sugars is achieved.
Stages of the Malting Process
These fermentable sugars are produced by enzymes that supplement the other key nutrients for yeast growth that malt provides. These include amino vitamins, acids, and minerals. The malting process has four stages: steeping, germination, kilning, and roasting let’s go through the stages to know what does malt taste like.
In the first step of the steeping process, the raw barley is sorted and cleaned. It is then transferred into steep tanks and covered with water. During the next 40-48 hours, the raw barley alternates between submerged and drained until the moisture content increase from about 12% to about 44%. The absorbed water activates naturally existing enzymes which stimulate the embryo to develop new enzymes.
The enzymes break down the carbohydrate and protein matrix. It encloses starch granules in the endosperm. This opens up starch reserves of the seed, wherein the newly developed hormones initiate growth of the acrospires.
Steeping is completed when a hydrometer reading has been achieved and the malt has reached a sufficient moisture level so that it can be uniformly broken down into its starches and proteins, which will result in even extraction.
Maltsters use one visual indication to determine the completion of steeping (also called “mashing”) by counting the number of kernels that show “chit.” A “chitted” barley is raw barley that has been steeped properly. It is allowed to naturally sprout into tiny rootlets (chits) which can now be seen on the surface.
Germination is the process that takes place during the malting cycle. This process takes 4-5 days depending on the product type being made. The germinating grain bed needs to be kept at a constant temperature level and oxygenated in order to provide the necessary environment for the seedlings to grow.
This is done by providing a constant flow of humidified air through the bed at specific temperatures. To ensure that the grain turns over and avoids matting, it is turned regularly. Malters manipulate germination conditions to provide a degree of variation in the type of malt they’re producing
Kilning is the third phase of malting and removes most of the moisture from the grain that would cause germination. Afterward, it is removed by drying which blasts hot air through the grain bed to dry it. Malts are killed at different temperature levels and airflow rates to produce a variety of flavors with small rootlets removed.
The malt is then cooled and analysis can take place. It is analyzed to ensure they are still fresh and are of good quality. For retail purposes, it is best served in bags, containers, or bulk.
At GWM Malt, the roasting process starts with these 4 distinct stages: steeping, germination, roasting, and cooling. Grain spends 34-46 hours in the steep tanks. The aim is to achieve a target moisture level of 42-44%.
The grain is a further process for germination that lasts for around 28 days. After that, the malt goes into an intermittent batch germination process. The green malt is then transferred to the roasting drum where it can be roasted without losing its quality.
The roasting takes place in two roasting drums. The roasting time has an average of 2.5 – 3 hours with air on temperatures of up to 460˚C. Our roasters take a batch size of around 2.4-3 tonnes.
The roasted malt is then transferred to a cooler that has been set to 15C in order to fix the color and flavor compounds. Malt is evaluated and analyzed for its quality before it is stored and thereafter awaits dispatch to the customers. Malt analysis provides a detailed record of the malt’s quality such as moisture, protein, starch, and diastatic power.
Benefits Of Malt
1. Rich In B Vitamins
Malt extract is a good source of vitamin B. It may increase the B-vitamin content of the beverages. Also, It includes niacin, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. It is essential to consume the correct amount of B vitamins in your diet, depending on what you’re drinking.
2. Source Of Essential Amino Acids
It is a good of essential amino acids. It is also a key ingredient in some beverages. They may not provide significant amounts of protein, but they do offer minor benefits when added as part of a healthy diet.
3. Good For Your Bones
Good nutrition is essential for bone health. Not all malt extract beverages are for good health. However, they can help boost your intake and provide an extra bit of calcium with each sip.
However, Malt’s taste depends on having a combination of flavors. Malt usually tastes sweet and nutty. It tastes like toast, coffee, caramel, or fruits like raisins. Beers come with a certain level of sweetness or malty that may depend on the sugars consumed by the yeast that remains after fermentation.