The Comprehensive Guide to European Grain Varieties

Grace Weitz
Post by Grace Weitz
September 27, 2022
The Comprehensive Guide to European Grain Varieties

Last week, we put together a comprehensive guide to American grain varieties. But with barley and other grains being harvested all across the world, this week we’re focusing on European malts.

In fact, according to Statista, the European Union produced the most amount of barley in the world in 2021/2022 at almost 53 million metric tons. And the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts that by the end of next year world barley production will hit 147.72 million metric tons, meaning that continental Europe will be set to produce a little over a third of the world’s barley.

Barley is a huge component of any beer recipe. But its characteristics can vary based on where it’s grown, the climate, genetics, and even breeding practices.

For that reason, it’s important for any brewer to understand the differences between North American and European grains.

And with so many varieties on the market, we’re putting together a comprehensive guide to showcase the different types of European malts available to you and a few examples of each from reputable European maltsters such as Weyermann, Simpsons, BestMalz, and Castle Malting. Make sure that as a brewer or brewery owner you’re armed with the best possible knowledge to make a decision around the type of grain to use for your beers.

Editor's Note: This will be part two of a two-part series covering grains across the world. For this piece, we’ll cover grains native to Europe. You can find our piece on North American grain varieties here.

The Difference Between European and North American Barley

close-up-shot-of-barley-variety
Photography courtesy of Midwest Supplies

There are several important differences between barley grown in Europe and in North America. Although advances in breeding technology over the past few decades may have eliminated some of these stark contrasts, it’s still important to consider these distinctions.

Essentially, at the simplest level: European beers have traditionally been made with two-row barley, a stalk that produces only two kernels.

On the other hand, American beers have been made with six-row barley, a stalk that produces six kernels. Whereas the rest of the world tends to use six-row barley for livestock feed, the United States favors it for beers.

We do understand the complexion of today’s craft beer landscape goes far beyond this elementary distinction. There are certainly American brewers using European two-row barley, but for the purposes of this piece we’ll use a top-down approach.

With that in mind, here are the main differences between two-row and six-row barley.

Kernel Shape and Size

European brewers prefer two-row barley because these plants only feature two kernels, meaning they tend to be more uniform in shape and result in a better starch-to-husk ratio that leads to a slightly maltier beer (via BeerBrewing).

Additionally, their uniformity means they absorb water at the same rate and are easier to grind.

Six-row barley, on the other hand, has six kernels that crowd the husk and lead to a less uniform and less plump shape than their two-row counterparts. This inconsistency in shape can potentially dilute the amount of flavor that can be extracted from the barley.

Protein and Enzyme Conversion

Although brewers extract less flavor from six-row barley, the smaller kernels can lead to higher yields of protein and enzymes, contributing to a higher and faster conversion of starches into fermentable sugars (via American Homebrewers Association).

Additional Considerations

The American Homebrewers Association suggests that two-row barley has additional advantages. For instance, contributing a mellower flavor to a beer, having a greater tolerance to heat and drought, and as we mentioned above simply making more beer.

Whereas perhaps the most important additional advantage of six-row barley includes being cheaper to purchase by the pound.

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A Complete Guide to All European Grain Varieties

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the different types of European grains along with some essential information to know about each, including: description, origin, type, color range, flavor notes, and best beer styles to use in, along with examples of European varieties available from major malt companies.

Editor’s Note: Consider this a cheat sheet. We’re not brewers, so we can’t proclaim this is the most exhaustive guide. For that reason, we’ve sourced all of the information below from a few very reputable European vendors and merchants.* All descriptions, origins, types, color ranges, flavor notes, and best beer style notes come from the following: Dingemans, Castle Malting, Avangard, BestMalz, Weyermann, Crisp Malt, Simpsons, BSG, Great Fermentations, and Malteurop.

* To get the best and most up-to-date information on any grain variety, be sure to ask your own vendors or merchants.

Pilsner Malt

Best for a pilsner, but can be used to make any pale-colored beer with a nuanced palette such as crisp lagers and pale ales.

Avangard Pilsner Malt

Description: Avangard Malz is the biggest malting company in Germany and is known for the high quality of their traditional German malts. None of their malts is perhaps more sought after than their pilsner malts, with which some of the finest lagers can be made. Lagers made from this malt have a bright, clean, full-bodied character. Highly modified, it has been reported that brewers tend to get excellent efficiency out of this malt. It produces beers with a nice light golden color. (Great Fermentations)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Avangard

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5

Flavor Notes: Mild malty

Beer Styles: All beer types

BEST Pilsen Malt

Description: The enzyme-strong and extract-rich BEST Pilsen Malt is the base malt, alone or combined, for all kinds of exceptional and great-tasting beers. Even with high special malt contents in the bulk, this malt provides the ideal basis for optimum processing in production and, as a result, the basis for the best top-quality beers of all kinds. BEST Pilsen Malt can be produced from winter malting barley on request. (BestMalz)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.7-2.4

Flavor Notes: Mild malty

Beer Styles: Base malt for all beers, premium pilsner, export, kölsch, lager, helles, light beers

Chȃteau Pilsen 2RS

Description: The lightest in color, this malt is well-modified and is perfectly suited for single-step infusion or decoction mashing. Castle Malting’s Château Pilsen malt carries a strong, sweet malt flavor and has sufficient enzymatic power to be used as a base malt. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5-1.9

Flavor Notes: Strong, sweet malt flavor

Beer Styles: All beer types

Franco-Belges Pilsen Malt

Description: Pilsen malt from maltster Franco-Belges is a wonderful base malt that can be used in almost any style of beer. This malt is kilned very lightly and retains a lot of grain flavor and fermentability. With a very light color contribution, this malt gives you a base wort with a light yellow tint. For an excellent all-around base malt, look no further than Pilsen malt from Franco-Belges! (Great Fermentations)

Origin: France

Manufacturer: Franco-Belges

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-1.8

Flavor Notes: Mild

Beer Styles: Most often used as a base in lagers, such as light lagers and pilsners, festbiers and bocks; however, it can be used to make excellent American-, English-, and Belgian-style beers as well

Pilsen MD

Description: The Pilsen MD malt is light in color and has a low protein content. It is made from the finest two-row European summer barley. (Dingemans)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.4-1.8

Flavor Notes: Mild malty

Beer Styles: All beer types

Weyermann® Barke® Pilsner Malt

Description: Made from the finest German two-row historical summer brewing barley Barke®. The long-loved characteristic malt aroma of Barke® is the perfect base for intensely flavourful bright lager beers. This results in an excellent body and a pronounced full-bodiedness. (Weyerman)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.4-2.1

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malt aromas with underlying toffee notes

Beer Styles: Pale lager, American light lager, Munich helles, festbier, German and American pilsner, light bock, British mild, Belgian blonde ale, session pale ale, session IPA, British strong ale, gose

Weyermann® Bohemian Pilsner Malt

Description: Made from the finest Bohemian quality brewing barley (barley varieties Bojos and Malz), this Pilsner malt is characterized by the typical sententious core notes of the original barley varieties. (Weyerman)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.7-2.1

Flavor Notes: Nutty malt aroma, malty sweet

Beer Styles: Czech pale lager, bohemian pilsner, Czech amber lager, Czech dark lager, saison, gose

Weyermann® Extra Pale Premium Pilsner

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. By selecting suitable raw materials and special malting technologies, particularly light wort and boiling colors are achieved. (Weyerman)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.2-1.8

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet with light honey notes

Beer Styles: American light lager, Czech pale lager, kölsch, Japanese lager, Mexican lager, American pilsner, pilsner, American cream ale, British golden ale, blonde ale, Trappist single, Belgian golden strong ale, Belgian tripel, Berliner weiss, lambic, witbier, gose

Weyermann® Floor-Malted Bohemian Pilsner

Description: Made from the finest Bohemian quality brewing barley (barley varieties Bojos and Malz), this malt has been produced in Bohemia, according to the traditional floor malting process. This artisanal process gives the malt a special character and an extraordinary flavor intensity. (Weyerman)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-2.3

Flavor Notes: Intense malt aroma with honey and biscuit notes

Beer Styles: Czech pale lager, bohemian pilsner, Czech amber lager, Czech dark lager, bohemian bock, saison, wheat wine

Accordion TitleWeyermann® Pilsner Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley, it provides the perfect base for all beer styles, especially for bottom-fermented beers. (Weyerman)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5-2.1

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet with light honey notes

Beer Styles: American light lager, Munich helles, festbier, kellerbier, IPL, German and American pilsner, American IPA, hazy IPA, NEIPA, DIPA, Belgian golden strong ale, Belgian tripel, weissbier, hefeweizen, lambic, American wheat, witbier, fruit lambic, gose

Pale Malt

Malt varieties used to produce mainly lighter ales such as pale ales that focus on flavors like biscuit and honey.

Crisp Best Ale Malt

Description: Crisp’s Best Ale Malt is the workhorse of many a brewery and is at home in a variety of beer styles. The two-row winter barley varieties that go into their Best Ale have been planted in the light, sandy soils of North Norfolk. They source the lowest-nitrogen barley from their farmers. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.5-3.5

Flavor Notes: Sweet malt bread, afternotes of light caramel

Beer Styles: Light, dark, and strong milds, English ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, and barleywines

Crisp Finest Maris Otter® Malt

Description: Maris Otter® Malt is prized all over the world for the incredibly rich and moreish ales that it helps create. Crisp’s brewers tell them it is always flavourful, easy to brew with and returns that characteristic malt body that has made it famous for more than 50 years of barley cultivation. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.5-4.5

Flavor Notes: Wonderfully sweet malt, notes of baked bread and light toffee

Beer Styles: Light, dark, and strong milds, English ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, barleywines, and golden ales

Finest Pale Ale Maris Otter®

Description: The ‘Rolls Royce’ of malts for the traditional brewer, this legendary heritage barley variety is the base malt for traditional English bitter beers. Maris Otter® has a low nitrogen content and high extract, producing a rich malty flavor with exceptional brewhouse performance and beer clarity. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.2-3

Flavor Notes: Rich malty

Beer Styles: Cask ales, English-style bitters, premium all-rounder

Muntons English Pale Malt

Description: Muntons English pale malt is a fully modified base malt that can be used in a number of beers. It works best as a base in British- and American-style ales but can be used as part or all of the base for other beers as well, since it is easy to work with and has a great flavor. Pale malt is generally more highly kilned than standard two-row malt, and as a result it is slightly bready and has a richer flavor profile than two-row. (Great Fermentations)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Muntons

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.9-4.3

Flavor Notes: Slightly more bready and rich than standard American two-row

Beer Styles: Lighter pale ales and bitters, darker porters and stouts

Pale Ale Malt

Similar in name to the Pale Malt above, but slightly different. These malts are best for English-style pale ales, so they're a bit darker and a tad maltier.

BEST Pale Ale

Description: BEST Pale Ale is ideally suited as a base for numerous variants of Anglo-Saxon ales and many other beers where a fuller golden color and a tangier but also fuller-bodied taste are desired. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.3-3.1

Flavor Notes: Tangy, full-bodied taste

Beer Styles: Pale ale, kölsch, pilsner, and all other beer styles

BEST Pale Ale Malt

Description: For the principal ingredient in keg, bottle, or cask ales, Simpsons uses top-quality UK two-row barley to produce a plump, well-modified malt with good extract and enzymatic activity. The versatility of this base malt lends itself to balance hoppy beers and provides a robust malty note to a traditional bitter or Belgian-style beer. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.2-3

Flavor Notes: Rich malty

Beer Styles: Cask, keg, or bottled ales, porters and stouts, lagers, IPAs, SMaSH beers, all-rounder

Chȃteau Pale Ale Malt

Description: Usually used as a base malt or in combination with Pilsen 2RS malt to impart a richer malt flavor and additional color. Being deeper in color, this malt can add a golden hue to the wort. It is used with strong yeasts to produce amber and bitter beers. Château Pale Ale malt is kilned longer and is usually better modified, providing a more pronounced flavor than Pilsen 2RS. The enzymatic activity of Château Pale Ale Malt is sufficient when used with a large proportion of non-enzymatic specialty malts. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 3.5-5

Flavor Notes: Light biscuit notes

Beer Styles: Pale ale-style and bitter beers, most traditional English beer styles

Crisp Extra Pale Maris Otter®

Description: At Crisp they also malt a low-color (extra pale) version of the Maris Otter® barley. This was originally developed for low-color beer production in traditional breweries where a higher level of modification is demanded for both efficient extract delivery and good brewhouse performance. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5-1.9

Flavor Notes: Subtle sweetness, bold grainy aromas, balanced with malt bread notes

Beer Styles: Blonde, pale ales

Extra Pale Ale Malt

Description: Extra Pale Ale Malt is an excellent base malt for brewers who require a low-color, well-modified malt. The plump grains of UK two-row barley ensure uniformity and consistency as well as good extract and enzymatic activity. If you’re limited on base malt storage, Extra Pale Ale Malt doubles as a great light-colored base for both lagers and ales. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5-2.2

Flavor Notes: Rich malty

Beer Styles: Light-colored ales, lagers, all-rounder

Weyermann® Pale Ale Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Produces excellent lighter ales or top-fermented beers. This malt is particularly suitable for an isothermal mashing process. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.6-3.4

Flavor Notes: Fine notes of bread with hints of dried fruits and honey

Beer Styles: IPL, cream ale, British golden ale, Australian sparkling ale, Belgian pale ale, hazy pale ale, session pale ale, English IPA, American IPA, Belgian IPA, hazy IPA, session IPA, black IPA, ordinary bitter, best bitter, strong bitter, ESB, Irish red ale, American red ale, California common, English pale mild ale, dark mild, British brown ale, English dark mild ale, English and American porter, stout, imperial stout, scotch ale, English barleywine, British and American strong ale, Belgian dark strong ale, Belgian quadrupel

Melanoidin Malts (aka Vienna or Munich Malts)

A burlap sack of barley and grains
Photography courtesy of Brauwelt International

The name of this malt category is pretty self-explanatory. Malts in this category have a higher melanoidin content. These malts work great as a base for amber lagers or those with a sweeter, more caramel complexity.

Vienna malts tend to be lighter than Munich ones, which are darker, more roasted, and perfect for beers like Oktoberfest or märzen.

Avangard Vienna Malt

Description: Vienna Malt is the base malt for the famed Vienna lager and is also used in large proportion for many traditional German beers, such as bock and fest beers. It can contribute golden to light orange color to beer and may be used to lighten the body of beers where Munich malt is used as a majority of the grist. It contributes biscuit and malt flavor and character to beer. A wonderful base malt for many German beers, it has also found its way into many American pale ale and IPA recipes as a small portion of the grist. Vienna Malt can be used creatively in a number of beer styles (Great Fermentations)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Avangard

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.8

Flavor Notes: Biscuity, malty

Beer Styles: Vienna lager, American pale ale, American IPA, German beers

BEST Melanoidin

Description: Compared to BEST Melanoidin Light, BEST Melanoidin contains significantly more dextrins as well as aroma- and color-producing melanoidin compounds formed in a more intensive malting process. The malt is thus an excellent basis for particularly strong, dry, full-bodied and dark to chestnut-red beers. The fruity aromas, which are reminiscent of dried fruit, are also more pronounced than in BEST Melanoidin Light. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 23-31

Flavor Notes: Strong, dry, full-bodied, fruity aromas, dried fruit

Beer Styles: Dark and rust-colored beers like alt, märzen, bock beer, wheat beer, and other styles

BEST Melanoidin Light

Description: BEST Melanoidin Light is a malt characterized by a high content of dextrins and aroma- and color-intensive Maillard compounds, the so-called melanoidins. In addition to a russet color, these impart a special flavor and a dry, full-bodied character to the beer. Melanoidins can have a positive effect on the shelf life of the beer. Since the malt contains a high proportion of enzymes, high grain bill proportions can also be used without any problems. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 16-23

Flavor Notes: Dry, full-bodied character

Beer Styles: Dark and rust-colored beers like alt, märzen, bock beer, wheat beer, and other styles

BEST Munich Dark

Description: BEST Munich Dark yields intense, full-bodied beers with a pronounced malty body and a bright dark color. The special malting process results in high degrees of solution without loss of the positive sensory properties of the malt. The enzyme-rich malt can also be processed in high grain bill proportions without any problems and without compromises, mostly by reducing the mashing work in the lower temperature range. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 8.4-13.7

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malt

Beer Styles: Darker beer styles like alt, brown ale, dark ale, dark wheat, stout, dark lager, amber, and bock

BEST Munich Malt

Description: BEST Munich pleasantly enhances the full-bodied, malty taste in amber-colored to dark beers. Even with low grain bill proportions, a typical malty note is achieved in the beer. BEST Munich is thus perfectly suited for adding more body to beers with very high fermentation levels. Due to the generally higher protein content, the foam values of the beers brewed with it also improve with increasing grain bill proportion. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 5-7

Flavor Notes: Full-bodied, malty

Beer Styles: Base malt for dark beers, export, märzen, alt, wheat beer, bock, brown ale

BEST Red X®

Description: BEST Red X® has become synonymous with beers with a reddish color. It can be used as 100% of the grain bill and is thus ready for use without the addition of further malts. BEST Red X® ensures, with the highest possible process reliability and optimum processability, that reproducibly bright beers with intense red colors can be brewed. The malt was designed for a P12 beer. For stronger beers, due to the higher original wort content, some BEST Pilsner Malt should be added proportionally to the bulk to get back into the red range. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 11-13

Flavor Notes: Toasted bread, nuts

Beer Styles: Base malt for all red and red-tinted beers, amber-colored beers, red-tinted wheat beers, red-tinted alt, red ales, dark beer with a red tinge

BEST Vienna Malt

Description: The use of BEST Vienna results in a full golden beer color, excellent foaming, and a pleasant, full-bodied taste in the final beer. Unlike BEST Heidelberg, this malt uses two-row malting barley varieties that form more coloring substances during the malting process. The protein content is slightly higher than in a Pilsen malt from the same harvest, with comparable enzyme content and high extract values. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 3.5-4.2

Flavor Notes: Golden, full-bodied

Beer Styles: Export, märzen, porter, other beer styles

Chȃteau Munich Light

Description: Rich, golden malt. Provides a modest color increase toward a nice, golden-orange color. Adds a pronounced grainy malty flavor to many beer styles without affecting the foam stability and body. Is also used in small quantities in combination with Château Pilsen 2RS to produce light-color beers, improving the malty flavor and giving the beer a richer color. Enhances the taste of character beers. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 5.8-6.6

Flavor Notes: Rich, golden malty

Beer Styles: Pale ale, amber, brown, strong and dark beers, bocks

Chȃteau Melano

Description: Very aromatic, with intense malty flavor. Gives fullness and roundness to the beer color, improves flavor stability and promotes red color in your beer. Gives beer a fuller body. This specialty variety has been described as “turbo Munich.” (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 28.7-32.4

Flavor Notes: Rich, malty

Beer Styles: Amber and dark beers, Scottish and red-colored beers, Scottish ales, amber ales, red ales, and Irish ales

Chȃteau Melano Light

Description: Very aromatic, with intense malty flavor. Gives fullness and roundness to the beer color, improves flavor stability and promotes red color in your beer. Gives beer a fuller body. This specialty variety has been described as “turbo Munich.” (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 14.1-17.1

Flavor Notes: Rich, malty

Beer Styles: Amber and dark beers, Scottish and red-colored beers, Scottish ales, amber ales, red ales, and Irish ales

Chȃteau Vienna

Description: Imparts a richer flavor of malt and grain than Pilsen malt and adds subtle aromas of caramel and toffee. Château Vienna malt is kilned at slightly higher temperatures than Pilsen Malt. As a result, Château Vienna malt gives a deeper golden color to the beer, increasing at the same time its body and fullness. Due to the higher kilning temperature, the enzyme activity of Château Vienna malt is slightly lower than that of Pilsen Malt. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.1-3.2

Flavor Notes: Rich malt flavor with subtle aromas of caramel and toffee

Beer Styles: All beer styles, Vienna lager

Dingemans Munich Malt

Description: Dingemans Munich malt has a pronounced malty flavor, aroma, and an orange-amber color. It improves the character and full body of a beer. (BSG)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 4-7

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malty flavor and aroma

Beer Styles: Amber beers, ales, stouts, bock beers, lagers

Weyermann® Barke® Munich Malt

Description: Made from the finest two-row heirloom barley Barke®. The long-loved characteristic malt aroma of Barke® is the perfect base for intensely flavorful lager and ales. Suitable for aromatic dark beers of all styles, this malt helps to underline typical beer characteristics by amplifying the aroma. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 6.9-8.8

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malt aroma with notes of honey and pastries

Beer Styles: IPL, kellerbier, schwarzbier, imperial pilsner, dark doppelbock, alt, biere de gard, ESB, session pale ale, imperial red ale, American IPA, black IPA, session IPA, Baltic porter, porter, Russian imperial stout

Weyermann® Barke® Vienna Malt

Description: Made from the finest German two-row historic summer brewing barley Barke®. The long-loved characteristic malt aroma of Barke® is the perfect base for intensely flavorful bright lager beers. This malt brings gold-colored hues to the beer and promotes full-bodiedness. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.8-3.9

Flavor Notes: Intense malt-sweet; light toffee, honey, and nut notes

Beer Styles: Festbier, Vienna lager, IPL, rauchbier, American pale ale, Scottish ale, English pale mild ale, ESB, English dark mild ale, American IPA, red IPA, Baltic porter, porter, English barleywine

Weyermann® Melanoidin

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Due to Weyermann’s special manufacturing process, melanoidin malt can be used to intensify and stabilize the tasting profile and flavor in beer. The beer color is intensified and receives a dark red shine. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 23-31

Flavor Notes: Pronounced honey and biscuit notes

Beer Styles: Amber lager, märzen, kellerbier, rachbier, Munich dunkel, session pale ale, red IPA, session IPA, Irish red ale, Belgian dubbel, alt, English porter, English barleywine, American barleywine, Flanders red ale

Weyermann® Munich Type 1

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. The rich malt aroma and color of the malt are perfect for malt-forward and deeper-color beer styles. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 5.1-7

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malt aroma with notes of caramel, honey, and bread

Beer Styles: IPL, Munich dunkel, rauchbier, dark wheat, Belgian pale ale, alt, American IPA

Weyermann® Munich Type 2

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. The rich malt aroma and color of the malt are perfect for malt-forward and deeper-color beer styles. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 9.9

Flavor Notes: Pronounced malt aroma with notes of caramel, honey, and bread

Beer Styles: Festbier, märzen, smoked beer, Munich dunkel, Czech dark lager, schwarzbier, black IPA, biere de garde, British brown ale, Baltic porter, English porter, American porter, Russian imperial stout, Flanders red ale

Weyermann® Vienna Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Ideal for brewing gold-colored beers and promoting a full body in the beer. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.8-3.9

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet, light honey and nutty notes

Beer Styles: Festbier, kellerbier, IPL, Vienna lager, dark wheat, kölsch, Belgian pale ale, American IPA, red IPA, biere de garde, alt, Baltic porter, American barleywine, Flanders red ale

William Crisp Dark Munich Malt

Description: A magical thing happens when amino acids and reducing sugars combine at critical temperatures; the Maillard reaction. Starting with higher protein spring barley, Crisp Malt germinates to higher levels of modification then adjusts early kilning conditions to utilize the malt enzymes to hydrolyse protein and convert starch into sugars. Finally, a long drying phase with a higher temperature results in the Maillard reaction taking place to produce a pronounced rich malt, freshly baked bread crust, and the characteristic Munich bite at the back of the palate. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 20

Flavor Notes: Rich toasted bread aromas, balanced malty sweetness

Beer Styles: Dunkel, bock, doppelbock

William Crisp Light Munich Malt

Description: William Crisp Light Munich Malt is created by taking Vienna Malt a stage further in the kiln. The additional heat promotes melanoidin reactions to produce rich bread crust flavors. Again, Light Munich Malt can be used as a base since the enzymes are suitably preserved in this malt. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 5

Flavor Notes: Well-rounded flavors, forward spicy notes, delicate pastry aromas

Beer Styles: Märzen, maibock

Munich Malt

Description: Simpsons’ Munich Malt brings rich malty flavors and golden hues to light beers. If you’re struggling to bring up the mouthfeel in really hoppy keg beers, try adding a generous proportion of Munich Malt to your grist. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 7.3-9.9

Flavor Notes: Rich, malty

Beer Styles: Strong bitter, dark amber ale, brown ale and milds, British ales and bitters

Vienna Malt

Description: Simpsons’ Vienna Malt enhances the light color, flavor, and aroma of all light beers. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.4-4.3

Flavor Notes: Light, bready, malty notes

Beer Styles: Light ales, best bitters, Czech lagers, highly hopped IPA and American ales

Caramel Malts

Up close shot of caramel malts on a table cloth
Weyermann CARAaMBER® | Photography courtesy of Weyermann® Spezialmalze Weyermann® Specialty Malts, Bamberg, Germany

Whereas other malts are kilned, caramel malts roast the germinated grain (green malt) in a drum roaster, producing a malt that gives off a deeper gold color and candy-like sweetness.

Caramel/Crystal Malts

These types of malts add both color and flavor to a beer. They tend to run on a scale with the higher-numbered varieties being darker and more roasted. The lighter caramel malts are often used more as a base because the ones heated for longer can easily overwhelm a beer if not used in moderation.

BEST Caramel® Amber

Description: BEST Caramel® Amber is suitable for all strong, full-bodied and aroma-intensive beers where a lot of malt body is desired in the drink. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 23-31

Flavor Notes: Strong notes of dates and cookies

Beer Styles: Märzen, wheat beers, bock, amber ale, amber lager, amber-colored and dark beer styles

BEST Caramel® Aromatic

Description: BEST Caramel® Aroma brings increasingly strong malty aromatic and caramel flavor notes into the beer, which also lead to a darker beer color. The malt is still excellent to process, so that high proportions can be used in the grain bill. In addition, it has a positive effect on the foam. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 16-23

Flavor Notes: Dark, strong caramel with light almond and nutty notes

Beer Styles: Wheat beers, bock, alt, porter, amber, and darker beer styles

BEST Caramel® Hell

Description: BEST Caramel® Hell intensifies the typical caramel malt aroma of the beer and leads to a full-bodiedness reminiscent of honey and cream caramel. The beer color shifts toward golden yellow to amber, depending on the proportion in the grain bill. Foam and flavor stability are also increased. The gentle caramelization process is the basis for this outstanding specialty malt. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 8-16

Flavor Notes: Strong caramel and honey

Beer Styles: Helles, märzen, wheat beers, light beers, golden to amber-colored beer styles

BEST Caramel® Munich I

Description: BEST Caramel® Munich I is the lightest caramel malt in the BEST Caramel® Munich line. The malt aroma changes with increasing color depth of the products noticeably from caramel-sweetish towards nutty and reminiscent of almonds as well as slightly toasted bread crust. With the BEST Caramel® Munich line, rich and dark colors can be produced in the beer even with low proportions in the grain bill. Due to the special caramelization process, a very uniform caramel formation in the grain is achieved. This facilitates the brewing process and contributes to a pleasant aroma profile of the resulting beers. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 31-38

Flavor Notes: Almonds, caramel, slightly toasted bread crust

Beer Styles: Alt, märzen, wheat beers, bock, and all dark beer styles

BEST Caramel® Munich II

Description: BEST Caramel® Munich II marks the center of the BEST Caramel® Munich line in terms of color. In addition to the darker color, the aroma components reminiscent of almond and bread crust also increase. Subtle toasty notes complement the profile. Due to the special caramelization process, a very uniform caramel formation in the grain is achieved. This facilitates the brewing process and contributes to a pleasant aroma profile of the resulting beers. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 42-49

Flavor Notes: Almond and bread crust, toasty

Beer Styles: Märzen, wheat beer, bock, dark beer styles

BEST Caramel® Munich III

Description: BEST Caramel® Munich III is the darkest caramel malt from the BEST Caramel® Munich line. With this malt, even with low proportions on the grain bill, it is possible to brew strong dark beers and all types of dark specialty beers where value is placed on a full, round taste reminiscent of bread crust. The pleasantly toasty aroma components stand out clearly depending on the grain bill proportion. Due to the special caramelization process, a very uniform caramel formation in the grain is achieved. This facilitates the brewing process and contributes to a pleasant aroma profile of the resulting beers. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 50-76

Flavor Notes: Bread crusty, caramel, toast, roasty

Beer Styles: Märzen, wheat beers, bock, all beer styles with strong, dark color

BEST Carame®l Pils

Description: BEST Caramel® Pils is the lightest of all BEST Caramel® malts and is therefore particularly suitable for providing beers with more full-bodiedness without intensifying their color. Sensorially, the use of BEST Caramel® Pils leads to a sweet taste component in the beer reminiscent of honey, as the sugar-like caramel compounds contained can no longer be fermented by the yeast. The product can also lead to an improvement in foam retention and longer flavor stability. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-3.1

Flavor Notes: Honey

Beer Styles: Pilsner, helles, lager, kölsch, export, wheat beers light beers, all pale beer styles

BEST Special X®

Description: BEST Special X® is a dark caramel malt that has undergone a short roasting. This develops a very intense, extraordinary flavor profile. At a maximum usage rate of 20%, a bright chestnut red to chestnut brown color is achieved in a P12 beer. Even in low grain bill proportions, the malt is excellent for supporting the overall body of dark beers and makes the taste experience more complex and interesting. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-3.1

Flavor Notes: Dark Honey, roasted nuts, chestnut, dark caramel

Beer Styles: Alt, bock, schwarzbier, malt beers, Belgian styles like abbey and Trappist beer, British styles like amber beers, dark ales, porters, and stouts

Chateau Cara Blonde®

Description: Château Cara Blonde® imparts a mild caramel-sweet aroma adding golden color to beer. A distinguishing characteristic of all caramel malts is glassiness. This glassy endosperm creates the desirable non-fermentable components that give true caramel malt the ability to contribute mouthfeel, head, head retention, and extended beer stability. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 6-9.6

Flavor Notes: Mild caramel-sweet aroma

Beer Styles: Light lagers, light ales, white beers

Chateau Cara Gold®

Description: Château Cara Gold® malt imparts a strong caramel-sweet aroma and unique toffee-like and brown sugar flavor, adding a rich amber color to beer. A distinguishing characteristic of all caramel malts is glassiness. This glassy endosperm creates the desirable non-fermentable components that give true caramel malt the ability to contribute mouthfeel, head, head retention, and extended beer stability. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 41.8-49.3

Flavor Notes: Caramel-sweet aroma, toffee and brown sugar notes

Beer Styles: Brown and dark beers

Chateau Cara Ruby®

Description: Château Cara Ruby® malt imparts a rich caramel-sweet aroma and a toffee-like flavor, adding light amber to reddish color to beer. A distinguishing characteristic of all caramel malts is glassiness. This glassy endosperm creates the desirable non-fermentable components that give true caramel malt the ability to contribute mouthfeel, head, head retention, and extended beer stability. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 17.4-21.2

Flavor Notes: Caramel-sweet aroma, toffee

Beer Styles: Brown ales, bock, Scottish ales

Chateau Special Belgium

Description: Used to produce a deep red to dark brown-black color and fuller body. Unique flavor and aroma. Gives much color and raisin-like flavor. Imparts a rich malty taste and a hint of nut and plum flavor. May substitute Chocolate and Black malt if bitterness is not desired. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 98.1-120.6

Flavor Notes: Rich, malty, raisin, nut, and plum

Beer Styles: Abbey ales, dubbel, porter, brown ale, doppelbock

Crystal Dark

Description: With Simpsons’ Crystal Dark, they get into the delicious realms of complex toffee and burnt sugar, but without the astringency of roasted malt. Their unique roasting process allows us to produce exceptional uniformity in each batch, ensuring each grain of malt is perfectly crystallized. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 94.3-107.5

Flavor Notes: Burnt caramel, toffee, raisins

Beer Styles: Dark ales, brown ale, red ale, dark mild, scotch ales

Crystal Extra Dark

Description: The beautiful rich brown of the grain gives an insight to the exquisite dried fruit and burnt sugar flavors that are imparted by this expertly crafted dark crystal. Used in small amounts, Crystal Extra Dark will help balance flavor and color in dark beers whilst enhancing head retention. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 150-165

Flavor Notes: Raisins, Christmas cake

Beer Styles: Stout, ESB, porter

Crystal Light

Description: Simpsons’ Crystal Light brings mild caramel and toffee flavors to beers, whilst contributing a beautiful golden hue. Its clean, mild sweetness brings depth of flavor where extra body is required, without adding overtly toasted or roasted characters. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 36.2-42.9

Flavor Notes: Mild caramel and toffee, biscuit, caramel, dried fruit (apricots), nutty

Beer Styles: IPA, best bitter, brown ale

Crystal Medium

Description: Caramel and toffee notes come to the forefront in Simpsons’ Crystal Medium. Their expert roasters use their skills to bring you a crystal that adds stunning deep golden and red hues to your beer whilst imparting deeper caramel notes. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 63.2-71.8

Flavor Notes: Pronounced caramel, toffee sweetness

Beer Styles: Pale ale, bitter, brown ale, porter

Crystal T50™

Description: The secret to Simpsons’ Crystal T50 is in the name. Each batch targets 50 Lovibond colors (130EBC). The specification on Crystal T50 was created with one of Simpsons’ most acclaimed clients in mind. With an exceptionally tight consistency—it’s a fantastic crystal that crunches in the mouth offering. Crystal T50 provides amazing color and delicate malty flavors to beer. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 48-53

Flavor Notes: Delicate malty notes, honey, slight toffee

Beer Styles: IPA, pale ale, bitters

William Crisp Crystal 60L

Description: William Crisp Crystal 60L begins to bring forth deeper colors like copper, amber, and even ruby. While assisting with mouthfeel, head retention, and body, this malt also imparts significant sweet and caramel flavors. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 55-65

Flavor Notes: Caramel sweetness

Beer Styles: While appropriate for all English Ale styles, this malt is also suitable for American IPAs, browns, and other medium to dark beer styles

Dingemans Cara 8

Description: Dingemans Cara 8 is a very light crystal/caramel malt produced in a drum roaster. Its unique flavor is achieved through caramelization and low drying temperatures. Adding Cara 8 increases the foam stability of your beers. Thanks to its light color, it can even be used in low percentages in pilsners and other pale beer styles to improve the foam stability and add full-bodied flavor to the beer. (BSG)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 6.9-10.7

Flavor Notes: Light caramel sweetness

Beer Styles: Pale ale, golden ale, light beer, pilsner

Dingemans Cara 20

Description: Dingemans Cara 20 is a light crystal/caramel malt used by many traditional Belgian breweries in abbey-style beers. Due to the caramelisation and low drying temperatures, its specific taste is achieved. (BSG)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 19-27

Flavor Notes: Darker caramel sweetness

Beer Styles: Belgian abbey beers, pale ale, golden ale

Weyermann® CARAAMBER®

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Due to Weyermann’s special manufacturing process CARAAMBER® improves the stability and refines the taste in the beer. It intensifies the beer color and lends the beer a dark red shine. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 23-31

Flavor Notes: Toffee, caramel, bread notes

Beer Styles: Session pale ale, amber lager, red IPA, session IPA, best bitter, strong bitter, dark mild, American brown ale, London brown ale, Baltic porter, Scotch ale, Flanders red ale, oud bruin

Weyermann® CARAAROMA®

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Due to Weyermann’s special malting process, this malt has a unique and distinct aroma. It is characterized by the greatest possible aroma complexity and serves to intensify and to stabilize beer flavor and taste. The beer color is well-rounded and receives a reddish shine. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 131-169

Flavor Notes: Roasted aromas, notes of roasted nuts, dark caramel, and dried fruit

Beer Styles: Dark lager, American red ale, dark mild, British brown ale, American brown ale, English porter, smoked porter, American porter, oatmeal stout, stout, Russian imperial stout, barleywine

Weyermann® CARABOHEMIAN®

Description: Made from the finest Bohemian quality brewing barley. By intensifying the caramelization process, an increase in the malt color and the dark caramel notes is achieved in this malt. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 64-83

Flavor Notes: Bread, caramel, and toffee notes

Beer Styles: Bohemian pilsner, Czech amber lager, Czech dark lager, bock, English porter, foreign extra stout, barleywine

Weyermann® CARAFOAM®

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Due to Weyermann’s special malting process, this malt is characterized by a high proportion of dextrins and high molecular weight proteins. This makes CARAFOAM® ideal for improving foam and its stability as well as adding body to any beer. Due to the light malt color, CARAFOAM® can be used universally from the brightest to darkest beer styles. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.5-2

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet with light caramel notes

Beer Styles: American light lager, helles, kölsch, German pilsner, pre-Prohibition lager, American pilsner, cream ale, British golden ale, blonde ale, session pale ale, American IPA, DIPA, session IPA, Belgian golden strong ale, fruit lambic, gose, gueuze

Weyermann® CARAHELL®

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Weyermann’s special manufacturing process achieves almost complete caramelization of the grain. CARAHELL® helps to improve foam and its stability and helps improve the mouthfeel of any beer. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 8.1-11.8

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet, fine caramel notes

Beer Styles: Munich helles, kellerbier, IPL, rauchbier, märzen, cream ale, session pale ale, British golden ale, English, American, Belgian and double IPA, session IPA, black IPA, ordinary bitter, English pale mild ale, English dark mild ale, Belgian golden strong ale, weissbier, hefeweizen, gose

Weyermann® CARAMUNICH® Type 2

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Due to Weyermann’s special caramelization process, a complete caramelization within the grain is achieved. This malt is perfect for amber to dark copper-colored beers and intensifies the malt body. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 42-49

Flavor Notes: Pronounced caramel aroma with pastry notes

Beer Styles: Märzen, smoked beer, kellerbier, rauchbier, schwarzbier, weizenbock, English pale mild ale, English dark mild ale, British strong ale, Irish stout, oatmeal stout, Russian imperial stout, chocolate porter, smoked porter, imperial porter

Weyermann® CARARED®

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Thanks to our special manufacturing process this malt develops its typical aroma which serves to intensify and stabilize the taste profile in various beers. The beer color is intensified and can develop into an orange-red shine. For a deep red beer, we recommend a combination of CARARED® with Melanoidin malt. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 16-23

Flavor Notes: Malty-sweet with notes of caramel, honey and pastry

Beer Styles: Vienna lager, American pale ale, red IPA, DIPA, ordinary bitter, American red ale, Irish red ale, English pale mild ale, dark mild, London brown ale, Baltic porter, weissbier, smoked wheat beer, Flanders red ale

Weyermann® CARARYE®

Description: Made from the finest German quality rye. Due to the special caramelization process, an intense and complex aroma profile is created within this malt. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyerman

Type: Caramel/Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 57-76

Flavor Notes: Intense aroma of bread, coffee, dark chocolate, and dried fruit; creates a velvety-soft mouthfeel

Beer Styles: Rye IPA, juicy IPA, hazy IPA, NEIPA, German rye beer, Russian imperial stout, multigrain beer, Kvass

William Crisp Crystal 77L

Description: William Crisp Crystal 77L edges toward a darker crystal malt, perfect for imparting colors of deep golden to dark red; right in line with amber ales or hoppy red IPAs, but suitable for anything teetering towards “dark.” Notes of caramel sweetness come through, while head retention, mouthfeel, and body are also assisted. The longer kilning of this malt also imparts some roasty notes within the malty sweetness. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 70-80

Flavor Notes: Roasty notes and malt sweetness

Beer Styles: Suitable for anything closer to “dark” such as amber ales and hoppy red ales

William Crisp Crystal Extra Dark 120L

Description: William Crisp Crystal Extra Dark 120L is a very dark crystal malt providing deep amber color. This malt also imparts some unique flavors like caramelized sugar and notes reminiscent of dark fruits. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 110-130

Flavor Notes: Caramelized sugar, dark fruits

Beer Styles: Perfect for bigger, dark beers of English and American lineage

William Crisp Crystal Light 45L

Description: Provides sweet, caramel flavors and a golden hue. William Crisp Crystal Light 45L brings more color, more sweetness, and hints of caramel to the table. Much like other crystal malts, it also helps with head retention, mouthfeel, and body. This malt goes a long way. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 40-50

Flavor Notes: Sweetness, caramel

Beer Styles: American pale ales, English ales, and American and English IPAs

Special Hybrid Malts

Similar to caramel/crystal malts, but a combination of both caramelizing and roasting, special hybrid malts have an added layer of complexity. Tasting notes often include sweet biscuit but also dried fruit.

Special B® MD

Description: Dingemans’ Special B® MD is the darkest of the caramel malts. Thanks to a unique double drying process, Special B® MD gets its unique aroma and flavor. Special B® malt has an intense caramel flavor and is often connected to the raisin-like flavor of some Belgian abbey beers. (Dingemans)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Crystal

Color Range (Lovibond): 140-155

Flavor Notes: Raisin, dried fruit

Beer Styles: Abbey beers, sout, rye beer, porter, barleywine, Flemish old brown, dark ale, Belgian quadrupel, Belgian brown

Roasted Malts

An up close shot of dark, roasted malts
BEST Chocolate Malt | Photography courtesy of BestMalz

Made through roasting (hence the name) pale malts, this variety produces a grain that imparts drier, more bitter flavors. Although some might also say roasted malts give off a bit of cocoa too.

Biscuit Malt

Known for an assertive biscuit flavor (again hence the name), biscuit malt gets kilned pretty high (440° F/227° C).

Biscuit® 50 MD

Description: Biscuit® 50 MD is the lightest of Dingemans’ roasted malts and is produced in the roasting drum. By immediately starting to roast the malt, it gets distinctive flavors and aromas of warm bread and cookies as well as its distinct brown color. (Dingemans)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 18-27

Flavor Notes: Warm bread and cookies

Beer Styles: Abbey beers, stout, porter, barleywine, Flemish old brown, dark ale, Belgian quadrupel, Belgian brown

Chȃteau Biscuit®

Description: Château Biscuit® malt produces a very pronounced "toasty" finish in the beer. Imparts a warm bread and biscuit-like aroma and flavor. Promotes a light to medium warm brown color of the mash. This malt is used to improve the roasted flavor and aroma that characterize ales and lagers, lending the subtle properties of black and chocolate malts. No enzymes. Must be mashed with malts having a surplus of diastatic power. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 17.4-21.2

Flavor Notes: Warm bread and biscuit

Beer Styles: English ales, brown ale, porter

Amber Malt

Following the English tradition of drum roasting, amber malts are less dry than biscuit malts. Flavor notes typically include baked bread, toffee, and nuts.

Amber Malt

Description: Perhaps the most versatile of all Simpsons’ roasted products, Simpsons’ Amber Malt can be used in a wide variety of beers to add biscuity toasty notes and a beautiful brown hue. Its delicate roast flavor makes it suitable for adding toasty notes to all dark beers, as well as lighter ales and lagers. Amber Malt brings a clean, crisp dryness to balance delicate floral hops and increases foam stability. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 20.8-27.2

Flavor Notes: Dry, biscuit

Beer Styles: California common, stout, extra stout, export, best bitter, dark lager

William Crisp Amber Malt

Description: Crisp amber malt is a very unique malt that contributes a warm, toasty character to beers that has been described as toasty, biscuit, and slightly nutty, with undertones of coffee hovering on the tongue that can come off as somewhat dry. It is an excellent malt to use in amber and darker beers to add an extra layer of complexity to the beer's overall flavor profile. It can add an amber or orange color as well, and as such it is often used well in British beers. The combination of color and flavor contributions of Amber malt blend well in British styles, but this may be used as a specialty grain in other styles as well. (Great Fermentations)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 23-35

Flavor Notes: Toasty, biscuit, slightly nutty, coffee

Beer Styles: British styles, amber and darker beers

Brown Malt

This variety is simply an amber malt that has been drum roasted a bit longer. Can give an added layer of depth to darker beers if used sparingly.

Brown Malt

Description: Simpsons’ Brown Malt imparts a rich coffee aroma ideal for stouts and porters. It delivers a smooth mouthfeel as well as increases foam stability. The hue is a deep mahogany that brings warmth and depth to dark beers. Often a forgotten malt. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 161.8-225.6

Flavor Notes: Coffee beans

Beer Styles: London porter, mild to dark Belgian styles, brown ale

Château Monastique

Description: Château Monastique malt is a more toasted form of pale malt which gives a strong taste of baked bread, nuts, and fruit. Château Monastique malt has a bitter flavor that mellows on aging and can be quite intensely flavored. It is a malt that is typically used as a small proportion of the grist in the production of beers requiring some substantial depth of color. (Malteurop)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Color

Color Range (Lovibond): 15.9-18.9

Flavor Notes: Baked bread, nuts, and fruit

Beer Styles: Pale ale beers, abbey beers, brown ales, porter and special beers, diverse range of British beers

William Crisp Brown Malt

Description: The next stage up from William Crisp Amber Malt is William Crisp Brown Malt. The color is produced in the same manner as Amber, but it is roasted for that bit longer to give a nutty roast dryness with a light brown hue, perfect for brown ales and milds. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Roasted

Color Range (Lovibond): 60-70

Flavor Notes: Lightly roasted, milky coffee, hints of sweet pastries

Beer Styles: Old ales, mild ales, brown ale, bitters, dark ales, porter

Chocolate Malt

This one is a bit of a misnomer actually. Cocoa malt might have been better because chocolate malt gives more of a bitter cocoa flavor than the straight-up milk chocolate.

BEST Chocolate

Description: BEST Chocolate provides an ideal gateway to the world of brewing with roasted malts. Due to the gentle roasting process, noticeably bitter flavors are largely avoided, which can also be demonstrated by the comparatively very low pyrazine levels. This means that BEST Chocolate can also be used to brew very pleasant dark to black beers with malt bill percentages of up to 10%, without these beers developing a bitter astringency. The foam of the beer remains light. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 300-380

Flavor Notes: Mild roasted and coffee

Beer Styles: For all beer styles to intensify color, schwarzbier, bocks, alt, brown ale, porter, brown beers, stouts, and other dark to black beer styles

Château Chocolat

Description: Château Chocolat malt is a highly roasted malt with a deep brown color. This is where its name comes from. Château Chocolat malt is used to adjust the color of beer and imparts a nutty, toasted flavor. Château Chocolat malt shares many of the characteristics of Black Malt but provides a less bitter flavor than Black Malt and is lighter than Black, because it is roasted for a slightly shorter period of time and the end temperatures are not so high. (Castle Malting)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 300.6-375.6

Flavor Notes: Nutty, toasted

Beer Styles: Brown, strong, darker, and black beers like porters, stouts, and brown ales

Chocolate Malt

Description: Simpsons’ Chocolate Malt gives beer a stunning dark brown color. Chocolate overtones and hints of coffee bring richness and complexity at higher usages in stouts and porters. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 400.7-488.1

Flavor Notes: Dark chocolate, coffee

Beer Styles: Winter warmers, porter, stout, dark mild, bock

Dingemans Chocolate Malt

Description: Dingemans Chocolate Malt is roasted at high temperatures and afterwards rapidly cooled when the desired color is achieved. As a result, this malt gives the beer a roasty, chocolate aroma and dark color. Due to Dingemans’ unique production methods, their roasted malts are less astringent. (BSG)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 300-375

Flavor Notes: Roasty aroma

Beer Styles: Dark specialty beers, double abbey beer, stout, dark ales, bock beers, Belgian quadrupel

William Crisp Chocolate Malt

Description: Chocolate Malt, also known as Coffee Malt, shares many of the characteristics of Black Malt, but because it is roasted for a shorter period of time and to a lower final temperature, it lacks the astringency of Black Malt. Its main use is in darker beers that require a depth of color to tend the eye and entice the palate. Chocolate (Coffee) Malt has been used in Irish stout for years and the marriage of Chocolate (Coffee) Malt and Roasted Barley in varying proportions can give rise to a range of flavors from sweet and mellow to acrid and bitter. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 425-475

Flavor Notes: Rich roasted aromas, top notes of espresso coffee, undertones of black pepper and toasted nuts

Beer Styles: Stouts, porters, strong mild

William Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt

Description: William Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt is a light-roasted specialty malt. Lighter in color and milder in taste than regular chocolate malt, Pale Chocolate has the nutty malt flavor of lighter toasted grains, but also some of the heavier flavor of darker roasted malt. Small quantities can be used to add color to dark beers. Larger quantities will add strong flavor and color, excellent in porters, browns, and stouts. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 200-250

Flavor Notes: Subtle notes of coffee, cocoa, and chocolate

Beer Styles: Porters, browns, and stouts

Weyermann® CARAFA® Type 1

Description: Made from the finest quality brewing barley. Gently roasted, the CARAFA® series of malts is characterized by its high color intensity and unique roasting aromas. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 300-375

Flavor Notes: Finely roasted aromatic coffee, cocoa, and dark chocolate

Beer Styles: Weissbier, dunkel weizen, weizenbock, altbier, British brown ale, American brown ale, British strong ale, pre-Prohibition porter, oatmeal stout

Weyermann® CARAFA® Type 2

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Gently roasted, the CARAFA® series of malts is characterized by its high color intensity and unique roasting aromas. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 431-450

Flavor Notes: Roasty, coffee, cocoa, and dark chocolate

Beer Styles: English dark mild ale, English porter, Irish stout, American stout

Weyermann® CARAFA® Type 3

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Gently roasted, the CARAFA® series of malts is characterized by its high color intensity and unique roasting aromas. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 488-563

Flavor Notes: Roasty, coffee, cocoa, and dark chocolate

Beer Styles: American porter, foreign extra stout, imperial stout, Russian imperial stout

Weyermann® Chocolate Wheat Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality wheat. Gently roasted, this malt has a high color intensity and aroma. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 338-451

Flavor Notes: Intensive dark chocolate notes, coffee and bread

Beer Styles: Baltic porter, American porter, chocolate porter, foreign extra stout, imperial stout, Russian imperial stout, altbier, Black IPA, weizenbock

Black Malt

A very interesting breed, black malt actually adds a great dark color without the astringency you would associate with a brown or amber malt. Styles like Irish dry stouts or simply a stout you don’t want to be too heavy or bold are perfect for black malt.

Belgian De-bittered Black Malt

Description: Dingemans De-bittered Black is roasted at high temperature and afterwards rapidly cooled when the desired color is achieved. As a result, this malt gives the beer a roasty aroma and dark color. At high percentages it provides a smokey/burnt flavor to stouts, porters, and other dark beers. Due to their unique production methods their roasted malts are less astringent. (BSG)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Dingemans

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (SRM): 661-761

Flavor Notes: Roasty

Beer Styles: Dark special beers, stout, dark ales, bock beers

BEST Black Malt

Description: BEST Black Malt is roasted more intensively than BEST Chocolate and is ideally suited for very dark to black beers that should have a pleasant roasted note. Depending on the amount used, flavor profiles of bitter chocolate and mild to strong coffee are achieved in the beer. Despite the more intensive roasting process, the gentle method avoids astringent, unpleasantly bitter flavor notes. This is reflected in comparatively low pyrazine levels. The foam also remains consistently bright. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 415-450

Flavor Notes: Mild roast, coffee

Beer Styles: Schwarzbier, bock, alt, brown ale, porter, and other dark to black beer styles

BEST Black Malt eXtra

Description: BEST Black Malt eXtra is the darkest malt from the BEST roasted malt line. The intensive roasting process produces color and aroma components that impart a black to jet-black color and a note of black coffee or strong espresso to the beer, depending on the amount used. Despite the use of BEST Black Malt eXtra, the beer foam will remain light. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 490-529

Flavor Notes: Black coffee, strong espresso

Beer Styles: Schwarzbier, bock, alt, brown ale, porter, and other dark to deep black beer styles

Black (Patent) Malt

Description: Simpsons’ Black Malt is excellent for darkening beer color without imparting too much astringency or roast characteristics. The flavor is surprisingly neutral, with a clean dryness that makes it an incredibly versatile product. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 538-713.1

Flavor Notes: Intense, rich, dark, cocoa, neutral

Beer Styles: Porter, London brown ale, black hoppy beers, and black lager

Chȃteau Black

Description: Chateau Black enhances the aroma of character beers by producing a more astringent flavor than other colored malts. Imparts a slight burnt or smoky flavor. (Malteurop)

Origin: Belgium

Manufacturer: Castle Malting

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 431.8-525.6

Flavor Notes: Slightly burnt or smoky flavor

Beer Styles: Porters, stouts

William Crisp Black Malt

Description: William Crisp Black Malt is a roasted specialty malt. This dark malt is used in smaller quantities to add color. Flavor contributions are very subtle when used in smaller amounts. Black Malt is well suited for stouts, or even as a malt to modify color on a schwarzbier. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 580-630

Flavor Notes: Full, rich flavor for dark beer styles

Beer Styles: Stouts and schwarzbier

Roasted Barley

Although not technically a malt, roasted barley does add a nice layer of nuttiness or roastiness to a beer.

BEST Roasted Barley

Description: BEST Roasted Barley bestows the beer with a characteristically dark depth of color. Depending on the grain bill proportion, it complements the flavor profile of the beer with intense roasted notes and bitter aromas reminiscent of strong black coffee or Italian espresso. The foam stability of the beer is also significantly improved. The barley is roasted directly without malting. Therefore, its use for beer production does not comply with the German Purity Law. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 450-530

Flavor Notes: Intense roasted notes, strong black coffee, Italian espresso

Beer Styles: Dark and bitter stouts (Irish and Scottish), schwarzbier, dark beers, dark bocks, brown ales, porter, and many others

Roasted Barley

Description: Roasted Barley is a typical ingredient of dry Irish Stouts. Although the color specification is very similar to Black Malt, Roasted Barley has an intense roasted coffee flavor that bestows a deep, dark color with flavors to match. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 488.1-713.1

Flavor Notes: Coffee beans

Beer Styles: Irish stout, heavy, imperial stout

Weyermann® Roasted Barley

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. The roasted barley is characterized by intense coloring power and the most intense roasting aroma. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 375-450

Flavor Notes: Intense roasting with coffee notes

Beer Styles: American porter, Baltic porter, Irish stout, imperial stout, Russian imperial stout

William Crisp Roasted Barley

Description: Roasted Barley is Crisp Malt’s darkest grain and it is made from unmalted barley. The color produced can be almost opaque and the flavor is similar to a dark, bitter roast coffee. In stouts a combination of Chocolate, Black Malt and Roast Barley gives excellent complexity and balance. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Roasted Malt

Color Range (Lovibond): 550-560

Flavor Notes: Deeply roasted, prominent smoky aromas, subtle bitterness

Beer Styles: Stouts

Special Process/Specialty Malts

An image of smoked malts being produced
Smoked malt | Photography courtesy of Ritch Mavrin | Brewpublic

Again the name really says it all here. Maltsters use special processes to give these malts a certain edge. But be careful! For this reason, special process or specialty malts tend to be pretty expensive.

Acidulated Malt

Basically, these kinds of malts add acid to beer. To make acidulated malt, maltsters spray sour wort over the germinating barley. This is pretty powerful stuff, so you really need to dial in your recipe if you’re using it.

BEST Acidulated Malt

Description: BEST Acidulated Malt is used to optimize the pH value in the mash when the brewing water is not entirely optimal. This leads to higher enzyme activity in the mash and thus to a higher yield as well as better flavor stability. The colors of the worts become brighter and the aroma of the beer more balanced. The amount used and its effect on the pH shift in the mash should be determined by preliminary tests. The pH value of the wort and beer is not usually reduced, as more buffer substances are also formed as a result of the improved mass transfer. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 3.5-4.5

Flavor Notes: Sour

Beer Styles: All beer styles for optimizing pH levels in the mash

Weyermann® Acidulated Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley. Contains natural lactic acid derived from un-hopped beer wort. Important ingredient to adjust the mash—and thus wort—pH. Contributes to the optimization of the mash conversion. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Specialty

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.-2.3

Flavor Notes: Fruity-acidic

Beer Styles: Sour beers

Dextrin-Style

Typically, lighter malts made with special processes

Dextrin Malt

Description: A handy little tool to keep up your sleeve, Dextrin Malt can be used sparingly to add body, mouthfeel, and foam stability to any beer. Particularly useful in very light, hop-forward IPAs to balance bitterness, it’s great in lower attenuated sweet beers, such as mild and sweet stout. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Specialty

Color Range (Lovibond): 1-1.2

Flavor Notes: Mouthfeel and foam

Beer Styles: Dark, mild, and sweet stouts

Smoked Malt

The green malt is dried over a fire to impart a distinctive smoky flavor. The world is a maltster’s wood here as pretty much any type of wood can be used for a unique palette. This can be a polarizing malt because some people love its smoky characteristics, while others hate them. Quick note here: You can also find a substyle of smoked malt called peated malts that feature germinated and green malt smoked with peat.

BEST Peated Malt

Description: BEST Peated is smoked over a turf fire using the best available peat. The smoke imparts a strong smoky, phenolic flavor, which is reflected in the malt aroma. Brewers can use up to 100% in the grain bill. Depending on the composition and intensity in the grain bill, this malt generates a light to intense peaty aroma and an earthy flavor. It is made using high-quality summer barley. BEST Peated complies with the purity guidelines of the German Reinheitsgebot. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Specialty

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-3.5

Flavor Notes: Light to intense peaty aroma and earthy flavors

Beer Styles: For beers with smoky notes as well as for lager, wheat beers, porter, bock, and distillates (whisky)

BEST Smoked Malt

Description: BEST Smoked Malt is smoked over beech wood from the Franconian Jura and imparts to the beer the typical flavor reminiscent of campfires and smoked ham. The malt is ideal for both beer and whiskey production.(BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Specialty

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-3.5

Flavor Notes: Smoky

Beer Styles: Base malt for beers with smoky note as well as lager, wheat beers, porter, bocks, and distillates (whisky)

Weyermann® Beech Smoked Barley Malt

Description: Made from the finest German quality brewing barley malted in Bamberg, the capital of smoked beers. The strong beech wood smoke gives this malt its unmistakable flavor, hence being the ideal ingredient to perfect any aroma-intensive beer style. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Specialty

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.7-2.8

Flavor Notes: Pronounced smoke aroma, malty-sweet, vanilla and honey notes

Beer Styles: Rauchbier, kellerbier, märzen, dark wheat, old ale, smoked porter, sahti

Non-Barley Malts

Wheat grain bushel on a dark wooden background
Photography courtesy of Gaelle Marcel | Unsplash

There are plenty of grains out there other than barley that are perfect for beer along with various ways to process them. We’ll do our best to outline the different types and some examples here.

Wheat Malt

Made from wheat. A higher protein content gives these malts a very iconic bread-based profile. Brewers say wheat malt can be more difficult to use.

BEST Heidelberg Wheat Malt

Description: BEST Heidelberg Wheat Malt is a particularly light malt and emphasizes the tangy freshness as well as the typical top-fermented wheat beer taste. BEST Heidelberg Wheat Malt is produced from high-quality brewing wheat varieties that have only a limited tendency to color during the malting process. Due to the raw materials used, the protein content is somewhat more moderate than in BEST Wheat Malt. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Speciality/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.4-1.8

Flavor Notes: Wheaty

Beer Styles: Pale wheat beers, pale top-fermented beers

BEST Wheat Malt

Description: BEST Wheat Malt is the base malt for all wheat beer varieties. It ensures tangy freshness and the typical top-fermented wheat beer taste. It is produced exclusively from high-quality brewing wheat. Compared to BEST Pilsen Malt, the wheat malt has a higher protein content and is therefore suitable for increasing the full-bodiedness and improving the foam in top-fermented beer specialties. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Speciality/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.8-2.7

Flavor Notes: Tangy, fresh

Beer Styles: Wheat beers, top-fermented beers, kölsch, and many more

BEST Wheat Malt Dark

Description: BEST Wheat Malt Dark is the dark or “Munich variant” of BEST Wheat Malt. It is suitable for use in sparkling, amber, and dark wheat beers as well as in top-fermented beer specialties. Due to the more intensive malting process, BEST Wheat Malt Dark achieves a fuller, maltier body in the beer in combination with richer bright colors. Compared to a barley malt of comparable color, the aroma profile is somewhat more intensely fruity to floral, and the foam is improved by fine pores and longer shelf life. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Speciality/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 6.5-8

Flavor Notes: Full, maltiness, fruity to floral aromas

Beer Styles: Dark wheat beers, dark top-fermented beers

Weyermann® Wheat Malt Pale

Description: Made from the finest German quality wheat, this malt provides the perfect base for light wheat beers and other top-fermented beer specialties. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Speciality

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.7-2.4

Flavor Notes: Bread, nut, biscuit, toffee, and light caramel notes

Beer Styles: American wheat, weizenbock, gueuze, witbier, gose, Berliner weiss, lambic, sathi, blonde ale, summer ale, juicy pale ale, hazy pale ale, hazy IPA, NEIPA, wheat wine

Wheat Malt

Description: Wheat malt can be added at 5% to most light beers to increase foam stability without affecting haze or flavor. Used at up to 70% as a base malt for wheat beer, it imparts a bready flavor and characteristic citrus notes. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Speciality/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.3-2.8

Flavor Notes: Citrus, bready

Beer Styles: Bitters, scotch ale, white IPA, wheat beers

Rye Malt

Adds a very unique earthy spiciness to the final beer.

Crisp Rye Malt

Description: Crisp Rye Malt will impart a reddish hue to your beers leaving a slight haze and will also improve head retention and mouthfeel. (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 6-10

Flavor Notes: Toffee and caramel notes

Beer Styles: Best for brewing Rye IPAs, rye pale ales, red ale, and German-style roggenbier

Malted Rye

Description: Simpsons’ Malted Rye contributes a spicy rye note to beers. It adds a unique flavor, giving fullness and mouthfeel, and is superb when used in conjunction with Red Rye Crystal. If using at greater than 20%, rice husks are recommended to aid filtration. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 89.4-116.8

Flavor Notes: Spicy

Beer Styles: Rye IPA and specialty beers

Weyermann® Rye Malt Pale

Description: Made from the finest German quality rye. Suitable for any pale or bright rye or specialty beers. (Weyermann)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: Weyermann

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 2-4.2

Flavor Notes: Typical rye aroma, malty-sweet with notes of bread and honey

Beer Styles: Juicy pale ale, hazy pale ale, rye IPA, juicy IPA, hazy IPA, NEIPA, German rye beer, sathi

Oat Malt

Texture is the name of the game here. Beers with oats have a very smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Crisp Naked Oat Malt

Description: Crisp Naked Oat Malt has become a stalwart of the NEIPA recipe. Crisp malts naturally naked oats to increase potential extract. Naked Oat Malt gives a lovely creaminess and mouthfeel in all styles of beer and is especially suited to juicy hop bombs and heavy beers. It also imparts a toasted, biscuit aroma and palate. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.3

Flavor Notes: Creamy, oaty

Beer Styles: NEIPAs, oatmeal stout, oaty pale ales

Golden Naked Oats®

Description: This huskless oat crystal malt is quite simply delicious. An exotic ingredient for the adventurous brewer, it brings a subtle nutty flavor. Its creaminess brings mouthfeel and balance to strong, hop-forward beers. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 5.1-9.6

Flavor Notes: Creamy, nutty, breakfast cereal bar

Beer Styles: Oat stouts and specialty beers

Malted Oats

Description: Simpsons’ Malted Oats have large, thick husks which helps with run off. Once you crack it open, the creaminess of the oats releases a silky smoothness which imparts a sumptuous velvety texture to your beer. This fullness allows it to take as many hops as you can throw at it for a juice bomb, providing balance. In more traditional usage, Malted Oats provide the backbone of creaminess in oatmeal stouts and porters, smoothing the astringency that may result from the heavy use of roasted grains and adding a complexity of flavor. Malted Oats is a hugely versatile product that can be added to any beer style to impart a creamy, velvety smooth mouthfeel. (Simpsons)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Simpsons

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.3-2.1

Flavor Notes: Creamy, porridge oat

Beer Styles: Oatmeal stouts and porters, pale ales and East Coast-style IPAs, DIPA, juicy beers

Organic Malts

Do your homework with organic malts. A very loose term, organic can sometimes be deceiving. Some organic malts do follow strict sustainable farming practices, but others not so much. Additionally, using an organic malt doesn’t necessarily make a better beer. If you’re using an organic malt to take a stand as a sustainable brewery, just make sure you work with a company that truly follows through on those processes.

BEST Organic Pilsen Malt

Description: The enzyme-strong and extract-rich BEST Pilsen Malt is the base malt, alone or combined, for all kinds of exceptional and great-tasting beers. Even with high special malt contents in the bulk, this malt provides the ideal basis for optimum processing in production and, as a result, the basis for the best top-quality beers of all kinds. BEST Pilsen Malt can be produced from winter malting barley on request. (BestMalz)

Origin: Germany

Manufacturer: BestMalz

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 1.6-2.3

Flavor Notes: Slightly nutty, pretty neutral

Beer Styles: Base malt for all beers, premium pilsner, export, kölsch, lager, helles, light beers, most beer styles

Editor’s Note: BestMalz features a variety of organic malts. All of which you can find here.

Crisp Organic Ale Malt

Description: Crisp’s Organic Ale Malt fully complies with the strict regulations which govern the qualification of foods as ‘organic.’ These rules and systems, having their basis in EU law, apply not only to the handling and processing of the organic barley at the malting plant, but also through the supply chain from the condition of the land sown and the provenance of the seed through to cultivation and harvesting. (Crisp Malt)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Base

Color Range (Lovibond): 2.5-4

Flavor Notes: Balanced malt sweetness

Beer Styles: Light, dark, and strong milds, English ales, IPAs, stouts, porters, barleywine

Crisp Organic Wheat Malt

Description: Crisp Organic Wheat Malt fully complies with the strict regulations which govern the qualification of foods as ‘organic.’ These rules and systems, having their basis in EU law, apply not only to the handling and processing of the organic barley at the malting plant, but also through the supply chain from the condition of the land sown and the quality of the seed through to cultivation and harvesting. Thus, full supply-chain traceability is guaranteed. Crisp Malt is fully approved to supply Organic Malt to the USA and has strict controls in place within the organic certified production plant to malt organic barley to the highest possible standard whilst adhering to the appropriate organic standards (BSG)

Origin: United Kingdom

Manufacturer: Crisp Malt

Type: Specialty/Adjunct

Color Range (Lovibond): 2-3

Flavor Notes: Wheat

Beer Styles: Wheat beers

Looking for More Guides on Malts Around the World?

Barley in a tank during a stage of the malting process at the Boortmalt production facilities in Antwerp
Barley in a tank during a stage of the malting process at the Boortmalt production facilities in Antwerp | Photography courtesy of Eric Piermont AFP via Getty Images

What About North American Grains?

Check out: The Complete Guide to North American Grains

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Grace Weitz
Post by Grace Weitz
September 27, 2022
Grace is the Managing Editor for Hop Culture and Untappd. She also organizes and produces the largest weeklong women in craft beer festival in the country, Beers With(out) Beards and the first-ever festival celebrating the colorful, vibrant voices in the queer community in craft beer, Queer Beer. An avid craft beer nerd Grace always found a way to work with beer. After graduating with a journalism degree from Northwestern University, she attended culinary school before working in restaurant management. She moonlighted as a brand ambassador at 3 Sheeps Brewing Co on the weekends before moving into the beer industry full time as an account coordinator at 5 Rabbit Cerveceria. Grace holds her Masters degree in the Food Studies program at NYU.