High Plains Drafters

Homebrew Club – Cheyenne, WY

Learning about Malt

Our latest education session explored malt flavors by doing a tasting of a variety of malt teas. Crushed malt was mixed with hot (160-170F) water and steeped for 15 minutes apiece. While we did see some sugar extraction from all the base malts (2-Row, Pilsner, Maris Otter), extraction from most other malts was a bit disappointing. We’re thinking that raising the amount of malt in the samples would help considerably, and perhaps using an extraction device like a French Press would also help force out more flavors.

A variety of malt extracts from base malt to crystal to roast.


Overall, the meeting really helped our members to understand how base malts can be expressed in various styles. The various crystal and roast malt tastings also showed how much these malts contribute to the aroma of the beers they are used in.

The varieties of malt sampled included American 2-Row, Pilsner, Maris Otter, White Wheat, Rye, Crystal 10, 60 and 120, Special B, Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt and Carafa II.

If you’re interested in trying out malt teas on your own, you can follow the instructions provided by the AHA here.

Thanks much to our education VP Ryan and his wife Sara for putting together the teas and hosting this meeting. We’ll be looking at doing hop teas for flavor and aroma at our next meeting in April. We’ll explore each of the base types of hop (Noble, English, American), and look at a variety of flavors and aromas related to them. Look for event details on Facebook and the mailing list in the coming weeks.

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