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All You Need to Know About Your Beer Malts and Their Uses


Whether you enjoy Château Cara Ruby malt at your favorite brewpub or you like to homebrew with Château Biscuit malt or Château Arome malt, it is great to know about different types of malts that are available. You may not even have tried a few of them.

Below, we inform about many malt types and their specific uses so that you can pick a new style of beer when you next visit a brewpub or brew the most likeable beer for your house party.

A. Base Malts

As the name suggests, these malts act as the base for most beers, from ales and stouts to porters and lagers. Base malts offer high enzymatic power for fermenting sugars, as well as high extract potential. Major types of base malts include the following:

  • Pale ale – With easily accessible starch, it is the base for almost all ale production. This type of malt is well modified and quite neutral. Compared to lager malt, it is toasted at a higher temperature, thus providing a nice lightly toasted flavour to pale ales and lagers.


  • Pilsner malt – It works in the same manner as pale ale, yet is most suited to brew the pale lagers. After germination, pilsner or lager malt is lightly kiln-dried, withered, and then cured at a set temperature to achieve a delightfully mild flavour and light colour.


  • Wheat malt – Compared to barley, you get more protein out of wheat malt. It is also good to achieve the rich malty flavour and head retention in beers when used for around 5% to 70% of the mash. For wheat beers, this percentage is 40 to 60.


  • Rye malt – From American Pilsner to German Roggenbier, rye malt can give a dry spicy profile to any beer. Up to 20% of this malt can add distinction to any style.

B. Kilned Malts

These malts are produced at a higher temperature than base malts. Toasting the base malt also works to produce kilned malts, which vary in style based on experimentation with temperature.

  • Vienna and Munich malts – These lighter, sweeter malts can be used as base malts or in conjunction with base malts in the mash. You will usually find their extensive use during celebrations like Oktoberfest. While Vienna malt may offer varied aromas and flavour profiles to beers, Munich malt gives a rich malty flavour and aroma, with amber colour.


  • Biscuit malt – Used up to 10% of the grain bill, the malt like Château Biscuit malt provides a lightly roasted, completely toasted flavour profile. With deep amber colour, you cannot skip noticing its delectable pie crust or biscuit/cookie flavour with cracker notes. If you instead need minimum toasted notes yet maximum malt, try the Château Arome malt.


  • Victory malt – For a nuttier profile than what biscuit malt offers, one can use Victory malt that gives highlighted orange colour to the beer.

C. Caramel Malts

A special stewing process leads to sugar crystallization and caramelization in these malts. Based on the amount of caramel malt used in the grain bill, it can offer sweetness and fuller taste to ales and lagers. Château Cara Ruby malt is one such malt for those who enjoy the toffee flavor with head retention in their beer. Caramel malts add complexity to dry malt character.

D. Roasted Malts

While malts like Château Biscuit malt and Château Arome malt are lightly roasted, the actual roasted malts are those carrying a burnt toast or coffee flavour. Due to the intensity of roasted malts like chocolate malt and black barley, these should be added in moderation and towards the end of mashing.

Now, with your knowledge of all these malts, from Château Cara Ruby malt to lager malt, you may turn into a finer brewer or beer connoisseur.

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