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Exploring the Spectrum of Malted Grains: A Brewer's Palette

The grains used in a pint of Wildcraft Beer...

In the enchanting realm of brewing, the artistry lies not only in the alchemy of hops and yeast but also in the diverse array of malted grains that lay the foundation for every sip of beer. 

Malted grains, carefully selected and expertly blended, contribute flavours, colours, and textures that transform a mere mixture into a masterpiece. Let's journey through the captivating world of malted grains, unveiling the unique characteristics of some beloved varieties.

The starting blobk

1. Maris Otter: The Golden Standard Starting with the gold standard of malts – Maris Otter. Revered for its rich, biscuity flavors and versatile nature, Maris Otter provides a solid base for a wide range of beer styles. From pale ales to stouts, its sweet, nutty notes have made it a favorite among brewers seeking a balanced malt profile. 

 2. Pale Malt: The Blank Canvas Pale malt forms the blank canvas for many beers. Its mild, neutral flavor allows the other ingredients to shine, making it an ideal choice for creating a clean, crisp backdrop in various styles, from lagers to ales. We grow our own pale ale malt on the farm.  The variety, called Loreate, was chosen for its high yields and reliability for both brewing and distilling.

Speciality Malts

3. Cara/Crystal Malt: The Touch of Sweetness -  Cara or crystal malts bring a touch of sweetness and caramel character to the brew. Available in various color levels, they lend color and body while imparting notes of toffee, caramel, and even dark fruit, enhancing complexity and depth.

Beers: Wild Eye PA, Wild Ride

 4. Chocolate Malt: - Decadent Richness Indulge in the decadent richness of chocolate malt. Despite its name, it doesn't actually contain chocolate. Instead, it offers deep roasted flavors and dark color reminiscent of cocoa and coffee, making it a key player in stouts and porters. 

Beers: Wild Stallion, Wild Wood

 5. Roast Barley: Espresso Elegance - For an espresso-like punch, roast barley steps up to the plate. With intense roasted flavors, this malt adds bitterness and dark color to the brew, often seen in Irish stouts where its coffee-like notes shine. 

Beers: Wild Stallion, Wild One

 6. Black Malt: The Darkest Depths - Venturing into the darkest depths of color and flavor, black malt is a powerhouse of roasted character. Used sparingly, it imparts robust bitterness and pitch-black color, finding its place in imperial stouts and robust porters. 

Beers: Wild Winter, all our stouts

 7. Munich Malt: Malty Warmth - Munich malt brings a warm malty embrace to the beer. With its toasty, biscuity notes, it can add depth and body to a wide range of styles, particularly amber and darker ales.

Beers: Wild Eye PA, Wild Anchor

8. Wheat Malt: A hero for head  - For lighter and hazy brews, wheat malt takes the spotlight. Iit contributes a smooth mouthfeel and enhances head retention.

Beers: All of them

The world of malted grains is an orchestra of flavors, colours, and aromas, allowing our brewers at Wildcraft to compose their symphonies.  Each malt brings its own personality to the blend, contributing to the final masterpiece. So, next time you enjoy a Wildcraftt beer, take a moment to savour the intricate interplay of malted grains that harmonize to create that delightful pint in your hand. This blog only touches on the surface of the different malts we use so look out for other future articles.

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