Product of The Month: Malt Extract

Muntons is know the world over as a manufacturer of the highest-quality malt extract.  Mention malt extract and brewers will recognise this ingredient as something predominantly used in the food and baking industry, as a sweetener, a flavour enhancer or just for its wonderful malt flavour.   There is however a dramatic difference between malt extracts made for food use, where high levels of protein are deemed beneficial, and malt extract made for brewing.

We developed our Cedarex product line specifically with brewing in mind.  Made from the finest brewing quality ale malt, Cedarex malt extracts are useful ingredients for the modern craft brewer where brewing capacity has become an issue.  The Cedarex range is available in a range of colour intensities and as a wort extender will increase brewhouse capacity without having to compromise on flavour through the use of sugars or syrups.

Another malt extract range developed for the craft brewer is NTense.  These are highly aromatic and flavourful extracts, introducing notes of treacle, toffee and stone fruit, as well as increasing colour, Melanoidin developed in the malt extract during its manufacture also increases the stability of beers and slows oxidation.

If you are looking at adding colour to beer, with minimal flavour addition then the Clarimalt range will prove ideal.  Made from 100% Black malt, Clarimalt has been developed to add colour with just a hint of roasted flavours.  Perfect in Black IPA’s or for subtle colour modifications in red-ales and lagers.

Century malt extract is a diastatic malt extract which is proving highly useful in the production of extra dry beers, such as Brut IPA’s and Light lagers.   Naturally occurring enzymes present in brewing malt are extracted and concentrated through our malt extract process to produce our Century malt extract.  These enzymes will convert un-malted starch and other residuals into fermentable sugar.  Useful for the brewer to change the sugar profile of the beer through its use in the fermentation vessel to break down residuals and increase attenuation levels.

Malt of the Month: Toasted Barley Flakes

Muntons toasted barley flakes are un-malted, lightly toasted, pre-gelatinised barley flakes.  Recently introduced into our range of malted and un-malted ingredients, toasted barley flakes can be used in a wide variety of brewing applications.

The light toasting of the barley flakes brings an interesting complexity to the flavour and aroma of beers, whilst also adding depth and improving mouthfeel, although they are predominantly used because of the benefits they bring to mouthfeel and body.  The flakes have a balanced cereal-forward taste, followed by a slightly creamy and silky body, making it a perfect addition in Stouts and Cream Ales.

We would recommend an inclusion rate of 2-7% for Stouts and Cream Ales, but this should be varied depending on the style of beer and the desired body – use a little less for lighter beer styles.   It works particularly well in hop-forward beers because of its clean and balanced flavour profile.

The current trend for hazy beer styles make this an ideal adjunct as the high percentage of unmodified protein can add a stable but clean haze.  Useful in New England IPA’s for example, where we would recommend a usage ratio of 10- 20% to create a stable beer haze.

Malt of the Month: Super Pale

This exceptionally pale malt is ideal for brewers looking to create the palest ales possible while still retaining sufficient body to ensure a full mouthfeel.   Super pale has been created with two main point in mind:  As low a colour as possible and the ability to play really well with hops.  By using a specifically developed combination of germination and kilning profiles, this malt achieves a full flavour profile, very akin to an extra pale ale malt, whilst only developing two-thirds of its colour.

The light colour and clean flavour profile of Muntons Super Pale malt lend themselves to multiple beer styles.  Using this exceptional malt, brewers can create extremely low colour beer with reddish and copper hues, a characteristic which also lends itself to the creation of vibrantly coloured fruit-beers.  Here, the low colour of the malt allows the colour of the selected fruit of choice to really shine through.

A creative recipe suggestion is to use Super Pale in combination with grapes as a base, then ferment with an ‘estery’ ale yeast to create a white wine ale.  This could even be turned into a white wine ‘brut’ IPA by adding some AMG enzyme to encourage further fermentation to produce a ‘dry’ beer then finish with a champagne yeast.

Malt of the Month: Planet

Planet is Muntons new flagship spring barley variety, now replacing Propino as the most popular spring brewing variety of malting barley grown in the UK.  Planet has proved to so versatile, it has become the most widely grown cereal variety in the world.

We are blessed in the UK with arguably the prime climate for barley growing.  Couple this with the extreme care taken during the malting process by our malting team, and the result is outstanding. Muntons Pale and Muntons Extra Pale malts made from Planet malting barley are considered by many to be some of the finest Spring barley malts available.

Planet has a high yield and performs very well in the brewhouse.  We recommend a mashing temperature of at least 65⁰ C., as this is the average gelatinisation temperature for this variety. Mashing at a lower temperature could cause a slow conversion or even stall as the starch might not fully gelatinise.

Planet has a cereal-forward taste complemented with a mild nuttiness, imparted because of its slightly higher attenuation level.   It has a lower ‘masking’ effect than either Venture or Maris Otter leading to an increase in the impact of aroma hops and yeast aromas.  Care must be taken as this also means that any brewing errors are less easily covered.

In our tests, Planet has performed very well and feedback from brewers using this variety has been very positive, particularly with extract levels and flavour profiles.

Malt of the Month: Pilsner Malt

The craft beer movement having concentrated largely on traditional ales, porters and stouts is now showing interest in Lager.  Traditional bottom fermented lagers, matured or ‘lagered’ for weeks or months at low temperatures, develop a character and drinkability far removed from the chill filtered, highly carbonated beers traditionally sold as lager in the UK.

Muntons Pilsner Malt has been malted to provide the perfect base for craft brewer’s lager.  This malt, which is related to our traditional Lager Malt, has its very own production profile, which ensures that the brewing process will be as smooth as possible.  With our Pilsner malt, we have slightly increased the modification and reduced the Beta Glucan level by 45%.   Not only does this improve the brewing performance of our pilsner malt but it also adds flavours reminiscent of honey and freshly baked biscuits.

A further benefit of our pilsner malt is its high level of enzyme activity – both DP and DU.  This will increase the speed of starch conversion and increase the attenuation levels of the beer.   When brewing, we recommend mashing at 62 -63 C for a traditional lager.

If you are aiming to brew something with a little more malt character, try combining Muntons Pilsner with 5-10% Muntons Cara Malt 10.

The high diastatic power of this malt allows the brewer to experiment with high levels of non-malted adjunct addition, useful if you are seeking something a little unique or unusual.  This is also useful when aiming to reduce residual sweetness in beers such as a New England IPA or a Big Stout, where simply replacing as little as 25% of the ale malt with Pilsner Malt will increase the grist conversion rate.

Malt of the Month: Mild Malt

We have been making the finest malts for nearly 100 years, and during that time beer styles have come and gone.  One beer style we are particularly happy to see return is traditional British Mild.  The return to fashion of this classic beer style has meant that we could once again make a mild ale malt confident of interest from the market.

Our Mild malt is made from British winter barley, which makes it a very consistent and reliable malt. The germination and kilning profiles are adjusted to create a malt with will bring increased sweetness and body in the beer, ideal for brewers aiming to reproduce this historically significant beer.   It is the slightly decreased fermentability of our Mild Malt, which imparts this more malty and sweet flavour.

Muntons mild ale malt is also a great base material for No and Low alcohol beer.  Also when used in conjunction with our Cara Malt 10 and our innovative new Muntons Sour Malt Extract, we were able to develop a perfectly balanced and very drinkable 0.5% ABV Ale.

Malt of the Month: Melanoidin Malt

We are proud to announce the launch of our new Melanoidin Wheat Malt.  This innovation in speciality malt is the result of numerous trials to achieve the perfect balance between an aromatic Maillard product and toasty biscuit notes.  These qualities make this malt an ideal choice for the brewer looking to enhance their beer style with something a little bit special. We use a unique kilning technique, which enables us to introduce more colour and flavour than is traditionally possible for straight kilned malts.

In percentages of 1 to 5%, Melanoidin Wheat malt will increase malt character, boost head formation and head retention and enhance mouthfeel. When used in percentages of 10-20%, Melanoidin Wheat malt will impart a flavour profile with elements of breadcrust, biscuits and cooked wheat.   It will also significantly improve the body of the beer.  We would suggest a maximum inclusion rate of 30%. In addition to the flavour enhancement, the high percentage of Melanoidins increases beer stability and has been shown to help reduce oxidation.

Malt of the Month: Maris Otter

It is usual for malting barley varieties to be grown for typically five to ten years, until they are superseded by newer, higher yielding and more robust varieties.   Maris Otter however is the exception.

Although there have been many varieties with higher yields and extracts, none have managed to remove Maris Otter from its position as the best known and longest surviving heritage variety.  Its characteristic taste and outstanding processability, coupled with its historic significance make this a variety likely to remain a craft brewing favourite for many years to come.

Brewers looking for extra malt flavour, should consider this traditional malt; this British staple – Maris Otter.  Introducing strong cereal, biscuit and nutty notes in beer, Maris Otter remains one of the most popular malt varieties available for the serious craft brewer.

Malt of the Month: Dark Crystal Rye

We offer a wide range of speciality malts ranging from low colour crystals to highly roasted black malts.  One of the more unusual amongst our wide range of speciality malts is Dark Crystal Rye malt which is a particular favourite of ours.

This highly aromatic caramelised rye is perfect for adding breadcrust notes and bringing a touch of sweetness to any recipe.   When incorporated in the grist at high inclusion rates, it delivers flavours reminiscent of hazelnut and toffee.  Dark Crystal Rye malt has a colour of 230 EBC making it the perfect addition to introduce a red to copper hue to a beer.

When used in conjunction with extra low colour Ale Malts such as Muntons Super Pale they balance perfectly, as they allow more of the intense copper colour to shine through.

Malt of the Month: Cara Malt 10

Cara Malt 10 is Muntons lowest colour crystal malt.  With its light colour and mild flavour, Cara Malt 10 can be added to even the lightest beer styles without affecting the core flavour profile. This malt is designed to bring body, improve mouthfeel and add character to beers, although the degree of effect will depend on the rate at which Cara Malt 10 is added.   As the Malt is only partially crystallised, and still has some enzyme activity, it can be included in ratios of up to a maximum of 30% in traditional beer styles.

At higher dosage inclusions, (20 -30%) the overall attenuation will be reduced but it will introduce added body and sweetness to the beer.  In modern no and low alcohol beers, which are rapidly growing in popularity, it has the potential to be used in exceptionally high dosages of 50 -75%.  At these levels it gives the beer a solid highly flavourful base which is not as fermentable as a more typical standard wort.

Highly attenuated beers such as Lagers, Brut IPAs, Saisons and Wild fermentations really benefit from the inclusion of some Cara Malt 10, as the high percentage of dextrins and complex sugars bring a depth to these beer styles reducing the chance that the beer might be too thin or too dry.  Just a small inclusion of 2-3% is all it takes.   Have a go yourself – you will be convinced.

Brexit Statement – Update

In light of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we are doing all we can to mitigate any potential risks which may arise.

To that end, we are currently working hard to achieve an HMRC recognised accreditation which will enable us to become an Authorised Economic Operator (AEO).  This is a status which exists across the UK and Europe.  It is designed to introduce security measures with the purpose of securing the international supply chain. It achieves this by preventing smuggling, tampering, false documentation, identity fraud and theft.  The benefits include simplified customs procedures and the possibility of fast tracking shipments in some cases.

As a company involved in the international supply chain, we must ensure that all cargo we control is safe and secure at all times.  Having the AEO accreditation will guarantee a secure transit and ensure we are recognised as ‘trusted traders’. In addition, it is crucial we ensure we are fully compliant with customs rules in order to avoid penalties.

We have partnered with a leading Customs compliance consultancy to assist us with our AEO application, Vartan Consultancy. Together with Vartan we are closely monitoring all updates from HMRC regarding the possibility of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Vartan are assisting us with Customs training to enable us to deal with the re-introduction of Customs declarations on goods moving between the UK and the EU.

Gaining AEO accreditation will allow Muntons easier access to any facilitation or simplifications that HMRC may introduce in an attempt to prevent delays at Channel ports in the event of a ‘No Deal’ situation. It is likely that access to such facilitations will only be granted to ‘Trusted Traders’, achieving AEO will elevate Muntons to trusted trader status with HMRC.