Lost Colony Tavern

By Paul Charron | Sunday, January 6, 2019
Lost Colony Tavern, What the hell is malt

“Malt is the soul of beer.”

“This beer is a malt bomb.”

“We use imported malt”

That’s all great, but what the hell is MALT!

Do you remember grade school science? I do.

 In one class we took a seed, I think it was a lima bean, and placed it in a wet paper napkin. We kept the seed wet and warm for days. Eventually, the seed sprouted. We saw a root come out one end and a spout come out the other. (Yep, Sister Maureen Agnes Of Saint Ignatius Loyola Grammar School started me down my beer brewing road.)

Inside the seed before, it got wet and warm, was a lot of starch. The seed changed the starch into sugar when it decided the conditions were right to grow, (wet and warm). The seed used the sugar for energy to grow.

Maltsters gather the seeds from barley and get them wet and warm. They keep an eye on the seeds and when they see any sign of growth, they kiln dry them. This kills the seed, before they can grow, and preserves the sugar inside the seed.  Now the seeds are called malt.

Brewers run the malt (sugar-filled dead seeds) through a mill that crushes the seed and allows the sugar to flow out when it is put into a vat of water.

The sugar is eventually turned into alcohol in the brewing process.

Cool, right? But if you have ever had a Malted milkshake or Malted Milk Balls you have tasted malted sugar. Now that’s even cooler

About the Author Paul Charron
Owner, Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe