Base Malts – In Stock ~ Where we all begin.

I’ve compiled these descriptions of the base malts that I have in stock for the folks interested in brewing a custom beer with the gang on Saturday. Any of these base malts could be used  up to 100% with nothing else added other than single ounce of hops into a 5 gallon batch of beer wort (unfermented beer) and it would create a decent beer. End of story.

The L next to the numbers on the malts is the Lovibond system which determines the color of the finished beer. The more of the darker malts added to the mash creates a darker beer. It’s best to limit the darker kilned and roasted malts added to the mash, depending on what type of beer you want to brew but I’ll provide a few sample 5 gallon recipes so you can see a malt bill used on a real brew.  I’ll discuss that on another post but here are the basics. You can create an American style beer by using American malts, or add English, Scottish, German or Belgian base malts and add more of a malty or European flavor. They all have distinct flavors and blending any of these alone would give you subtle characteristics what would create a unique finished product.

The more of the malts you add to the 5 gallon batch, the higher the final alcohol content of the beer. This could determine whether it’s a light session beer or a stronger ale or an IPA. I’ve used more malts than online recipes called for and they’ve seemed to turn out OK. I’ve made batches of beer with a 8 lbs total of malts and I’ve made them with 15 lbs. No colossal mistakes so far.

I’ll include the addition of wheat malts which add a mouthfeel and body to the beer on future posts. Flaked oats and flaked wheat added also adds to those chartacteristics. Adding flaked oats also adds a haze to the finished product. I’m also adding the product numbers that my local supplier, Stein Fillers in Long Beach uses to identify their malts. I use those numbers on my labeling too for restocking purposes. 

Superior Pilsen Malt – Great Western Malting #3397

Very pale, well modified, base 2 row malt. Perfect for brewing malty light-colored lagers, ales and beers where a crisp, clean finish is desired. (1.6°L) Produced from selected lots of premium, Canadian-gown Copeland barley.
Premium 2-Row Malt – Great Western Malting #1341

2° L – Great Western. A great base malt that can be used in single infusion mashes. Provides for a soft malt character in the finished beer. Used by a majority of the West Coast microbreweries as their base malt for multiple styles. This malt is also the first substitute for someone looking for 6-row malt.

American Pale Malt – Great Western Malting #1340

3L Great Western. Same as the Domestic 2-row malt but has slightly more color and a drier flavor. This malt is more like the British Pale Malt.

Weyermann Barke® German Pilsner Malt #3073

Produced from quality Barke® two-row spring barley. Perfect foundation grist for all lagers. Excellent modification and favorable protein and glucan levels. Excellent lautering properties. Provides finished beer with substantial body and mouthfeel, as well as good foam development and head retention. Very flexible grain with high extract efficiency for reliable lager-making in any brew house, including pub ale systems. Lovibond 1.5-2.2

English Maris Otter Malt, Simpsons #1411

Finest malts from the British Isles. Maris Otter is an English 2-row varietal barley introduced in 1966 that was developed specifically to produce high quality malt for the production of ale.

Its low nitrogen content, uniformly plump kernels, and robust husk has made it a favorite among English brewers for its reliable and forgiving brewhouse performance, and, most notably, because of the unique Maris Otter flavor it adds to the beer which may be absent in modern barley varieties grown for yield and ease of agricultural production.

This fine base malt will easily convert with a single infusion mash, and produce an orange tinged golden wort with a unique rich, slightly nutty flavor. An excellent malt for any English style beer. 3.5-4.5°L

Golden Promise Malt #3505

2.1-2.8° L. Malt from a traditional barley variety grown in Scotland. Golden Promise produces a mellow wort, with a sweet, clean flavor. This base malt is a must for authentic Scottish ales, great for English styles as well.

Rahr 6-Row Malt #1335

1.7° L. Optimized for adjunct brewing; its high enzyme content easily converts high percentages of unmalted corn, rice, oats, etc. Six-row is also useful in lautering mashes with huskless grains due to it high husk content.

Best Malz German Munich Malt #1602

Our German Munich Malt is a more highly kilned lager malt. The higher temperatures develop more maillard products and the result is a richly flavored base malt with an amber orange color and enhanced smooth malty sweetness. It still retains diastatic power so it is capable of self conversion and can be used for up to 100% of the grain bill in alt, dunkel, and bock styles; or smaller percentages in many other styles for an enhanced malt character. 8.3°L

Dingemans Belgian Pilsner Malt #1413

1.6° L. An excellent base malt for pale lager, Belgian ales, and wheat beers. Pale color, low in protein, and results in a remarkably clean and light finished product.

German Vienna Malt #2036

Deutsch malzen sind für Deutsch bier überlegen. Our German Vienna Malt is a Lager malt kilned to a slightly darker color than Pilsner malt (though not as highly kilned as Munich malt). The higher temperatures develop more maillard products resulting in a more flavourful base malt with a rich golden orange color and smooth, nutty maltiness. Use up to 30% in a pale beer or up to 100% in an Oktoberfest or Vienna lager to achieve a dry, slightly toasty malt flavor. 3.8°L

Mecca Grade Gateway (Under-Modified Wind-Malt)

“Wind-malt” is a long-forgotten style of Belgian malt that was allowed to air-dry in the lofts of barns. To our knowledge, it has never been produced commercially in North America. We’ve revived it with “Gateway,” a malt that is bursting with the aroma of fresh-cut hay while being nearly translucent in color. Gateway is perfectly-suited for decoctions, step mashing, and is the missing ingredient when brewing historic styles of beer.

Mecca Grade Pelton (Pilsner-style) Malt
This Pilsner malt is the perfect choice for creating premium lagers, light ales, or as a light, flavorful base to your next homebrew.

Pelton (pronounced – \pel·tin\) produces a complex, slightly grassy, and crisp wort which comes from the small terroir in Central Oregon where the Mecca Grade Estate family farm and malthouse is located. Mecca grows their unique heirloom variety of barley inside a 2 mile radius around their own malthouse. Inside their malthouse, their processing innovation of Mechanically Floor Malting producing a consistency and depth of flavor that creates a premium, artisan line of malts. 1.8°L

My conclusion with this post that you think of the direction that you want to go with the brew project and we will go over the added details on the next post. You also pick one of these domestic base malts and add a little English, perhaps a pound for a little grist, or Vienna for a little malty added flavor or even a little Munich or Belgian malt for a bit of extra something. It has all seemed to work fairly well. I’ve found it helpful to find out how other brewers describe online what they get from using these malts in their beers.  


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