MALT is the building block, the platform of the beer. It starts out (usually) as barley. The barley contains starch. The maltster will crack the grains and then pop them in hot water until they are fooled into thinking it is time to germinate. This is about the only occasion on which anyone involved in brewing will become involved in trickery. That and when the marketing department tells us Adelaide water makes drinkable beer. Cooper’s excluded. They make their own water.
The barley, as it germinates, produces enzymes which will, in time, assist in the production of two of beers greatest assets - CO 2 and ALCOHOL. Now that the barley has become malt it has turned it’s starch into fermentable sugars and contains that taste which we know to be beer. It just needs to be gently coaxed along the magical brewing process, be seasoned and flavoured with hops and transformed by mystical yeasts until it appears in bars and bottle shops. Simple. Well, it’s a little more technically complex, but we ARE beer drinkers, not wine folk.
NEXT WEEK, HOPS