There are numerous types of barley malt for brewing beer. The definition of beer, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's Beer Tax Web site is "any beverage made my the alcohol fermentation in water of barley malt and hops, with or without grains and sugar, containing 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume". Specifically, malt is used in beer brewing to get the enzymes from the grain used in brewing to split and make sugar for the fermenting process that is necessary to make beer.
The following types of barley malt are the most popular for brewing beer:
- Base Barley Malts. The following base malts include lager and pale ale. Lager malts are used most often for brewing all types of beer. Pale ale malt gives beer a more toasted flavor than lager malt. Wheat and rye malts are other grains used to create bases for beer brewing.
- Kilned Barley Malts. Kilned malts are made by raising the temperature during curing, and they need to be mashed. Types of barley malt that are kilned barley malts include biscuit, victory, Munich, Vienna, and dextrin. They give off a more nutty, toasted flavor to the beer.
- Caramel Malt Barley. This type of barley malt can be mashed or simply steeped when brewing beer. Caramel malt gets its flavor from extra steeping that, like in cooking, turns or crystallizes the sugars to caramel. This type of barley malt makes a beer that is sweeter and more full bodied.
- Roasted Malt Barley. Roasted malts can also be mashed or steeped, like caramel malt barley. They are used to brew porters and stouts-beers that have a stronger flavor like burnt toast, chocolate, or coffee.