Malt – How Important Is It in Homemade Beer?

“To malt of not to malt?” Borrowing heavily from Shakespeare that is the question we face when looking to make homemade beer. Among the many hobbyists that enjoy creating homemade beer (and yes, the art of producing homemade beer can be considered highly creative), the inclusion malt extract in the brewing process is highly important. For others, malt is something they can do without.

Who is right in the equation? Is it or is it not important to add malt to the mix of your home brew? Well, different people and brewers will have their own tastes and opinions on the matter. Some will be ardent and staunch supporters of the inclusion of malt in their home brew designs. Then there will be those that can live without it. Again, which one of these individuals is right?

There is no real consensus…

Brewing your own home made beer is not anything new. This is a hobby that has been around quite a long time. The origins of home made brewing were, of course, more professional in nature than hobbyist. In other words, people brewed beer so they could sell it. Many homemade beer businesses were quite popular in prior generations. The trailblazing work of these individuals helped refine the process greatly. As a result, we know have many different excellent processes to choose from that allow interested brewing hobbyists with a solid method for producing excellent brews.

Of course, there is also a slight amount of controversy to be found within all these different takes and spins on homemade beer brewing. One controversy of sorts would be the notion of whether or not malt is all that important. For those that are new to the hobby of homemade beer brewing, this is a serious question to ponder. After all, no one wants their beer to turn out less than expected in terms of quality. So, let’s return to our original question: to malt or not to malt?

For many home brewers, malt is the perfect source of yeast and fermentable sugar. They may also consider malt to be the “origination point” of a rich flavor. The dark color that malt provides to the brew mix is certainly visually impressive. People, however, do not look towards purchasing a particular beer due to its nice looks. Their interest rests within the exquisite taste that the beer is to provide. Of course, some beers will have a much better taste than others and ardent fans of homemade beer will look towards a brew that meets their particular, individual taste requirements. For them, utilizing a base malt in the beer delivers that specific and unique taste they are seeking.

Please be mindful of the fact that not all base malts are the same. Different malts will yield different results in terms of the actual taste that is produced. As such, it may be best to experiment with different malts until you arrive at the proper finished product that appeals to you the most. The coloring and the flavoring of the malt will alter depending upon the malt that is selected. This plays a large role in the smoothness and texture of the finished beer product. As always, those seeking to acquire a specific finished product or taste in their beer making will want to select their malt base very carefully.

For those that are decidedly disinterested in what a malt base brings to homemade beer, the type of malt selected is not important. That’s because they will not be selecting any malt at all! In all seriousness, the inclusion of malt will be considered important depending upon the particular type of beer you are looking to craft. For some, their “style” of beer making relies heavily on a malt base. For others, such a base is not so important. Wherever you stand on the issue is fine. It’s your beer. Yet, heed these words: malt can truly make a brand of beer special.