Please read the grain ordering instructions before placing an order.
EBC 55 - 75 (Steep): Cara malts are very lightly roasted, steeped and germinated malts that create the characteristic golden colours and mellow flavours. They are used to give colour and flavour to pale lager and ale beers.
Crystal & Caramalts are prepared separately from pale malts. They are high-nitrogen malts which are wetted and roasted in a rotating drum before kilning. They produce strongly sweet toffee-like flavors and are sufficiently converted that they can be steeped without mashing to extract their flavor. Crystal malts are available in a range of colors, with darker-colored crystal malts, that is, those kilned at higher temperatures, producing stronger, more caramel-like overtones. Some of the sugars in crystal malts caramelize during kilning and become unfermentable; hence, addition of crystal malt will increase the final sweetness of a beer. They contain no enzymes.
Cara and crystal malts are manufactured by Bairds Malt at the Witham plant from green malt in small batches at a time (1.5 - 2 tonnes). The green malt is well modified but not over modified, and should be of a barley variety that does not lose its husk easily - it is essential to avoid localised charring on the surface of the grain.
The charge of green malt is fed into a rotating metal roasting cylinder, which is heated so that the temperature of the green malt is about 55 - 65°C. At this temperature each individual grain is 'mashed', i.e. amylolysis and proteolysis takes place within each individual grain, yielding a complex mixture of simple and polymeric sugars and amino acids and peptides. Water is then removed from the grain and the product temperature raised to 120° - 160°C. At this temperature the classic reactions of the non-enzymic browning process take place to form, firstly glycosylamines, and then ketosamines and eventually furan and pyran type heterocyclic oxygen compounds. By varying the time and temperature of the various stages a different colour range is produced.
Caramalts are used to give colour and flavour to pale Lager beers but should be used with care to avoid making the beer too dark or giving it too cloying a flavour. They also change the oxidation - reduction state of a beer, and can therefore improve the stability of a beer by preventing the formation of oxidised (cardboard) flavours.