Speciality Grains

Speciality Malt

For an extract brewer there are a number of speciality grains that can be used to make a wide range of different beers providing  a lot of scope to start experimenting with all sorts of combinations.

There are 2 types of malted grains, those that need to be mashed and those that don’t. When brewing with speciality grains the conversion of starches to sugar within the malt has already occurred, bypassing the need to mash.

We are replacing the malt that needs to be mashed with extract and using the speciality grains to add further sugars and more complex flavours to the extract base.

Below is a list of some of the types of speciality grain that you can use in an extract brew to add more depth, character and complexity:

Crystal Malt – This is made in a slightly different way to ordinary barley malt using barley that has not been dried and is called green malt. It is kilned in a set range of temperature steps that in effect mash(the process that converts starches to sugars) the grain inside the husk. This means when it comes to brewing the sugars are already present in the malt. Crystal malt will add sweetness to the beer and a caramel-like quality, this attributes body to the beer which people refer to as mouthfeel. It  comes in a variety of colours according to the length of time it is roasted for and can be referred to as caramalt

Chocolate Malt – This is a barley malt that has been kilned to quite a high degree but still retains some aromatic qualities. Chocolate malt will add a toasted, nutty and cocoa like flavour to the beer and also colour.

Amber Malt – This is a malt that has been kilned to a lesser extent than chocolate malt so therefore is lighter in colour. It is said to add a biscuit aroma to beer and chocolatey/coffee characters.

Black Malt – Black malt like chocolate malt has been kilned but for a longer time so many of the aromatics have been driven off. It is primarily used in stouts and porters for colour and certain dry bitterness.

Roasted Barley – This is barley that has not been malted, just kilned at a higher temperature and is a rich brown colour. As the name suggests it will add a rich roasty character to your beer


Wheat Crystal Malt – This is processed in the same way as barley crystal malt, but as the name suggests uses wheat instead of barley, and is often used in the darker variations of wheat beers.