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Malt Extract

In general usage malt is understood to be germinated grain, usually barley, used in brewing and distilling. The term is also use to refer to alcoholic beverage, as beer, ale, or malt liquor, fermented from malt.

Malt Extract
Malt extract is a blend of starch breakdown products containing mainly maltose (malt sugar), prepared from barley or wheat.

The malt is specially processed with water to develop sweetness, and the liquid is then filtered and evaporated into a thick, sweet liquid extract. Since special processing preserves most of the natural characteristics of the whole grain, Malt Extracts are nutritious and healthy. Malt Extracts are also functional, adding bulk, acting as a natural humectant, enhancing body and viscosity in liquids, and more. Malt Extracts also add malty flavor and color ranging from mild malty to caramel.


Nutritional Value of Malt Extract
Malt extract is a source of nutrition, energy and of vitamin B. It is recognized as valuable supplement to the daily diet. Blending in cod liver oil adds vitamin A and D to the benefits. Malt extract is an extremely attractive substitute for refined sugar because in addition to sweetness and energy, it delivers naturally derived nutrition in a particularly suitable form for human consumption. Protein is present in a predigested form. Malt extracts contain a wide range of amino acids due to conversion during extraction and so is readily absorbed into the body's bloodstream.

Medicinal Value of Malt Extract
The medicinal value of malt extract depends upon the proportion of total solid nutritive carbohydrates it contains, and upon its diastatic

action, the latter enabling it to convert the starchy constituents of food into soluble carbohydrates, chiefly maltose. But the diastase becomes inactive in an acid medium such as obtains in the stomach during digestion. The extract is given to children and adults for its nutritive properties.

Extract of malt is used as a vehicle for the administration of cod-liver oil and the liquid extract is given with haemoglobin, extract of cascara, and various salts. Extract of malt should be kept in well-closed vessels, in a cool place. It becomes acid on keeping, and does not then mix so readily with the cod-liver oil.


Uses of Malt Extract
Malt extracts are natural flavoring and coloring agents. Owing to its high nutritional value, it being rich in protein and natural sugar it is major source of natural energy. Apart from its use in brewing, it's also widely used in baking, confectionery, breakfast cereals, malt beverages, dairy products, condiments and as a caramel substitute. Malt Extract is used to treat common constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids.

Some Commercial Varieties of Malt Extract

  • Dark Malt Extract - It is prepared by fully converting base malt, then draining the resulting mash, still including amylases, and evaporating it down to a high density. Dark Malt Extract is used exclusively in homebrewing as a substitute for base malt.
  • Light Malt Extract - Liquid malt extracts can be used as a straight grain malt replacement or, when added to a conventional mash, as a brew extender. Liquid malt extracts provide a great start to any recipe, offering a carefully balanced formulation designed to provide the ideal base for your own recipe. In addition we also offer liquid malt extracts made using selected coloured malts to provide a darker base material for your beer recipes
  • Wheat Malt Extract
  • Amber Malt Extract.

Malting is a food processing technique. In this process grains are made to germinate by soaking them in water and after a certain degree of germination, the process is suspendedby drying/heating the germinated grain with hot air before it blooms into a plant. Thus, it is a conjunction of two processes; notably the sprouting process and the kiln-drying process. Malt Extract will include a several products such as malted barley, sugar derived from such grains which is heavy in maltose, such as baker's malt, malted milk, whisky or beer, etc.

Barley is the most commonly malted grain because of its high diastatic power or enzyme content. It is very important to retain the grain's husk after threshing, unlike the bare seeds of threshed wheat or rye. This protects the growing acrospire (developing plant embryo) from damage during malting, which can easily lead to mold growth. It also allows the mash of converted grain to create a filter bed during sparging. Other grains may be malted, although the resulting malt may not have sufficient enzymatic content to convert its own starch content fully and efficiently and may create a "stuck sparge" .


Why Barley More Than Often?
Barley is the ideal cereal grain for malting and, ultimately, brewing. It is self-contained, having a husk to protect the germ, high starch-to- protein ratio for high yields, a complete enzyme system, self-adjusting pH, light color and neutral flavor. In addition to barley, wheat and rye are also routinely malted for brewing. Other cereals grains, such as buckwheat and spelt, can also be malted but the finished malt does not perform in the brewhouse as well as malted barley.

History of Malting
Malt has been substantially the same as we know of it today. It has always been an important product, long before the days of recorded history. Although its actual origin is buried in antiquity, there is a legend that early Egyptians manufactured malt by placing it in a wicker basket, which was then lowered into the open wells. It was first lowered into the water for steeping, after which it was raised above the water level for germination. The rate of germination was controlled by adjusting the height of the basket within the well. As germination progressed and heat developed, the basket would be lowered to a lower temperature level thus retarding growth and dissipating heat. To accelerate germination, the basket was simply raised to a higher level.

The malt was kept from matting by raising it to the top of the well and agitating the basket. Drying was by natural means, probably a simple process of spreading on the ground, and subjecting it to the direct rays of the sun. The use of malt at this time was thought to be exclusively for beverage purposes. Of course, production of malt during this period was limited by the number of wells, and in efforts to increase production, maltsters next employed man-made cisterns and natural caves. These natural processes continued for centuries, because the next advancement in the malting process is found in the middle European countries.

In middle European countries as the requirement for malt increased, it was found necessary to develop artificial means of controlling the temperatures and humidity. The earliest known "malt house" was a simple structure located at the bottom of a hill or mountain adjacent to a stream, which could supply low temperature water by gravity. These houses had massive stone walls with floors of stone or mortar. Small windows set in these heavy walls were the only means of ventilation. Barley would be received into the top of such a house, and dropped into deep cisterns for steeping. From there, it would be deposited in a pile onto the stone floor of the house for germination.

As growth commenced and heat was generated, the malt was shoveled from this pile and spread in a thin bed toward the front of the room. Any necessary further cooling could only be accomplished during the cool evenings or night hours when experienced workmen shoveled the first thin layer of malt forward to another spot on the floor, throwing it into the air, and allowing it to fall in a thin shower. The proper moisture was applied by the simple old-fashioned sprinkling can.

As growth commenced and heat was generated, the malt was shoveled from this pile and spread in a thin bed toward the front of the room. Any necessary further cooling could only be accomplished during the cool evenings or night hours when experienced workmen shoveled the first thin layer of malt forward to another spot on the floor, throwing it into the air, and allowing it to fall in a thin shower. The proper moisture was applied by the simple old-fashioned sprinkling can.

The process of shoveling to control temperature gradually moved the bed from the rear to the forward end of the floor, and as each successive steep was deposited onto the floor from the steeping cistern, it followed its predecessor down the length of the floor. In this way there were on each floor, a number of beds of malt in varying stages of germination. When the malt reached the front of the floor, its germination was completed, and it was shoveled by hand through a trap door into wheel barrows beneath, by means of which it was transported to the kiln for drying.

The kiln, at that time, was simply a room with a tile floor, under which were crude furnaces. The ceiling of the room assumed the shape of a high tapered dome, in which was located a large duct or chimney to pass off the moist hot air. After the germinated malt was spread on the floors, the fires were started, and drying accomplished by simple heating. The malt was agitated from time to tie by a shovel. Later the tile floors were perforated, so that the combustion gases could pass directly through the grain.

All ventilation was by natural draft, and, of course, was influenced greatly by weather conditions. The art of malting under those conditions was one of the highest. The maltster personally controlled all processes, and through highly developed manual skill maintained proper conditions. He alone checked the temperatures, mostly by sense. It was he who determined when more moisture was required. In short, it was exclusively his skill and experience which brought out a finished malt of the proper character. Because temperature controls were dependent on atmospheric conditions, malting at that time was confined to the cool months, which averaged about five months per year. During the rest of the year, the house was completely closed. Naturally, with this short production season, volume was very definitely limited.

The basic principle of these early malt houses again prevailed for centuries, but always with the search for new means of increasing production. It was not until the advent of steam, and later electrical power, that any major change occurred in the malting process. Undoubtedly, some one at some time drove ventilating bellows by water power in an effort to continue malting during the warmer weather, but there is no definite record of such device.

With the advent of modern power, the first changes that occurred were the introduction of ventilating fans and water pumps into the older type houses as described. Later, more modern buildings were introduced incorporating the various devices made available by the new power. In these earliest modern houses, steel tanks were substituted for the old-fashioned cisterns, large fans were employed for ventilation, and adequate sprinkler systems installed. However, the old-fashioned masonry floor still persisted with the consequent heavy work of hand shoveling. It was under these semi-modern methods that malt acquired its present status.

The next step was to the modern construction known as the compartment system. Here the steeped barley is deposited on perforated floors in a single bed through which moist cool air is drawn by fans to control temperatures as desired. Agitation is by means of large turning machines which periodically agitate and redistribute the malt. When germination is completed, the malt is scooped into mechanical conveyors by mechanical shovels. The conveyor deposits it in the kiln house, which again has perforated metal floors through which hot air is drawn by other fans. In this case, however, the floors are sectional, so that they can be opened, and the malt dropped through. It is possible in a modern kiln to reduce the moisture content to 3 percent.

After drying, the malt is dropped directly from the floor to hoppers located beneath, which feed conveyors, which, in turn, transport the finished malt to the cleaning and storing house. The prime object of modern houses is not only to give maximum production in a given area, but to decrease manual labor by the use of mechanical devices. Through all of these centuries, malt as a finished product has changed very little, probably only to the extent that better grades of barley have been developed.

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