DISTILLERS MALT vs.
BREWERS MALT What’s the difference? WRITTEN BY MICHAEL SCANZELLO
ne of the most common questions distillers ask me is, “What are the differences between your distillers malt and your brewers malt?” My answer is to ask them my own question: “What kind of whiskey do you want to produce, or what does your grain bill consist of?” This cuts right to the chase and gets into which product will best serve that particular distiller’s needs. There are some important differences between the two categories. Those separations begin with barley sourcing and continue into the malthouse, where maltsters use different processing parameters to meet quite different specifications. Examining these differences in greater detail will give you a better idea of which product is best for your spirit, and why. Let’s first take a look at some of the key analytical differences between these malts. Below is a chart that shows some of the most critical parameters, and compares general specifications for the two malts.
EXTRACT FG db
110 - 130
40 - 60
The most glaring difference is in enzyme level. Both diastatic power and alpha amylase levels are significantly higher in the distillers malt than the brewers. We also see that the distillers malt requires higher protein barley, which results in a lower extract since those two parameters are inversely proportional to each other. WWW.ARTISANSPIRITMAG.COM