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DISTILLERS MALT vs.

BREWERS MALT What’s the difference? WRITTEN BY MICHAEL SCANZELLO

O

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.

MOISTURE

PROTEIN

EXTRACT FG db

DP

AA

BREWERS MALT

max 4.5%

max 12.5%

80%

110 - 130

40 - 60

DISTILLERS MALT

max 6.5%

min 13.0%

77%

min 240

min 90

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  

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Artisan Spirit: Spring 2016  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

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