Increasing Malty Flavor - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Increasing Malty Flavor

Thread Tools
Old 01-14-2009, 10:48 PM   #1
Jan 2007
Posts: 6

What is the best way to increase the malt flavor in all grain brews. I have been using Briess 2-row for the bulk of my brews. Will changing to Maris Otter, Halcyon or some other type fix it or do I need to change something else?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 11:27 PM   #2
Shawn Hargreaves
Jun 2008
Posts: 344
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Type of base malt will certainly make some difference. I've never used Maris Otter myself, but hear nothing but good about it.

Your mash schedule is also very important. Higher temps (up to 158, as opposed to 150) will leave you with more unfermentable sugars, thus giving a fuller body and sweeter, maltier flavor. I notice a difference even from a couple of degrees change in mash temp.

For more extreme maltiness, some people recommend a decoction mash. Others claim this is a waste of time and makes no flavor difference. I have yet to try this myself (I've always just used an infusion mash) but am planning to attempt a decoction for my next-but-one brew to see if I notice any difference.

Finally, other kinds of grain will all provide different malty flavors. Crystal, Vienna, Munich, Honey, Aromatic, can all contribute some pretty in-your-face malt flavors. But they're all different, plus different from the style of maltiness you get from a pale base malt with a high mash temp. "malty" is actually a pretty broad term encompassing many different flavors!

So it all depends on what you are going for. Are there any particular commercial brews that you're trying to mimic? That would help us narrow down the best way to get there.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2009, 11:43 PM   #3
Nov 2004
Posts: 2,635
Liked 207 Times on 173 Posts

Originally Posted by caraudio90 View Post
What is the best way to increase the malt flavor in all grain brews. I have been using Briess 2-row for the bulk of my brews. Will changing to Maris Otter, Halcyon or some other type fix it or do I need to change something else?
You have almost answered your own question. Domestic 2-row pale is pretty bland for the most part. The malt flavor of your beer is directly related to the base malt used to produce it. Not all agree but for my money the European malts from England, Germany or Belgium just have a deeper, richer and maltier flavor. It's going to cost more but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 12:04 AM   #4
enderwig's Avatar
Nov 2007
Dickinson Texas
Posts: 1,435
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

I use US 2-row if I am trying to showcase other flavors, such as hops (APA,IPA) or roastiness (stout, porter). If I am trying to showcase malt flavors, I agree with the other posters, Maris Otter or Pils or some such is a much better choice.
You can accentuate your malty flavors with some specialty malts like biscuit or aromatic, or you can add a pound or 2 of vienna or munich to really punch up the malty flavor.

One of the most popular recipes on this forum is EdWorts Haus Pale Ale, it is mostly 2 row with 2 pounds of vienna, the vienna really improves the malt flavor of that beer.
Read the
Homebrewtalk Wiki!

Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 12:10 AM   #5
Jan 2009
Long Island, NY
Posts: 54

Definitely for me, Munich gives what I easily describe as a malty flavor. Maybe 1/2 pound or a little more per 5 gallon batch.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
Jul 2008
Guelph, ON, CANADA
Posts: 75

What about melanodiin malt? maybe 1/4lb per 5gal batch?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 10:52 PM   #7
Feb 2007
Posts: 95

What about yeast choice? I thought "english" style yeast tend to showcase malt flavor better?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2009, 02:10 AM   #8
Jan 2006
Wauwatosa, WI
Posts: 159
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

in your case, I would go with the recommendation of others and try some other base malts. just eat some US vs Belgian 2-row side by side and you'll be amazed at the difference in flavor.

but if you're still not satisfied, you can either...

experiment with specialty grains to find something that suits your tastes: maybe aromatic, victory, special b or biscuit. all of these add deeper flavors that american 2-row is certainly missing.


a single decoction either from a low rest temp to your saccarification rest, or from saccarification to mashout can also contribute to a maltier profile and deeper color.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2009, 01:51 PM   #9
SpanishCastleAle's Avatar
Jan 2009
Central Florida
Posts: 4,345
Liked 38 Times on 38 Posts

Water chemistry can affect the maltiness of your beer too. The Chloride:Sulphate ratio has an affect on it...1:1 is 'balanced'...higher is maltier and lower is bittererer. If you know your water chemistry you can play with this spreadsheet from Palmer's site.

I messed with it last night and noticed that the local brand of Spring Water has a 'malty' profile (with lower Residual Alkalinity) but the same brand of Drinking Water has a 'bitter' profile with higher RA. Which is nice to know.
Early brewers were primarily women, mostly because it was deemed a woman's job. Mesopotamian men, of some 3,800 years ago, were obviously complete assclowns and had yet to realize the pleasure of brewing beer.- Beer Advocate

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
That missing malty flavor dannypo General Beer Discussion 18 09-08-2009 03:20 AM
Increasing ABV madegret Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 14 04-30-2009 07:40 PM
Malty Flavor Target cactusgarrett Recipes/Ingredients 3 06-25-2008 12:22 PM
malty flavor is missing in my beers! eschatz All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 35 02-16-2008 06:16 PM
I want more malty flavor. NitrouStang96 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 02-13-2008 03:43 PM

Forum Jump