Muntons manufactures and supplies malt and malt extracts to breweries around the globe.

Muntons understands the importance that you, the brewer, place on the quality and consistency of the malt that you use in your brewing process and the importance of reliability of supply.

Malt Flavor Types

Flavor malt type showing this character

CerealWheat, Ale
SweetAle, Amber, Munich
BurntBlack, Roasted Barley or Malt
NuttyCaramalt, Ale
GreenLager, High Enzyme, Diastatic
SulphuryPositive DMS, Lager
Negative: Sulphitic and Sulphidic
SolventShould not be present in any malt type
ToffeeCrystal up to color 240 EBC
CaramelCrystal up to color 110 EBC, Caramalt
CoffeeChocolate, Black
ChocolateVery dark Crystal
TreacleCrystal over 240 EBC Color
FruityCrystal color up to 110 EBC, Munich
BitterChocolate, Black

Flavor Wheel

Malt sensory analysis

Currently malt tasting is not part of any malt specification but offers possibilities to differentiate both positive and negative flavors. Conventional malt analysis may suggest that malts are identical, yet the processing parameters used could have been different and therefore the flavor profile also slightly different (Davies, 2010).

Therefore, it is important to have a sufficiently discriminatory method to flavor profile malts that reflects the range of malt flavors available. Some customers require tasting of worts for the correct flavor profile. This doesn’t reflect contribution of the husk and the sweetness of worts predominates, making full profiling impractical.

A method that fully describes the profile of malt has been developed that creates a ‘porridge’ by grinding the whole malt and mixing with a small amount of water. This avoids the problems for the taster of drying out the palate if tasting whole malt or dry ground samples.

When given free rein to describe malt flavors, tasters tend to use food products as descriptors. It has proved possible to group these into a smaller number of sensory terms to create a unique profile for the entire range of malts (Murray et al, 1999). This malt flavor wheel allows distinct profiles to be created for the wide range of malts and malted ingredients we produce.

Beer Flavor Wheel

Beer flavor wheels are designed to describe the full range of taste and aroma detectable in beer. Originally developed by Meilgaard in the 1970’s it has many variants today. The principles are the same for all. Both taste and aroma are included. For taste the characteristics are fullness, mouthfeel, bitter, salty, sweet, sour and oxidized with many sub-descriptors. Aroma characters are aromatic, fragrant, fruity, floral, green, cereal, caramel, roasted, phenolic, soapy, fatty, diacetyl, sulphury and stale.

Compounds are sometimes grouped into types such as Cereal – derived from basic grain and malt flavors through to Maillard which develop in speciality malts that are stewed and roasted or Sweet notes that are more honey-like. Other flavors are described as Aromatic such as fruity, spicy.

Another group describes Vegetable type notes such as woody, beany. Mouthfeel and Fullness are important characteristics and include the descriptors of gassiness, dryness, alcoholic. Sulphury notes are particularly important determinants of lager and ales where presence of the more positive DMS, sweetcorn notes is often more desirable in lagers whereas the sulphidic and sulphitic notes are quite undesirable in both.

Sensory analysts can be trained to detect the presence and relative levels of each of these attributes over time and develop a unique fingerprint for a beer to establish not only its unique selling points but to establish its trueness to type in production and detect any off notes that develop due to problems along the supply chain.