AskDefine | Define malt

Dictionary Definition



1 a milkshake made with malt powder [syn: malted, malted milk]
2 a lager of high alcohol content; by law it is considered too alcoholic to be sold as lager or beer [syn: malt liquor]
3 a cereal grain that is kiln-dried after having been germinated by soaking in water; used especially in brewing and distilling


1 treat with malt or malt extract; "malt beer"
2 turn into malt, become malt
3 convert grain into malt
4 convert into malt

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English mealt, malt. Cognate with Dutch mout, German Malz, Swedish malt.



  1. Sprouted grain used in brewing.
  2. Malt liquor, especially malt whisky.



Derived terms



  1. to grind

Extensive Definition

Malting is a process applied to cereal grains, in which the grains are made to germinate and then are quickly dried before the plant develops.
The term malt refers to several products of the process:
Malted grain is used to make beer, whisky, and malt vinegar. Malting grains develops the enzymes that are required to modify the grain's starches into sugars, including monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, etc.) and disaccharides (sucrose, etc.). It also develops other enzymes, such as proteases which break down the proteins in the grain into forms which can be utilized by yeast. Barley is the most commonly malted grain in part because of its high diastatic power or enzyme content. Also very important is the retention of the grain's husk even 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 (see brewing). 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" .


A malting, sometimes called maltings, malthouse, or malting floor, is a building that houses the process of converting barley into malt, for use in the brewing or distilling process. A typical floor maltings is a long, single-story building with a floor that slopes slightly from one end of the building to the other. There are a number of maltings buildings still in existence, and a handful are still operational. Floor maltings began to be phased out from the 1940's in favour of 'pneumatic plants'. Here large industrial fans are used to blow air through the germinating grain beds and to pass hot air through the malt being kilned. Like floor maltings these pneumatic plants are batch processes but of considerably greater size, typically 100 tonne batches compared with 20 tonne batches for a floor maltings.


  • Make Your Own Malt, Brew Your Own magazine (ISSN 1081-826X ), August 1997, pp. 32-36.
  • UK Malt The website of The Maltsters' Association of Great Britain. UK Malting Barley information and malt images.

See also

malt in Arabic: شعير
malt in Czech: Slad
malt in Danish: Malt
malt in German: Malz
malt in Estonian: Linnased
malt in Spanish: Malta (cereal)
malt in Esperanto: Malto (bierfarejo)
malt in French: Malt
malt in Icelandic: Malt
malt in Italian: Malto
malt in Hebrew: לתת
malt in Luxembourgish: Malz
malt in Ligurian: Malto
malt in Dutch: Mout
malt in Japanese: 麦芽
malt in Norwegian: Malt
malt in Polish: Słód
malt in Portuguese: Malte
malt in Kölsch: Malz
malt in Romanian: Malţ
malt in Russian: Солод
malt in Finnish: Mallas
malt in Swedish: Malt
malt in Ukrainian: Солод
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