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Beer Ingredients: Malts, Extracts, and Sugars

The malting of grain begins its journey towards beer. Malting converts the grainís starches into sugars that the yeast transforms into alcohol and carbon dioxide. And thatís not all: grains provide proteins and dextrins, which may sound like just uptight chemistry words until you realize they create the fun bubbles of foam on the head of your beer.

Usually brewers use malted barley, but if youíre not fanatical about the Reinheitsgebot, youíll feel free to use adjuncts. Grains other than barley, like wheat, rice, corn and oats, enable you to tailor your beerís characteristics or just to cut costs. Some regions of the world use grains like sorghum and millet to brew beer.

Specialty grains can enhance color, aroma, flavor, and body through different degrees of kilning, producing malted and unmalted grains that vary widely in color and character. Examples of these include caramel, chocolate, and smoked malts.

Meanwhile, adjunct sugars boast the added talent of augmenting fermentable resources for the yeast to act, meaning just a wave of a sugar-touched hand could add an extra-special something to your beerís strength.

Beer Ingredients: Malts, Extracts, and Sugars