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Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements) Paperback – December 30, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Mallett has managed all beer production for award-winning Bell’s Brewery, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Mich. since 2001, leading many of its brands to near cult status among beer enthusiasts. Throughout his 26-year professional brewing career, Mallett has been recognized for his expertise and leadership in brewery technical education and training. He serves on many boards and technical committees, including the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, Brewers Association, Hop Quality Group, and American Malting Barley Association. He has authored more than 40 brewing technical papers and presentations and, since 1995, is a member of the extended faculty of Siebel Institute of Technology. In 2002, Mallett received the Russell Schehrer Award for Innovation in Craft Brewing.
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Product Details

  • Series: Brewing Elements
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Brewers Publications (December 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1938469127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1938469121
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan P. Piechocki on December 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this book and it shipped slightly sooner than I had expected, so I was pleased by that. I am currently halfway through and can say that while I am satisfied with the material provided, the proofreading and editing (both for content and copy) appear rushed (for instance, the spellings "malster," "maltser," and "maltster" appear regularly interchangeable even on the same page.) There are spelling or grammatical errors on every page, the formulas given are often missing operators or other symbols and I have to cross-reference them online, and figures are sometimes incomplete or misleading.

Despite these subtle distractions, it is overall a great addition to my brewing library and a good springboard into more specialized textbooks, but in need of a revision in the near future.
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This is an interesting book, pretty well written, and I enjoyed reading it. I am somewhat disappointed with the book, though, because I brought a false expectation to it. Since it is part of the Brewing Elements Series, published by Brewer Publications, I expected it to be about brewing. Comparing it to the Water book from the same series, there is virtually nothing of relevance to someone who wants to mash malt, or boil and ferment wort. It's fun, and if I wanted to malt grain at home it'd be invaluable, but as a brewing book, it leaves much to be desired.

What information it does have leaves me with questions. For instance, on page 112 Mallett writes that the optimal temperature for beta amylase is 131, and the optimal temperature for alpha amylase is 147. That's fascinating, but then if it's true, I'm quite curious why we mash at 145-155. It's those sort of conversations I would have loved to see in this book.
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Format: Paperback
After Yeast, this was the most highly anticipated book in the series for me. Unfortunately, it is incomplete and riddled with grammatical errors, suggesting the deadline trumped putting out a high quality product to complete a brewing series. While for some reason there is extensive time committed to barley production, as a book designed for home brewers, I would have thought a lot more attention would have been paid to the malts themselves. How they are produced? What are their unique flavors? What makes one different from the other? The basic concepts of high kilned vs low kilned malts weren't even discussed, which may be the single most important distinction between the pale ale malts and the vienna/munich/melanoidin malts. It explains why malts of the same kilning color have diastatic power and some do not, while also offering insights as to why they taste different despite similar analytical specs. I cannot count how many times "dependent on time and temperature" was repeated throughout this book, almost to the point of becoming a copout for actually researching details on the production of different malt types. While complete maltster-specific detail on temperature profile is better reserved for a technical manual, a simple explanation of time and temperature could have been used to detail how a specific category of malt is made and the characters that result from the specific temperature regime. Aromatic malt, which may be one of the most popular specialty malts out there, wasn't even discussed or listed in the index. In fact, the list of malts and maltsters in the appendix only represents the products sold by one or two malt distributors and is grossly incomplete. Again, maybe part of the let down was that I had really high hopes for this book.Read more ›
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this is more of a book about growing barely and the commercial process of extracting the malt. there is little use for the home brewer in this book unless you just want to know about growing and commercial malting. i was hoping for more of "how to pick malt and calculate how much and what kind of malt i needed to brew on my own." i didn't get this from the book and i was pretty disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is not practical for brewers to read because it does not address how the different types of malt impact the mash process for brewers. It goes into how to make malt and different types of malt but does not explain how to use malts in the brewhouse.
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in depth, easily read and understood introduction to the malting process and other nuances of the soul of beer. Relatively low amount of practical information for a home brewer, but will definitely help raise the appreciation of the availability of pre-malted grain.
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I spent my last weekend reading and re-reading this book, learning a great deal of information about malts to a significant extent. I have no doubt that this book will stay with me for a very long time as I continue to learn. What all is missing is an Appendix containing an expanded rundown of base malts and specialty malts. Sure, Maris Otter is a thing, but what of the many companies that produce their own version of Maris Otter? I wish more detail was available along these lines. At the very least, now I can look at these maltster websites, download the specsheets for their grains and make better sense of what I'm reading and figure it out for myself.
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