Nick Carr on February 28, 2020 0 Comments Munich malt has its origins back in the 1830s at the Spaten Brewery in Munich, Germany. In the early part of the 1830s, Gabriel Sedlmayr the Elder still owned Spaten, however, his son, Gabriel Sedlmayr the Younger was well on his way to becoming a brewer in his own right. As part of his studies, Gabriel traveled extensively to Europe’s most prestigious centers of brewing. In 1833, Gabriel traveled to Great Britain with friend and fellow brewer, Anton Dreher to learn about fermentation. Here they learned of Daniel Wheeler’s revolutionary invention to dry malt: the Drum Kiln. Instead of using direct fire — which would create a dark color and a strong roasted, often smoky profile — Daniel Wheeler had found a way to dry malt with hot air creating a lighter colored, more delicate and uniform malt. They were intrigued and zealously pursued any knowledge they could about the new invention, even to the point of stealing samples of wort from English breweries for later analysis. In 1836 Gabriel Sedlmayr the Elder died, and his sons Gabriel and Joseph took over the Spaten Brewery. Somewhere in this time period, Gabriel began to experiment with the new way of drying malt, eventually creating a cleaner, more uniform version of the dark malt the brewery used. The malt was used in the brewery’s Dunkel recipe and also figured heavily into the invention of the Märzen style in 1841. How Munich Malt is Made Munich malt starts out like any other malt. It’s first steeped in warm water and germination is allowed to take place. During germination the malt undergoes modification. A process in which protein and carbohydrates are broken down and the starch in each kernel is “made available.” After the germination phase, the green malt is dried. It’s here that Munich takes a different route than other aromatic, higher kilned malts. Munich is made by drying the malt with warm air, but instead of allowing the now moisture-ladened air to be drawn away, it is recirculated. This recirculation slows the drying process and allows some saccharification to take place in the malt. As the malt dries, the temperature is increased incrementally until the malt is finished at a kilning temperature of between 212oF to 230oF. How long the malt stays at this final temperature range dictates how dark it will be. This combination of slow drying and quick finishing is what creates the characteristic bready, toasty, and nutty flavors, along with the preservation of some of the malts enzymatic power. Origin: Germany Malt Type: Base Malt: Light Munich with a color rating below 10oL. Specialty Malt: Munich malts with color higher than about 10oL have very little diastatic power and should be considered specialty malts Average Percentage Used: Light Munich (>10oL) can make up 100% of a grain bill. Munich (<10oL) is usually used in proportions ranging from 10% to 30% of the grain bill. (DP) Diastatic Power (oL): Munich Malt (10 SRM): 70 oL Munich Malt (20 SRM): 25 oL The numbers above are generally correct, but always make note of the diastatic power of the particular Munich malt you have purchased. Note: If you have any concerns about the ability of a particular grain bill to convert, you can find out the diastatic power of your grain bill by using this formula: Total Diastatic Power = (WeightOfGrain1 * LintnerOfGrain1) + (WeightOfGrain2 * LintnerOfGrain2)… and so on Then divide your answer by the Total Weight of the Grain Bill. If the Diastatic power is lower than 30oL your recipe will have a hard time converting, if at all. Above 30oL the recipe should convert. However, also remember the higher your diastatic power the quicker conversion will take place. If you’re hovering around 30oL it may take a long time for full conversion to take place. Lovibond (oL): Can range from 5oL to around 35oL Color it contributes to the beer: The color range imparted by Munich malt coincides with the color of the malt. Lighter Munich will impart light golden; becoming a golden/orange, and finally, a deeper orange with reddish hues as the color of the malt darkens. Flavor: Expect a flavor range of deep, rich maltiness, with qualities of bread/toast/nut/low toffee/honey. The darker the Munich malt the stronger the toasted element. Whether you’re using Munich malt made from 6-row or 2-row can also change the flavor slightly. Munich made from 6-row tends to be slightly more grainy, while 2-row will be a little sweeter and smoother. Storage/Use Within: You should store Munich malt in a pest-free, dry environment at a temperature below 90oF; preferably between 50oF and 68oF. It will keep for up to 24 months in prime conditions. Once opened, the malt should be used within 6 months. Any milled malt should be used within 3 months. Availability (Malt): Munich malt is easy to find online and most homebrew supply stores will carry it. It’s available on Amazon from several different malting companies. Domestic Maltsters: Great Western Malting: Organic Munich Briess Malting: Munich Malt 10L Cargill Malting: Munich Digmans Malting Gambrinus Malting: Munich Light 10L; Munich Dark 30L European Maltsters: Crisp Malting: Munich Malt Castle Malting: Chateau Munich Light; Chateau Munich Dingemans Malting; Munich MD Best Matz: BEST Munich; BEST Munich Dark Ireks Malting: Munich Simpsons Malting: Munich Viking Malting: Light & Dark Munich Weyermann Malting: Munich I and Munich II Availability (Extract): There are a few Munich extracts available. However none of the ones I came across are made from German malt, so a bit of authenticity is lost. Also, they are all a mix of about half Munich malt and either pale 2-row or pilsner. But, they would all still be worthwhile to the extract brewer working on German beer styles. Below are a few options: Briess Munich Liquid Extract Briess Munich Dry Extract Malliard Malts Munich Liquid Extract Brewmaster Munich Malt Liquid Extract Brewmaster Munich Dry Extract Possible Substitutions for Munich Malt: Vienna (slightly sweeter than Munich) Combination of Biscuit/Vienna Combination of Vienna/Aromatic 1/2 to 2/3rds the amount of Aromatic for darker colored Munich Brewing With Munich Malt How you use Munich malt is going to depend on the style of beer you’re brewing. But, a little Munich can be used in just about any style in which you’d like to create a deeper impression of bready rich malt. Of course, lighter, more delicate styles are going to require less Munich for the change to be noticeable, while darker styles may require a bit more. Generally, the range to create this more robust malt profile will be 5% to 20%. Lighter Munich, up to about 10oL, can be used for 100% of the grain bill in a marzen, bock, or dunkel style. As an example, it is used for 100% of the grain bill in the 1890 Doppelbock Salvator clone recipe in Ron Pattinson’s book The Home Brewer’s Guide to Vintage Beer. Note: It may be worth the time and effort to do a decoction mash if you’re brewing a beer with 100% Munich. Beer Styles Munich Malt is often used in: Really Munich malt can make an appearance in just about any style where a little maltiness is sought. What’s listed below are some of the more common styles: Brown Ales Wheat Ales Altbier Amber Ales Dunkels Doppelbocks Stouts Porters Kölsch Schwarzbier Bocks Märzen Commercial Examples: Try to get a hold of some of the commercial examples listed below, or go out and find your own. Munich is a much-loved malt and it isn’t hard to find beer examples that make use of it. Drinking a few of these will give you a better idea of how this malt contributes to a finished beer. This is an especially good exercise if you can compare a 100% Munich malt example to a couple that make use of it as only a part of the grain bill. Using Only Munich Malt: Munich from Cismontane Brewing Company (USA) Munich SMaSH from Analog Robot Brewing Company (USA) The Black Lager from Silversmith Brewing Company (Canada) World Beer Awards Winner 2017 Commercial Examples Using Munich and Other Malts: It’s not hard to find commercial examples that make use of Munich. Listed below are a few we have done reviews for: Hopzeit Autumn IPA from Deschutes Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Pilsner and Vienna (Read our Review here) Nooner from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses Two-row Pale, Pilsner, and Acidulated (Read our Review here) Brother Adam Honey Bragget from Atlantic Brewing Company (USA)- Also uses pale and black malt (Read our Review here) If you’re looking for a malty flavor, Munich malt is a great choice for just about any style of beer!