Crisp Malt Craft Brewing Recommendations from Colin Johnston

Crisp Malt

With the waning of the long summer days and the start of the morning dews, the past few weeks have seen farmers bringing in the harvest much as they for hundreds of years. While the technology has changed the fundamentals have not and this is true also for Crisp Malt. We started back in 1870 in Norfolk, the Crisp family recognising that the area was especially well suited to site a maltings due to the abundance of some of the highest quality malting barley in the world. We’ve been working with local farmers to bring in that harvest every year since. The combine harvesters have got bigger and so to the silos, but the relationships remain the same. We work with some 270 farmers to ensure the barley is cut, dried and stored onsite at our Ryburgh malting’s in a swift manner to lock in the very best quality barley for the malt we produce.

In a month or 2, once the barley has woken from its deep sleep, known as dormancy, we will clean it, steep, germinate and kiln it to produce a range of malts suited to our 500 small brewery customers up and down the UK and Ireland. Some of our Maris Otter barley will move across our no. 19 floor maltings, one of the last surviving traditional maltings in the UK and the only one in Norfolk to survive the bombing runs of WWII. Nothing more that the maltsers touch and feel of the grain and a few temperature probes will determine the quality of this malt, but we believe that keeping the old methods alive is important. Other barley will be turned into rich Vienna and Munich malts for creating richness in flavour and colour and others still will be caramelised and roasted to produce crystal and dark malts for bitters and stouts. In the heart of Speyside we will take or local Aberdeenshire barley and dry it with local peat to produce the signature flavours and aromas for peated whisk(e)y making.

Crisp Malt started working with Jonathan at Geterbrewed back in February of this year as we recognised a demand for high quality malt in Northern Ireland. Jonathan approached us to work in partnership and once we saw the passion he has for his business and for beer we were delighted to start working together. It’s this same passion that we bring to our work every day. Our sales team come from either a malt or beer making background and so we pride ourselves on understanding what our customers need from a maltster. I myself have spent the past 8 years working in breweries in Scotland. For example, we know that crush is crucial in terms of balancing run-off and flavour extract and so we check every single batch for the different flour, course/fine grits and husk percentages and adjust the mill accordingly to ensure consistent malt every single time.

Sometimes the range of malts can be overwhelming. We’ve kept our range easy to understand and hopefully cover all the bases. If we don’t though, and you think we could be making something new then drop us an email and we will try to incorporate new ideas into our range. We want to innovate just as much as you.

Why not try some of the following malts in your next brew….
Dextrin Malt

Referred to recently by a Scottish customer as magic malt, this lightly kilned malt retains a high percentage of dextrins once mashed giving excellent mouth feel and head retention properties. Use it up to 10% much like Torrified Wheat.

Naked Oats Malt

Trying to create a New England IPA? Oats are an essential part of the mix as they add that creaminess and protein haze which is the hallmark of the style. Just watch as these oats are huskless so don’t use in too high a %. If you do then you might want to add rice hulls to open up the bed. Torrified Flaked Oats can also be used and these have the benefit of having the husk retained.

Clear Choice Malt

Having issues with chill haze in your final beer? The cycling of hot and cold in cellars, bar back fridges and bottle shop chillers can play havoc with the presentation of beers in bottle and keg. The old adage that people drink with their eyes is still true for the most part and so we developed Clear Choice Malt to combat this common haze issue. The malt has been selectively bred over several decades to ensure there is no polyphenol in the husk. Since chill (and permanent) haze in filtered beers is down to the complexing of polyphenols, this malt ensures a chill stable beer. Due to the lack of astringency caused by the polyphenol (also known as tannin) this malt imparts a lovely honey sweetness.

Maris Otter Malt

Maris Otter has been around for 53 years now and is the longest continually malted variety in the world. It’s famed amongst brewers due to its superb flavour in ales and also as a very forgiving malt in the brewhouse in terms of mashing run off and temperature tolerance.

Chevallier Heritage Malt

Chevallier malt was the dominant barley variety in the mid 19 th century but died out in the 20th and was replaced by more modern, higher yielding varieties. We worked with the national seed collection to revive this barley from just 7 seeds and we now produce just a few hundred tonnes every year. The malt produced from Chavellier is extremely rich and produces moreish beers packed full of malt flavour. A malt for a special occasion like an anniversary brew or special bottling. Plus, the sack it comes in pretty cool.

These are just some of the speciality malt we produce. As Jonathan at Geterbrewed for the full range and for our substitution table when you switching from another maltster and if you’ve any questions then please get in touch via email or twitter.

The link for malt substitutions is found here;…

If you need any technical assistance in relation to malt we are happy to help

Colin Johnston

Craft Brewing & Distilling Sales Manager at Crisp Malting Group