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We have divided the grain section into five different subsections:
1) Base Malts - These grains can be used to produce the majority, if not entirety, of fermentable sugars, enzymes, & filter material for your beer.
2) Flaked or Rolled Grains - These grains have been soaked and run between heated rollers. This process gelatinizes the starches contained within the grains and allows them to be added directly to the mash tun, without having to boil them prior to the mash (called a "cereal cooker" process in commercial brewing).
3) Crystal Or Caramel Malts - These grains have been kilned at medium temperatures while still wet from the malting (sprouting) process. This will convert the internal starches into sugar, then those sugars are caramelized to various extents depending upon the roast. This caramelization renders the sugars, more or less, non-fermentable. These grains will add body, amber color, and a caramel sweetness to the finish of the beer.
4) Dark Roasted Grains -These grains have been roasted beyond caramelization. They are roasted very much like coffee beans, and, like coffee beans, these roasts may vary from medium brown (e.g. chocolate malt) to almost black-burnt (e.g. roast barley or black patent malt). Flavors and aromas may vary from a chocolate-like mocha to expresso levels.
5) Specialty Grains - These grains simply don't fall nicely into the other sub-categories. They may be a result of special processing (e.g. German Rauch (smoked), British Peat Smoked, German Acidulated (sour, acidic) malt, grains heated to the point of "popping" (torrified wheat), or simply cured to levels that don't neatly fit into the crystal malt/roast grain niches (e.g. amber malt, brown malt, Victory, Aromatic, Biscuit malts).
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