The History and Application of Munich Malt

Munich malt

Specialty malts are a natural part of a brewer’s bill of materials as these malts offer a diverse range of flavors and colors that brewers use to manipulate their beer to perfection.

As Brewers change and diversify their portfolio of beers to meet the ever-changing consumer tastes, they rely on their malt suppliers to provide unique malts to meet those demands.

One malt, in particular, is very useful for more than just imparting color and flavor components. This malt has the added punch of retaining a moderate amount of enzymes for starch conversion and can be used as a portion of a brewer’s base malt. Origin Malt’s Light Munich will provide the added flavor and hue a brewer desires in lagers and European style fest beers.


Munich malt was first developed by Spaten Brewery of Munich, Germany, in the 1830s using a new technology developed by Daniel Wheeler. This new technology allowed Spaten Brewery to make malt with predictable and consistent characteristics.  The first beer style created with this new Munich malt was a märzen in 1941.

Munich malts are unique in their production in the malthouse, their chemical profile, and their application in the brewery.  Origin Malt is able to produce the flavors and aromas that are desired by brewers through chemical reactions that occur during malting. The chemical changes that take place during malting are complex and involved and are essential to the malty backbone that produces the warm, toasted nut characteristic that Origin Malt Light Munich imparts to beer.

Munich Malt begins its journey through malting the same way a Pilsner or Brewers Malt does. The deviation from a traditional base malt occurs when the green malt is transferred into the kiln. It is all about time and temperature at this point. By controlling these two parameters, Origin Malt can yield the characteristics inherent to our Munich Malt. The gentle kilning of the green malt allows Origin Malt to preserve the starch-reducing diastatic enzymes that are important in brewing, and promote a degree of saccharification before it reaches its final kiln temperature. Final temperatures are applied for a short duration to obtain the desired moisture and color through the melanoidin-producing Maillard reaction, which is responsible for giving Origin Malt’s Light Munich the malty-sweet aroma and color a brewer desires.

These flavors can be unlocked through the  mashing of Munich malt in the brewery.

Through the use of the hot steep method for sensory and malt bill adjustments a brewer can evaluate how much Munich Malt to use to achieve their desired beer flavors. 


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