From grain to malt
Producing malt is a skill, which is why hardly any brewers malt their own grains - that’s a job left for maltings. There are a number of maltings spread out throughout the UK. Germany is home to the world famous Weyermann in Bamberg, and in Belgium, Castle Malting and Dingemans are well known malting sites.
Malt is available in many different varieties. For the majority of the time, barley is used for brewing beer. After the malting process, we speak of barley malt. However, other grain types, like wheat, rye and oats, are also malted and used for brewing. Often, various malt types will be used simultaneously, as is the case for Tripel Karmeliet, which is brewed with barley malt, wheat malt and oatmeal. Jopen also regularly uses different grain types: take their 4-grain bock for example, which is brewed with barley, wheat, oats and rye.
Grains are often used for brewing without being malted. This always happens in combination with malted grains, because those grains that haven’t been malted don’t contain the necessary enzymes to make beer. White beers are brewed with unmalted wheat, which gives them their freshness. Blanche De Namur and Walhalla Minerva are fine examples. Minerva also contains spelt.