Episode 109: Troubadour Maltings’ Chris Schooley on Understanding the Fine Details of Malt and the Process Behind It

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Malt is subject most take for granted—a commodity that is generally fungible and often overlooked. But for Troubadour Maltings’ Chris Schooley, it’s a subject of endless fascination and professional obsession. In this deep dive into the subject, Schooley expounds on the value of thinking about malt beyond extract numbers, explores the history of malt and why certain malt styles are what they are today, defines great malting grain while discussing new developments in the agriculture that has helped craft maltsters produce better raw materials, and more. In the brewhouse and in the malt house, consistency may be overrated, but quality is not—the malting process and role of the maltster is to add value to the agriculture and the brewing process, since the power in malt is not intrinsic… someone has to unlock it. But the things that really make a difference in malt quality may not be the things you suspect, and as specialty malts get darker, certain factor like freshness play a larger role in the flavor of the end beer. It’s a fascinating episode for anyone who has every pondered why and how malt does what it does in the brewing process…

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