Malt Barley

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Malt Barley

While there’s a lot of excitement around food barley, would be remiss if we didn’t connect you with great information about the malt barley industry in Alberta as well as our burgeoning microbrewery industry.

Uses for malt
Malt barley is all about taste—and that taste is mainly used to flavour beer and spirits. Malt extract is also used around the world in many foods (from cookies and cakes to beverages and baby foods) to enhance flavour, colour, fermentation and aroma, improve food texture, extend shelf life as well as enrich nutritional content.

Malting barley is a demanding crop. It requires a combination of precise production, harvest conditions and storage (see list below). If all of these can be achieved and the grain meets maltsters’ strict quality specifications, malting barley can command premium prices and later be processed into malted barley.

How is malt made?
Malt or malted barley is the processed grain, while malting barley refers to the unprocessed grain.
The malting process takes the raw form of barley, malting barley, through a series of steps in order to produce the final product, malted barley. These steps include barley grading, steeping, germination and kilning followed by a final cleaning and grading. At the end of the process, the malt is ready for use.

Alberta’s malt industry
Due to its ideal growing conditions for malting barley, Alberta is the top malt grower in Canada. In fact, nearly half of Canadian malt exports are from Alberta.

Besides having access to great malting barley, Alberta has two major malting plants: Rahr Malting Company in Alix; and Canada Malting Company in Calgary.

Alberta’s microbreweries
With access to great local malt, it’s no wonder the microbrewery industry is thriving in Alberta. This return to craft brewing is something to be celebrated, which is why you’ll find great information from local brewmasters, industry experts and chefs
on our blog.