The Brewing Files – Cara Malt (Light Crystal Malt)

Caramalt (also known as light crystal malt) is one of our favourites to brew with. It adds quite a bit to a beer – flavour, alcohol, a nice silky texture and a healthy head.

What is caramalt?

It’s a crystal malt – so sugars are produced inside the grain (using the enzymes in the grain iteslf) and crystallized, just like a hard candy. These sugars go directly into the steeping pot and into your brew. The simple sugars are converted to alcohol and the complex sugars stay in your finished beer. They are the part that makes the beer a little more amber in colour, add flavour and give the beer some body (and a nice head). The nice thing about caramalt is that it’s rather light in colour so you can use a good bit without making the beer taste sweet or burnt (or porter like). Besides the texture and colour changes, you’ll also get some nice bready/biscuity flavour that persists and makes the hops in a good pale ale really ‘pop’ when you drink it.
Photo of Cara Caramel Malt Homebrewing Ingredient in Bulk

Try this brewing recipe and see what you think:

Pale Ale Recipe
4.5L batch
400g light dry malt extract
350g Caramalt – Boil 500mL water, then shut off heat and let sit for 6 minutes before adding grain. Steep in water for 30 minutes, add to boil pot, rinse and boil 250ml rinse water too.
6g Chinook – boil for 60 minutes
6g Chinook – add as dry hops when fermentation stops
8-16g Centennial – add as dry hops when fermentation stops, to taste
3-6g American ale yeast
ABV 4.4%

Or maybe a Belgian style suits:
Belgian Dubbel
4.5L batch
600g light dry malt extract
500g caramalt – Boil 1L water, shut off heat for 8 minutes before adding grain. Steep for 30 minutes, add to boil pot and rinse with 500mL water.
4g Cascade – boil for 60 minutes
6g Fuggles – boil for 30 minutes
3-6g English (or Belgian) ale yeast
ABV 6.6%

Let us know what you think of these recipes.
Happy BrewSmithing!

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