By Jon Griffin
Malta drink is a non-alcoholic beverage common in the the Caribbean and Latin America. It is basically unfermented wort. Traditionally, since this was treated as a foodstuff, no adjuncts were added. However, all commercial examples I could find, both in the US and in Cuba now contain Sugar of some kind, generally Molasses but also Cane Sugar. Historically, malta was used as food for children and the sick and has since become a mainstream beverage. Of course, the other soft drink companies have taken market share from Malta, but it is still a very popular drink. I got a prototype malta recipe from a friend in Cuba, and along with John Curtis (another Malta enthusiast), we decided to give it a shot. Here is the result of our Malta experiment.
BJCP Category: Specialty Beer
Yield: 5 Gallons
Target recipe – traditional malta with no adjuncts:
- 80% 2 row pale malt
- 15% Crystal malt
- 5% Chocolate malt
- Original Gravity (OG) 14 Plato
Luisa’s Malta Mania (1st version)
Brewed on 3/16/2004
5.0 Gallon Batch (all grain)
- 8 lbs Pale Malt (US 2 row)
- 1.5 lbs Crystal 20 malt
- .5 lb Chocolate Malt (350)
- 13 oz Cane Sugar (Piloncillo)
- 1.25 oz Liberty Hops 4.4%
- Mash In: Add 12.5 qts of water at 170.5 F Hold Mash at 158 F for 45 min, we wanted a lot of nonfermentable dextrins.
- Mash Out: Add 5.0 qt of water at 196 F Hold mash at 168 for 10 min
- Sparge with 3.39 gal of 168 F water
- Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.3 gallons
- Add hops for full 90 minute boil, there are no flavor or aroma additions.
- We also added the Cane sugar for a full 90 minutes.
The malta we ended up with is as follows:
- 18 IBU
- 1.040 Pre Boil gravity
- 13 Brix Original Gravity (OG)
Since malta is a non-fermented beverage, there is no final gravity (FG).
The color was fine for a malta, but it had to much hop bitterness. This has now become beer by boiling the wort again to sterilize and added White Labs WLP002 (English Ale) yeast. Our final gravity (FG) was 7.5 brix. This made an awesome beer, Southern English Brown (BJCP category 10C) would come to mind immediately. I would not change a thing on this recipe for making this beer. Also, this beer was on tap at the 26th Annual National Homebrewers Conference in Las Vegas NV, for club night with the CUBA brew club. Anyone interested could try both the Malta and the Southern English Brown Ale.
Malta second batch recipe
We decided to boost the Cane Sugar to 2 lbs and cut back the hops to 6 IBU. We brewed on 3/16/2004
You can see the final version here.
Grains & Extracts
|Pale Malt (2 Row) US||8 lb||Base malt for all beer styles|
|Chocolate Malt||0.5 lb||Dark malt that gives a rich red or brown color and nutty flavor. Use for: Brown ales, porters, some stouts Maintains some malty flavor, not as dark as roasted malt.|
|Molasses||3 lb||Imparts a strong, sweet flavor. Used primarily in stouts and porters.|
|Name||Amount||Alpha Acid %||AAU||Time||Notes|
|Liberty - Whole||0.5 oz||4.4%||2.2||90|
|Name||Step Type||Step Time||Temperature|
|Mash In||Infusion||45.0000000||158 F|
|Mash Out||Infusion||10.0000000||168 F|
|4 days||68 F||
|7 days||68 F||
|28 days||52 F||