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What are melanoidins?

April 13th, 2021

What are melanoidins?

It is well known that alpha acids are what makes a beer bitter. But what makes a beer malty? One of the answer to this question is melanoidins. Melanoidins are compounds created during the Maillard reaction during the malting process. Melanoidins are a fusion between sugars and amino acids (protein subunit if you prefer). Melanoidins have a strong malty flavor. Other flavors such as honey, biscuit, caramel, toffee-like, bread-like, coffee-like and roasted-like are also associated with melanoidins. Some malt contain higher level of melanoidins (Honey maltMelanoidins maltAromatic maltMunich maltVienna malt, etc.)

You want to increase the malty character of your beer? If you use pale ale malt, you might want to replace 5 to 33% of the base malt with Munich malt or Vienna malt. The % depends of which one you want to use. You might need more Vienna malt (25-33%) than Munich malt (5-15%).  You can do a beer with mostly Munich malt or Vienna malt if you want. It’s not enough malty for you? Try adding Aromatic malt or Melanoidins malt (5% of the grist to begin is a good starting point). The use of Melanoidin malt is also a good way to simulate a decoction mash without the trouble of doing one.

Why not try those tips for your next lager or English style beer?