The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Making barley syrup from powder

jonqisu's picture

Making barley syrup from powder

Does anyone know if there is a conversion/recipe to replace or make barley syrup from malt powder? If I've understood what I've read elsewhere, then theoretically malt powder was at one point a syrup, so it should just be a matter of reversing the process. I've done searches here and the rest of the net, but haven't found anything that might suggest how to convert from powder to syrup. I know that you can just buy the syrup, but I thought that it might be nice to be able to convert the powder in a pinch.

This question might pertain more to non-baking applications but I thought that if anyone knew, the wise contributors of TFL would be the ones. Thanks!

Yumarama's picture

If you were to ask on a brewing forum. Barley/malt syrup is a minor ingredient in breads (generally speaking) but a very important and prominent component of beer making, both as dry and syrup form. 

I'd bet they would be very well versed in the issue of dry vs liquid and the possibility and process of switching one to the other.

Not that no one here might know but you'd have plenty more knowledge all 'round on the topic in a brewing forum since most anyone who brews would have made use of one type or the other to a large degree. Where here, it's called for in only a very few breads.

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...For which sort of recipe is this for?

Using the right type of Honey you don't need any malt.
Don't try it with a sweet Honey, a darker more sour Honey may just impress you.

suave's picture

Actually, it's the other way around - syrup is made from dry malt.  You can throw nondiastatic malt into boiling water, let it infuse for a while, filter and use to taste.  Sorry, but the ratios will be for you to figure out.

arzajac's picture

Barley is malted (sprouted and then heated to halt the process).  The malted barley is imersed in water and the temperature is controlled to encourage various enzymes to do their thing, such as lysing proteins and breaking down starches.

Once the starches are broken down and an iodine test reveals that there are no more srches left, the grain is sparged (rinsed) and then boiled.  It's boiled in a vacuum to evacute the water.  If all the water is evacuated, then it's dry malted powder.  If some water is left in, it's malt syrup.


In beer recipes that call for malt extract, usually malt power and syrup are used interchangeably (pound for pound), which leads me to beleive that the water content in malt syrup is negligeable.

arzajac's picture

From The Home Brewer's Companion, 1994, Charlie Papazian, p 28:

"One of the simpliest substitutions that can be made is malt syrup for dried malt and vice versa.  Most malt syrup is about 80 to 85 per cent solids and 15 to 20 per cent water.  For simplicity, use an 85 percent conversion factor when substituting dried malt for syrup.  Thus, if one pound of malt syrup is called for in a recipe, you can substitute 0.85 pound of dried malt.  Likewise, approximately 1.2 pounds of syrup will substitute for 1 pound of dried extract.  Specific malt extracts will contibute specific characteristics to beer.  Substituting dried extract for syrup or vice versa will result in a variation of the beer's intended final character, but it will be a close approximation and may be a desired discovery (and another recipe worth repeating)."

jonqisu's picture

Well, the recipe was for a mousse my wife was trying to make--I figured that one could sub it in, but I thought that the texture would suffer if the water content differed. thanks everyone for the helpful advice--I'll have to follow up at a brewing forum, but I think I'll experiment with the ratio you suggested arzajac.

Thanks again!