The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Diastatic Malt

Mitch550's picture

Diastatic Malt

I've gone through a lot of posts on this subject but haven't come across an answer to my question so please excuse me if this has previously been covered.

I want to sprout whole wheat berries to make diastatic malt.  I can purhchase a 32 oz bag of soft wheat berries or a 32 oz bag of hard wheat berries, which are more expensive.  Does anyone know if it makes any difference which one I use?  I'm guessing it doesn't matter since so little is used in a loaf of bread, but I'd like to get more reliable information if I can before I go ahead with this

Thank you.


mrfrost's picture

For all practical purposes here, from what I have learned, it probably doesn't matter. So if making the malt powder is your only use for the berries, go with the less expensive soft wheat berries.

That said-again from my limited research-in the commercial production of malt, it seems that, in general, the lower the levels of proteins involved, the better for the process. So again, the soft wheat(lower protein) berries would be the choice. I think this is one of the reasons barley is preferred in the industrial production of malt.

Bixmeister's picture

When I think of diastatic malt I think of dry non hopped barley extract.  This can be obtained at home-brew stores.  As a homebrewer I would always choose barley extract over wheat extract for its diastatic properties.  Barley kernals have more diastatic enzymes.


I don't for sure know if this is relavent to the inquiry about Diastatic Malt above.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven


Mitch550's picture

Thanks for your replys.  It turns out that I found this site and it's very informative so I wanted to share it.

Also, I didn't realize that my copy of The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book has a few pages on this subject.  Laurel says that wheat berries give a low-medium activity malt, and suggests that with malt made from wheat, she "would hesitate to add more than 1/4 teaspoon per loaf's worth of dough."  She said that she used wheat instead of barley becasue she couldn't easily get her hands on whole hull-less barley.  The bottom line is that if you use it in moderation it doesn't seem to make all that much difference which you use.  From all of this input I also gather that it doesn't make all that much difference whether you use soft wheat berries or hard wheat berries.

I also read in several places that barley is used commercially to make the malt because barley is cheaper than wheat.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to respond.