The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Diastatic Malt Syrup Storage

GSnyde's picture

Diastatic Malt Syrup Storage

How should I store diastatic malt syrup?  In a jar in the fridge?  Room temperature ok?

Thanks for any advice.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Stan?


thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75 the beer store. 

I transfer it to a covered glass jar and put it in the pantry (dark, dry, room temp.) with the maple syrup and the honey (so I know where to find it).

T'will outlive you if you don't use it.

I checked all over the internets after mrfrost said it's perishable. Now I have no idea how to store it, as the advice is all over the board. I've never had problems with it fermenting, molding, etc. at room temp. It has zero percent moisture, so would be very surprised if anything could grow on it. Also, it's shipped from the manfacturer and stored at places of business at room temperature in giant drums. 

mrfrost's picture

Mostly with the best of intentions, the internet, like life, is full of advice and opinions. Everybody's got some.

Not to be confused with manufacturer's recommendations and documentation.

littlejay's picture

I buy mine from a brewing supply store. It comes in a 7 lb container.

I store it at room temp and once had a problem with mold. I suspected my spoon introduced something into the container.

Now I heat my measuring spoon over the gas burner until it's hot, and theoretically devoid of any bugs.  Then I use the hot spoon and scoop the syrup directly from the storage container. This has solved the mold problem. An additional benefit is that the thick syrup easily drops off the hot spoon.

mrfrost's picture

I store mine in the refrigerator. Pretty certain the enzymes will not last indefinitely, even with refrigeration. They(the enzymes) don't keep forever even in the dry diastatic malt powder. Really, even the nondiastatic malt syrup should be refrigerated for long term storage(same for maple syrup*). They are all subject to mold growth also*.

"Barley Malt SyrupBarley Malt Syrup is a very sticky, dark brown syrup made from malted barley. It tastes a bit like molasses, but without any harsh taste.

It is not as sweet as honey, and only half as sweet as white sugar (sucrose.)

Some brands may add corn syrup for added sweetness.

The syrup can also be bought in a powdered form.

It can be used in making beer, in baked goods such as dark breads, spice cakes, gingerbread, as a glaze on baked vegetables such as squash and sweet potatoes, in baked beans.

In the prohibition-era ad shown here, no doubt Budweiser was aiming its product at those wishing to make gingerbread in July.

Cooking Tips for Barley Malt SyrupIn baking, it is best used in combination with other sweeteners.Substitutes for Barley Malt SyrupFor 1 part Barley Malt Syrup swap in 1/3 less molasses.

For 1 part white sugar, you can swap in 1 1/3 parts Barley Malt Syrup but reduce liquid in the recipe a bit.

Nutrition for Barley Malt SyrupBarley Malt Syrup is absorbed slowly by the body.

It is mostly composed of maltose.

Storage Hints for Barley Malt SyrupStore refrigerated or it may ferment.

(Copyright 2011 All rights reserved and enforced.) Read more of this snippet here :"



sam's picture

Even though I'm doing it wrong, barley mash tastes great.   :-)

It does!

PattyCake's picture

I purchased Malt Syrup for the bagel water boil but the disastatic malt purchase is most confusing.  I found packages of malt powder at the Brew Store but labeling did not indicate if it was diastatic malt.  To make matters more confusing, there were at least four choices, some light in color and some dark in color which I assume were to be used for various varieties of beer.  Does anyone know if this is the same diastatic malt I am to use in bread and if it is should I purchase the dark variety for making whole grain bread?   Thanks so much.  Patty 

Chuck's picture

As I understand it ("Internet research" can be misleading:-), the bakers' yes/no diastatic/nondiastatic malt categorization greatly over-simplifies the situation and is much too crude for brewers. Brewers need to know not just yes/no but "exactly how diastatic?". In brewers supplies, the "diastatic power" is often expressed as either "degrees Lintner" (for diastatic, bakers want the number 60 or higher) or "Windisch-Kolbach units" (for diastatic, bakers want the number 200 or higher).

The high heat of the drying process generally denatures enzymes, resulting in nondiastatic malt. Typically a special slower-and-cooler drying process is needed to produce diastatic malt. The implications are: a) diastatic malt typically doesn't happen by accident, and b) if a package in a brewer's supply doesn't say, it's probably closer to nondiastatic.

"Specialty malts" -such as very dark colored "crystal" malts- indicate high temperature treatment and are almost always nondiastatic (e.g. approximately 0 degrees Lintner) much so their diastatic power may not even be labelled.

While a brewers' supply is a good source of unusually colored nondiastatic malts, translation of terms to the bakers' world is so confusing that it might not be a good source for what bakers call diastatic malt.

suave's picture

If it is a powder and if it is sold at a homebrew store then most likely it is dry malt extract and has no diastatic power at all - it is basically maltose.  Brewing malts are sold as grain or crushed grain.

PattyCake's picture

Thank you for the diastatic malt information.  I looked up the brand of the malt I found at the Brew Store and you are right on the money.  It is NOT Diastatic.  I will have to order some online.  Thanks again.  


joyfulbaker's picture

Guess you have all the answers you need at this late date, Glenn, but the post just appeared on my email from TFL.  So, here I go:  I bought Eden brand barley malt syrup a long time ago, maybe half a year, maybe a little more or less.  I have always stored it in the refrigerator; I use it for bagels, now for the boiling bath (used to use it in the dough but since awhile ago, I've been using malt powder from NY Bakers--see below).  It's very viscous, but I just spoon it out (2 TBSP per 4 qts. water works well--to make the color of the water like well-brewed tea per J. Hamelman in Bread) and watch out for the thread that comes off the spoon.  I don't have it in front of me, but there's a "use by" date, and I've still got a long way to go with it.  But, it's time to buy a new jar, since this one's nearly gone.  I've never had mold, bad odors or any other problems with it.  

At this time, I am using "AB Mauri low diastatic malt powder" in the dough, and I dissolve it in the water first (per Ginsberg/Berg in ITJB--I follow the bagel recipe carefully--I think it's about a tsp. per 5 cups high-gluten flour).  Here's the NY Bakers listing of it:  With both items, I have always been pleased with the results, and I've not had any problems with deterioration, mold, etc.  Makes great bagels!


GSnyde's picture

I've been storing my malt syrup in a cupboard and it's doing fine after 6 months.


Cigarette lighters's picture
Cigarette lighters

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joyfulbaker's picture

for your method of storage.  Maybe in the cupboard and especially if it's going to be used up in half a year (increased bagel production!) it won't be quite like liquid plastic coming (or not) off the spoon.  Maybe some new uses for it will turn up as well.  Barley, they say, is good for the blood sugar (need the consulting MD's opinion on that).


Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

Did I miss something?  Is barely malt syrup OK to use in baking in place of diastic syrup?  I have a jar of Eden and the way I use it, it will out live me.


Dish's picture

I think on the bottle it says "Refrigerate after opening".

Doc.Dough's picture

While "malting" increases the enzyme content of barley, heat drying it or roasting it gets rid of its enzyme activity.  As I understand it, malt syrup is the concentrate that results from dissolving the sugars in malted barley and then extracting a lot of the water (either by boiling or some other means).  Diastatic malt must not be heated above some temperature (I think I read somewhere that it is around 130°F) and it is the enzymes that you want, not the sugars.  When you look at the ingredient's listed on the bag of bread flour it will say malted barley flour, or sometimes "enzymes".   It comes as a dry powder (malted barley flour).  And it doesn't take much, so be cautious when you use it.

Dish's picture

Joy (and everyone)

Am I understanding that you use low(non)-diastatic malt in the dough to improve texture/for long fermentation and barley malt syrup in boiling for flavor and browning (in bagels)?

I am so confused about the purpose of malt in bagels. Is is for flavor/browning (diastatic)? Or, dough texture (nondiastatic)? 

Also, if you use malt in the boiling water can one use lye or baking soda as well? 

Thank you.


Dish's picture

I think I have the malts backwards. Diastatic for texture. Nondiastatic for flavor. When I say I am confused, that's an understatement.

Dish's picture

Does anyone know if Maltose is the same Non-Diastatic Malt? I am specifically thinking of the type of maltose that you get in Chinatown for Peking Duck.

mwilson's picture

Malt is a sugar. Sugars have a chemical name that typically ends ...'ose'.

Regular sugar, granulated, powdered = sucrose
Fruit sugar = Fructose
Malt = Maltose 

Non-diastatic Malt (enzyme neutral) is pure maltose.

diastatic malt includes enzymes which convert starches into maltose.

maltose is food for yeast.

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... and more at this fascinating website below. I'd offer a hyperlink to it, if I could, but for some reason whenever I open a reply box here, now, there is no toolbar displayed across the top of the box for editing and adding links etc.

All at Sea

Dish's picture

@AllatSea Fantatstic link! Thanks so much. Believe it or not this little film was helpful. They use liquid malt.

(you're right the link feature isn't working - I coded it in HTML and it still wouldn't work. what's odd is that it creates the link as if coded)

@MWilson Yes, I understand about sugars. The question is WHICH GRAIN are they using and does it affect the taste? There are no ingredients on the Chinese Maltose - and I was wondering if anyone knew what it was typically made from. They are very ambiguously labeled. One says "ble", but I would not bet for sure it was made from wheat. My husband is a scientist and last night I asked him if there was a molecular difference between maltose made from wheat v. barley. He didn't know for sure, but he's going to check. (That will take FOREVER.)

The bagels came out well  - 1/4 rye, 1/4 white wheat, 1/4 AP + few tablespoons gluten - using the Chinese Maltose in the boiling water. In the dough, I used diastatic. Next time I'll up the gluten - trying to replicate the bagels of my childhood as in the film. From here on in I'll use the liquid malt.

The recipes are all over the place re: diastatic v. nondiastic malt in the dough itself; but, if I am understanding correctly the distatic will not impart the malt flavor? What about non-diastatic? The taste should be same if the difference in processing is merely one of temperature to preserve the enzymes - provided (obv.) it doesn't become toasted or anything.

mwilson's picture

Maltose is maltose as I understand it. Doesn't matter where it's come from, it's a chemical extraction. Like corn starch and corn syrup they are chemical extractions and there is nothing left which indentifies they originated from corn...

Having said that though, malt syrup and powdered do seem different in taste in my experience.

You're right that diastatic malt doesn't impart a malty flavour. If you want that you'll need use non-diastatic malt in queantities high enough where it isn't all consumed by the yeast.


breadbakerme's picture

I received my plastic bottle of the barley malt syrup via the internet/UPS. When I opened it, the liquid had expanded and a few teaspoons full had "boiled" over and was running down the side of the plastic bottle. I cleaned it up, dumped some out and then stored it in the cupboard and later used it in a bagel recipe. This morning, five days later, when I opened the cupboard door, it had erupted and broke the bottom seam of the plastic bottle and about a cup full was glued to the shelf and had invaded neighboring cracker boxes.  Cleaned it up, and poured the remainder into a pint sized mason jar which filled it to about the 3/4 mark, and left it on the counter top with the lid laying lightly on top....half hour later, it had erupted again and was all over the counter. The remainder is now in the refrigerator in quart-sized mason jar!  Has anyone else experienced this with their malted barley syrup.  BTW, I live in the Sierra foothills at the 2600 foot elevation....could that be the problem?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and is fermenting.   Freeze the remainder in ice cube trays and later in a bag.  Then you can thaw what you need when you need it.


Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

Honestly I would throw it out. In fact I would have returned it immediately for a full refund of all charges including shipping in the very beginning.

Is there a Whole Foods or similar near you?  You should be able to find barley malt syrup locally unless you are very rural indeed.  Health food stores often have it.