The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Yozza's sourdough bread baking class

rossnroller's picture

Yozza's sourdough bread baking class


Some time ago, Yozza (Derek) started running bread baking classes for the public after hours at his place of work, an educational institute near Fremantle, Western Australia, that runs commercial cookery courses (among many others). Yozza worked for years as a pro baker, and although his official position at the institute is essentially clerical, he has never really taken his baker’s cap off. When I first visited him some years back (after we linked up through TFL), I noticed containers of starter sharing space with paperwork in his office! I do believe there was also a 25kg bag of flour propped up in a corner.

Yozza is a high energy person lit up by all things baking. I struggled to keep up with him on that first visit as he led the way at frenetic pace to the wood-fired oven he had managed to convince the institute to have installed. He had organised some students to lend a hand in its construction during some weekend busy-bees. The effort had been worth it. It’s a fine-lookin’ fine-cookin’ son of a gun. Yozza was clearly proud of it, and justifiably so.

In fact, the WFO was the reason he had invited me on campus. I had developed a sourdough pizza that I was very pleased with. I thought it better than any dry yeasted one I had turned out of my domestic oven in my years of pizza baking and experimentation, and mentioned in a PM to Yozza that I’d love to see what a WFO would do for it. No sooner said than invitation issued! That’s the sorta bloke Yozza is.

Anyway, the pizza night was a lot of fun. I wrote it up on my TFL blog (includes a pic of the WFO): see Yozza and Rossnroller’s Great Wood Fired Oven Adventure.

That was a while ago, and Yozza is now approaching retirement. He hasn’t lost any of his fervour for baking, though, and his energy levels have not dropped in the slightest. No chance of him going gently into that good night – way too much bread to bake, and knowledge to share!

I believe he’s intending to keep running the public baking classes post-retirement and that’s just as well. Somehow, I don’t see him being able to stay away from the campus bakery area he has made his own over the years. Indeed, if the institute management has half a clue – rare for management in my experience, but let’s not get bitter and peripheral – they won’t let go of an asset as valuable as Yozza just cos he’s retired. All that means is more time to share his pro wisdom and love of all things floury with students, the public – indeed, anyone remotely interested.

I’ve tapped myself off track somewhat, so time to impose a bit of self-discipline. To the baking class, then.

There were twelve attendees in all. Most were friends or work colleagues of Yozza’s, many with little or no baking experience. This night was invitation-only. The main focus was sourdough. Yozza’s objective was to fine-tune his content and presentation prior to advertising the class to the public. He’d asked if I would consider writing up a promo piece for the local paper, and I was happy to oblige. Besides, as a sourdough nut, I was interested in comparing and contrasting Yozza’s modus operandi with my own.

During my pizza night visit, I’d been struck by the vast differences between the pro and amateur baking worlds. So it was again this time. It’s largely down to a matter of scale. I do one 1kg bread at a time, hand-mixing in a plastic basin, bulk proofing in a 10L plastic container, using baking paper as a couche (often torn, scungy and singed from multiple bakes). I use Sylvia’s wet towel steaming method during the first 15 minutes of the bake, which I subsequently micro-manage by reducing the oven temperature at set intervals to achieve the finish I like. All very attention-intensive. That is the luxury of the amateur baker.

Yozza, on the other hand, weighs out kilos of flour, water and starter on a commercial set of scales that make my little domestic Target battery digital job look like a kid’s toy, then dumps the lot into a whacking great Hobart spiral mixer, turns it on and stands back while it does its thing.

The institute ovens are high-tech marvels. They take 6 trays (I think) of bread or buns per bake, and heat up at a rate of one degree per second. There is digitally controlled steam injection, and steam reduction. A fan, similarly precisely controlled. And all sorts of other functions I didn’t catch. At $8K each, pretty reasonably priced, too, for anyone who wanted to start up a small bakery.

Cinnamon scrolls a-baking in one of the two ovens


But of course, the contrasts between pro and amateur bakers are not simply down to equipment.

For example, Yozza’s dough shaping is deft and fast-motion in contrast to mine. I tend to be fussy and fastidious; he takes a dough ball in each hand, which he tightens and shapes in two quick dragging and rolling motions that seem to morph into one. The results beat my best efforts…and in quarter the time. 

The class was well organised, packing two sourdough breads and some yeasted cinnamon scrolls into 3.5 hours. Yozza had prepared his ‘Black Sesame Sourdough’ the day before, baking it early in the class, then consigning it to the cooler so we could sample it sooner than the usual two hour post-bake minimum.

The second sourdough, his ‘50% Wholemeal with Home Brew Stout’ (a stout and wholemeal flour soaker is one component of the formula), we made from scratch.

The class appraises their scoring of Derek's 'Black Sesame Sourdough'


With the trusty old Hobart making easy work of the mixing, Yozza took us through assessing gluten development via the window test (which I never do at home). He then moved to stretching and folding the dough, which he spread out across the benchtop like a fleece. The dough was then left to proof with a couple more S&Fs at 45 minute intervals. Towards the end of the class, it was weighed out into 500gm loaves and shaped, Derek mentoring and sometimes coming to the rescue if impending disaster loomed. Each participant was given a foil container of shaped dough to take home and bake next day.

Baked straight out of the foil tin at home, not the most aesthetically appealing finish I've ever managed, but the bread was delicious. The stout lurks in the background, adding an enticing maltiness to the flavour profile.


Speaking of which, Yozza gave us a sample of his home-brewed stout during the class, and very pleasant it was: dark but smooth and mild, with a lovely fine, creamy head.

One of the attendees, who once worked with Derek as a baker, owns a small property in the middle of some prime wine country in the state’s south-west, and he treated us to a couple of bottles of his own wine – a respectable sauvignon blanc. Went well with some lavishly buttered slices of Derek’s ‘Black Sesame Sourdough’. Oh, and one of the hospitality students brought in a tray of home-made chocolates. It was all too delish to worry about the cal hit.

Which didn’t stop there! Each attendee was given a dozen cinnamon scrolls to take home. My partner also attended the class, so we ended up with two dozen. I scoffed two with a cup of tea when we got home, my partner one, and we had another two each next day. The rest are stored away in the freezer. They might have to stay there a while! We’re trying to lose weight prior to a coming travelling stint in Thailand. Were on track to be in reasonable shape, but we have a bit of work and abstinence in front of us after Derek’s class!

glazing the cinnamon scrolls


With effective advertising and promotion, Derek should have some packed classes in front of him. If I recall correctly (and chances are I don’t), he’s intending to charge the public a paltry $85 per person. Outstanding value for a fun evening of baking education and mentoring from a true pro, and an array of tasty baked indulgences that go on giving for days at home!

Thank you Derek!

Cheers all



annie the chef's picture
annie the chef

I used to work with many bakers but we have never really hanged out. Perhaps because of our opposite working hours. I do envy your friendship with Derek. It seems he is only approaching semi-retirement. :)

Very nice write up Ross.



dabrownman's picture

I loved those ovens ever since Derek posted his yellow bake for cancer.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven. On;y $8,000!!  So how did your pizza turn out in the WFO?

Happy baking Ross

yozzause's picture

Hi Ross,  you are too kind

Thanks for being part of my rent a crowd and for doing the write up for the local paper for me.

It was a pleasure to have Janis and yourself along for the evening that went really well 

Ross and Janis with the fruit dough

the stout bread that was taken home to bake some 24 hours later

thats what the inside looks like

Ross concentrating  hard on the stout dough

lots of smiling faces.

Ray the wine man is my cousin and we did our appreticeships together , then Ray went into the police force and has recently retired. His vineyard is 330kms away in the Great Southern district, a town called Frankland. i did all the wiring for the vines when they were first planted. Ray and i intend building a wood fired oven there one day perhaps when i retire too. It was good to see Ray's hand skills were still there just a little rusty.

Ross i look forward to submitting your write up that you did for me going into the local papers prior to  the November 5th class.

I'm also looking at perhaps an alternative to corporate days instead of paint balling, abseiling or go kart racing for a bonding session "come baking" as an alternative. any way thanks again Ross and Janis

kindest regards Yozza      



hansjoakim's picture

Wonderful writeup, Ross, and thanks for sharing some reflections on what must have been a very memorable evening. Those cinnamon scrolls look positively addictive.

Let's hope this is the first in the line of many, many inspiring baking sessions hosted by Derek.

rossnroller's picture

I would have to have my tongue protruding in the stout bread shaping pic! Wasn't aware that I was being photographed. It's a bad habit of mine whenever I'm concentrating...Nice pic of Janis, Derek. I'll alert her to the thread.

Annie, dabrownman and Hans - thanks for your responses. DBM, I've mentioned the results of the pizza WFO bake on the blog post linked to in this write-up.

Lovely crumb shot of your stout loaf, Derek! Looks almost as good as it tasted. And it was a pleasure to attend your class. Hope they take off, and I think they will. Thanks again.





Mebake's picture

Thanks for sharing this with us, Ross. It does appear to be a very pleasurable lesson to all. I agree, since the day i met Derek, i knew how passionate he is about baking. You'd think you are a Pro in your own home until you witness the real pro in action, and Derek does look like one.

All the best,


rossnroller's picture

You'd think you are a Pro in your own home until you witness the real pro in action, and Derek does look like one.

Ain't that the truth! Derek is a baker to his marrow. In fact, I punningly called my article promoting his classes 'Bred To Bake'. Hmmm, might have been better not to have shared that.

Always good to hear from you, Khalid.


pmccool's picture

Thank you, Ross, for sharing Yozza's "dress rehearsal" with us.  Your notes about the differences between the tools and skills of a professional baker and a home baker resonate.  It's a real eye-opener to watch a pro at work.

Yozza's pricing is very much in line with what I see here for similar classes, so I wouldn't expect that cost would scare off to many prospective students.

If you look up photographs of Michael Jordan from his glory days in the NBA, you'll see that he is a fellow "tongue out while concentrating" traveler.  I'd say you have some good company!


rossnroller's picture

If you look up photographs of Michael Jordan from his glory days in the NBA, you'll see that he is a fellow "tongue out while concentrating" traveler.  I'd say you have some good company!

Kind, Paul, kind!

Thanks for your comments. BTW, I have been very slack commenting in recent months, but have been watching on with interest re your posts on your baking classes. Yours run over a full day, from memory. How do you go with your clientele? Do you always fill your classes?


pmccool's picture

There's a rye breads class that runs all day; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., really.  The other classes that I teach are usually 3 hours long.  That's classroom time, not inclusive of my prep time.

The Culinary Center of Kansas City, where I teach, has a large clientele.  They run over 600 different events in the course of a year, most of them classes.  Initially, people attend because they have a specific interest, whether it be a bread, or sushi, or Cajun cooking, or something else.  If the instructor is on his or her toes and gives good value for money, the students are apt to sign up for another class with that same instructor, or for other classes at the Center.  If the instructor doesn't connect well, the students won't be back and they'll tell all of their friends not to, either. Students are asked to fill out feedback forms before leaving and the comments for any one class can be all over the map, ranging from "fabulous" to "disappointing". 

The culinary center is tilted toward amateurs more than it is toward aspiring professional chefs.  Prior to teaching there, I had not realized how many people view the classes as a form of entertainment.  It's very common to see a group of friends, or maybe family members, attending the same class as a night out or a weekend treat.  There are people who attend multiple classes in the course of a year, too. 

My aim with any class is to help the students gain new knowledge and new skills, all while having a lot of fun.  A student who is having a good time will go home happy and remember more of what they learned than one who finds the class to be a frustration.  Since I have no idea who will walk through the door, or what level of skill they have, I have to be very flexible and adjust on the fly.  In any class, students may range from yeast-phobic-never-made-bread-before newbies to fairly seasoned bakers who are looking to learn a new kind of bread or technique.  Ages and physical abilities usually show similar ranges.  Connecting with every one of the students in an effective way can be very challenging or almost effortless, depending on the students themselves.

Class sizes are capped at 20.  We don't always fill them.  There have been instances where a class is cancelled because too few signed up.  It seems that 12 students is about the minimum needed to cover the costs.

I hope that gives you a better picture.  If not, let me know.


rossnroller's picture

And lemme say, if I could get on to that yellow brick road to Kansas, I'd follow it all the way to your next rye breads class. I've been promising myself to have a go at 100% ryes since forever, but never have gotten around to it.

As someone with a teaching background, I completely identify with your teaching philosophy: make it enjoyable as well as instructive, and both students and teacher benefit. Having read through your TFL accounts of your classes, I have no doubt you're doing a fabulous job.

Wow - 20 per class is a handful! That must keep you on your toes, especially when the students have disparate interests and levels of knowledge.

You've given a very clear picture of your classes - thank you. Just one further question please, if I may. How do you/your institute advertise? Do you market to a specific demographic? In what way(s)? If you have time and inclination to cover this info, would be most interested, as would Derek, I think. I always find marketing the biggest challenge in my freelancing activities, so am ever hungry for new promo ideas (or old ideas that work).


pmccool's picture

Since I'm an occasional instructor, not part of the Center's administrative staff, I don't know all of their advertising strategies, Ross.  The parts that I do see are:

- The website, at

- Frequent emails (their list must be huge)

- A printed course catalog

- Articles in local newspapers about the Center's involvement in various community activities

I'm sure that there are other avenues that they use, too.

As to demographic, they try to offer something for everyone.  There are classes for little kids (accompanied by adult) aged 5-9, there are classes for "junior chefs" (unaccompanied) aged 9-14, and classes for adults.  They offer team building sessions for corporate clients, catered meals, and other events.  Have a look at their website to get an idea of their offerings.  There's a "sign up for classes" button in the lower left-hand corner of the home page.  That will take you to their course catalog for the current term.  It's in calendar format so that you can see what's going on for specfic days.  Just click on the class name to pull up a detailed description of the class.

If you want to contact someone at the Center for more detailed information, drop an email to Tekia Shanae; she's the person who is in charge of assembling the course catalog and interfacing with the instructors. She also has some marketing responsibilities, I think.  Tekia's email address is tekia at kcculinary dot com. 

Yes, 20 is a handful!  Thorough preparation is an absolute must for a group that size.  Keeping everything moving and on schedule can be a real challenge.


rossnroller's picture

...for your comprehensive response and the time and effort you put into it. You've already triggered lots of possibilities to think about, but I'll also check out the website in depth.





yozzause's picture

I hadn't noticed the tongue Ross but Robin took 200 pics on the night although she is most embarresed by her partner Michael's choice of apron captured in the 3rd and 5th picture of yours  or perhaps that is what had your tongue hanging out!

The cost of the evening is set out by the adult learning people that organise a whole multitude of classes that run throughout the Institute. I have put together 3 different classes and have done all 3, i was looking at better local advertising  to see if we couldnt get more people interested as we had to drop the last few when we did not get the minimum required (6) to run. the classes are 

Basic bread making

Introduction to Sourdough

Wood fired oven Pizza and Bread


regards Derek

rossnroller's picture

Yeah, Michael's apron was a beauty. I have a stubby holder like that (given to me by a mate with bad taste, I hastily add). I'm banned from using it in company. Can't understand it...

I'm sure full classes are only some effective advertising away. There is so much interest in food and cooking now. It's surely just a matter of marketing to the right audience...then again, I know as a freelancer with an iron in multiple fires that that can be a challenge, and is not to be taken lightly.


Franko's picture

Hi Derek,

Would you mind sharing the formula and method for that splendid looking Stout Loaf of yours/Ross's pictured above. It's a stunner on all counts and would like to have a go at it myself. All the best with your community bread classes Derek, little doubt they'll be a great success.

Cheers, Franko

Janetcook's picture

What a wonderful write up!  I didn't even notice your tongue until you mentioned it.  My eyes went the woman standing watch behind you and then on to the ovens…

Thanks for all of the wonderful photos too.  So nice to see people having fun baking.  All of the breads look scrumptious.

Take Care,


rossnroller's picture

Yes, it's always a mistake to point out things like the tongue in that pic. Thing is, I was torn between not mentioning it and having folk think I had a pretty gooby set o smackers, or ensuring my tongue got the blame it was due. Your opening para is a sobering reminder that it's not all about moi! Reminds me of the Aesop fable about the bull and the gnat.

Cheers and thanks for your comments.

Janetcook's picture

What a memory you have! One has to love Aesop.  Short, sweet and to the point.  Good old human nature that lives in us all *^ }


Franko's picture

Super post Ross,a pleasure to see and read as always.

Such a great opportunity to be able to attend a small class led by an instructor with Derek's skill and experience, lucky you! The Stout bread is just a beauty, remarkable crust and crumb to it, and looks so moist. Care to share the formula, or should I direct that towards Derek?
Great write-up Ross, many thanks for the read and photos.

Best wishes,


rossnroller's picture

Dunno what happened to this post; came out blank, so re-posted (see below). Floyd, can this one be deleted, pls?


rossnroller's picture

Thanks for your generous response, Franko, and great to hear from you.

Derek gave out recipes for the breads and scrolls, and of course, I'd be happy to post the formula here. Since Derek is the creator of the stout bread you might get more out of his description of the methodology, though. Derek?


yozzause's picture

Cheers Franko i will post it

yozzause's picture

Hi Franko  as requested

As you can imagine with only 3 and a half hours to play with and wanting to  give as much as i can  the Black sesame dough was made up the day before and kept in the cool room  for some 30 hours  i decided to pull out half a couple of hours prior to the class and the other half at the commencement of the class., the ones straight from the fridge were easier for the newcomers to handle whereas the ones that proofed up a bit were slightly more difficult to slash too. The purpose of this dough was "and here is one i prepared earlier "  this dough was for the students to handle off the couche washing with cornflour wash seeding and slashing and with those great glass doors watch the magic happen.

Once the troops arrive the main priority was to get the 50% wholmeal Home brew stout sourdough started  so that we could get as many stretch and folds done in the short time available

The total flour weight was 3.6kg  so the 50% wholemeal was pre soaked with 3 x 700ml bottles of my home brew stout for 2 hours. to the mixer went the remaining 1.8 kgs of white flour  and the 1.2kgs of ripe starter. the other ingrediants were 2 x eggs, 72 g salt and 72 g butter this was bought together on speed 1 of the big Hobart and the other 300ml of water was used to wash the dregs out of the stout soak bowl and into the mix and then onto speed 2  for about 10 minutes or so with a couple of stops to check on the dough development. The dough was then then placed in a plastic container and received a stretch and fold every 45 minutes or so  in between the baking of the sesame and the making of the no-time fruit dough.   AT 9.00 pm the dough was scaled and shaped into takeaway containers  so that it could go into the home fridge to be bought and baked the following evening or even later. all reported it to be a wonderful loaf that they all enjoyed.

If there were no time constraints then i would have like to have done the stretch and folds every hour for the first 3 hours and the last hour scaling and shaping. this recipe produces almost  7.5 kgs. but can easily be scaled down to the 1 bottle of stout. and is really the basic 3:2:1  standard  sourdough 2% salt and substituting stout for water and additions of egg and butter. But its a very nice loaf that you just want another slice of.

i shall be setting another brew shortly as the stout reserve is diminishing and the weather is warming.

Wasn't it nice to get Ross out of hibernation and get his pen back onto paper!

I can feel a sour dough wood fired pizza evening coming on perhaps using the rest of the oven heat for a batch of the stout bread prepared the day earlier

cheers and kind regards  Derek

Janetcook's picture

Hi Derek,

I couldn't help noticing that you brew your own beer…..I have a couple of questions you may be able to help me with.

Lately I have been experimenting with different malted grains as sweeteners in some of my enriched breads.  I am purchasing the grains at a local brew shop.  None of the employees bake bread so they weren't of much help with my bread baking questions.

What I want to know, if you know, is how to read their temperature readings in relation to oven temps. so I know if the grains I am purchasing are diastatic (Low or no heat when malted)  or non-diastatic (high heat that kills off the enzymes that can turn a dough into goo.  Is used as a sweetener just like sugar or honey.)  

I am wanting to use the non-diastatic grains so I have been purchasing the grains that are labeled 'crystal malts' and  their temps. read at 15L and above. I am clueless as to what the 'L' stands for though….  Do you know what the 'L' stands for

Thanks for your help.


yozzause's picture

Hi  Janet  im afraid i dont know the answer straight up but i will do some checking we have quite a few brew shops here some of which do do bread supplies so i will endeavour to find out,

Would not reheating the grains be enough to kill off the enzymes ability? anyway i will try to find out, probably pm you as this thread may be a bit old by the time i get an answer.

regards Derek

Janetcook's picture

Hi Derek,

Thanks for looking into it for me.  The guys at my shop talked about maybe adding stuff for bread in their shop but I don't think there is enough interest around here for it to take off just yet.  Maybe in a few years….

Baking will kill the enzymes though I am not sure the word 'kill' is the right word since the enzymes aren't like yeast and LABS.  The difference comes with the fermenting time.  

Diastatic malt can be used in a lean loaf that has a long fermenting time followed by a long proofing time.  It provides more sugar for the yeast and helps with final color of the crust when baking.  Only a small amount is used per batch of bread though or else the enzymes in it will break down the dough and the dough will turn into goo. The crumb will have a very rubbery feel to it. I think the recommended amount is 1% or less but that is a wild guess.  Diastatic malt is created by drying the sprouted grains at a low temp.  

Non-diastatic malt is used as a sweetener and adds a malty flavor to a loaf.  I don't think there is a specific % restriction when using it.  I usually combine it with honey or agave and keep it at about 2% of the total formula I am working with. It is created by heating the grains higher than the diastatic malted grains get heated.  As the temps. increase the flavor changes and certain enzymes are 'denatured' so they no longer will 'attack' the dough.  

I have read up on this somewhere ages ago and my memory is awful.  Please do not believe what I have written above as it may all be wrong.  I just can't get my hands on the info. but I do recall seeing a chart that listed the temps and the enzymes and how they interacted together…..In a file somewhere….I tend to file things and then forget which file they are in….oh dear me….When I read it I didn't totally understand it so that is part of the reason why I can' t really recall the specifics.  I do know that the temps. were in C and F though which my brew shop does  not use.  They use that mysterious 'L'.  

I'd love to hear if you can find anything out and translate it to bread so I can understand it :^ }

In the mean time I will go digging in my files and see what I can came up with to help clarify the temp. and enzyme interaction.  Get my vocabulary right!!!

Take Care,


yozzause's picture


Hi Janet please attached link

L appears to be Lintner will have to find out more but a good start

and wait there's more

Degree LintnerFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  

°Lintner or degrees Lintner is a unit used to measure the ability of a malt to reduce starch to sugar, that is, its diastatic power. While the measurement is applicable to anyamylase, in general it refers to the combined α-amylase and β-amylase used in brewing. The term is also generalized to diastatic malt extracts and separately prepared brewing enzymes. The abbreviation °L is official, but in brewing applications it may conflict with °L used for degrees Lovibond.

JECFA, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, defines the degree Lintner as follows:

A malt has a diastatic power of 100 °L if 0.1cc of a clear 5% infusion of the malt, acting on 100cc of a 2% starch solution at 20°C for one hour, produces sufficient reducing sugars to reduce completely 5cc of Fehling's solution.

Note that the amylases used in brewing reach their peak efficiencies around 66 °C.

Evaluation of a malt or extract is usually done by the manufacturer rather than by the end user; as a rule of thumb, the total grain bill of a mash should have a diastatic power of at least 40 °L in order to guarantee efficient conversion of all the starches in the mash to sugars.

The most active barley malts currently available have a diastatic activity of up to 160 °Lintner.

In Europe, diastatic activity is often stated in Windisch–Kolbach units (°WK). These are related approximately to °Lintner by:

{}^\circ\mbox{Lintner} = \frac{{}^\circ\mbox{WK} + 16}{3.5}
{}^\circ\mbox{WK} = \left ( 3.5 \times {}^\circ\mbox{Lintner} \right ) - 16.

100.0 °Lintner equals 3.014 × 10−7 katal or 18.08 enzyme units.

External links[edit source | editbeta]  id say  almost problem solvered

kind regards  DEREK

Janetcook's picture

Thanks for the link.  This goes way over my little brain still.  

In one section it appears that a L of 60 or below = diastatic but then further down it lists a malt with 220L and it is labeled as diastatic too…..So how does one translate these 'L's' into temps. for using the malted grains in bread as a sweetener rather than food for the yeast?  SOmething for me to puzzle over for awhile.  

I know that a lot of the grains I purchased fell way under 220L so I will have to experiment with how they react in my doughs when left to ferment overnight….Today I added one to a hot scald so I feel certain that the scald turned it into a non-diastatic malt so I am safe for today :- )

Thanks so much for your help and pointers.  Fun stuff for me not to play around with this winter.

Take Care,


yozzause's picture

Hi Janet here is some more info that will help at the brew shops as they will have the different malts and their diastatic  abilities are mentioned  here so they should be able to help from there.

Variables[edit source | editbeta]Further information: courtesy of wickipedia Mashing

Each particular ingredient has its own flavor which contributes to the final character of the beverage. In addition, different ingredients carry other characteristics, not directly relating to the flavor, which may dictate some of the choices made in brewing: nitrogen content, diastatic power, color, modification, and conversion.

The color of a grain or product is evaluated by the American Society of Brewing Chemists Standard Reference Method (denoted both SRM and ASBC, although the two methods are equivalent); the older Lovibond series 52 standard, (°L), which corresponds closely to SRM; or by the European Brewery Convention (EBC) standard. The British Institute of Brewing (IOB) standard was formally retired in 1991, but is still occasionally seen in the United Kingdom.

Diastatic power also called the "diastatic activity" or "enzymatic power" for a grain is measured in degrees Lintner (°Lintner or °L, although the latter can conflict with the symbol °L for Lovibond color); or in Europe by Windisch-Kolbach units (°WK).

Malts[edit source | editbeta]

The oldest and most predominant ingredient in brewing is barley, which has been used in beer-making for thousands of years. Modern brewing predominantly uses malted barley for its enzymatic power, but ancient Babylonian recipes indicate that, without the ability to malt grain in a controlled fashion, baked bread was simply soaked in water[citation needed]. Malted barley dried at a sufficiently low temperature contains enzymes such as amylase which convert starch into sugar. Therefore, sugars can be extracted from the barley's own starches simply by soaking the grain in water at a controlled temperature; this is mashing.

Pale malt[edit source | editbeta]

Pale malt is the basis of pale ale and bitter and the precursor in production of most other British beer malts. Dried at temperatures sufficiently low to preserve all the brewing enzymes in the grain, it is light in color and, today, the cheapest barley malt available due to mass production. It can be used as a base malt, that is, as the malt constituting the majority of the grist, in many styles of beer. Typically, English pale malts are kilned at 95-105 °C. Color ASBC 2-3/EBC 5-7. Diastatic power (DP) 45 °Lintner.

Mild malt[edit source | editbeta]

Mild malt is often used as the base malt for mild ale, and is similar in color to pale malt. Mild malt is kilned at slightly higher temperatures than pale malt in order to provide a less neutral, rounder flavor generally described as "nutty". ASBC 3/EBC 6.

Stout malt[edit source | editbeta]

Stout malt is sometimes seen as a base malt for stout beer; light in color, it is prepared so as to maximize diastatic power in order to better-convert the large quantities of dark malts and unmalted grain used in stouts. In practice, however, most stout recipes make use of pale malt for its much greater availability. ASBC 2-3/EBC 4-6, DP 60-70 °Lintner.

Amber malt[edit source | editbeta]

Amber malt is a more toasted form of pale malt, kilned at temperatures of 150-160 °C, and is used in brown porter; older formulations of brown porter use amber malt as a base malt (though this was diastatic and produced in different conditions to a modern amber malt). Amber malt has a bitter flavor which mellows on aging, and can be quite intensely flavored; in addition to its use in porter, it also appears in a diverse range of British beer recipes. ASBC 50-70/EBC 100-140; amber malt has no diastatic power.

Brown malt[edit source | editbeta]

Brown malt is a darker form of pale malt, and is used typically in brown ale as well as in porter and stout. Like amber malt, it can be prepared from pale malt at home by baking a thin layer of pale malt in an oven until the desired color is achieved. 50-70 °L, no enzymes.

Chocolate malt[edit source | editbeta]

Chocolate malt is similar to pale and amber malts but kilned at even higher temperatures. Producing complex undertones of vanilla and caramel (but not chocolate), it is used in porters and sweet stouts as well as dark mild ales. It contains no enzymes. ASBC 450-500/EBC 1100-1300.

Black malt[edit source | editbeta]

Black malt, also called patent malt or black patent malt, is barley malt that has been kilned to the point of carbonizing, around 200 °C. The term "patent malt" comes from its invention in England in 1817, late enough that the inventor of the process for its manufacture, Daniel Wheeler, was awarded a patent. Black malt provides the color and some of the flavor in black porter, contributing an acrid, ashy undertone to the taste. In small quantities, black malt can also be used to darken beer to a desired color, sometimes as a substitute for caramel color. Due to its high kilning temperature, it contains no enzymes. ASBC 500-600/EBC >1300.

Crystal malt[edit source | editbeta]A paler example of Crystal malt

Crystal malts are prepared separately from pale malts. They are high-nitrogen malts that are wetted and roasted in a rotating drum before kilning. They produce strongly sweet toffee-like flavors and are sufficiently converted that they can be steeped without mashing to extract their flavor. Crystal malts are available in a range of colors, with darker-colored crystal malts kilned at higher temperatures producing stronger, more caramel-like overtones. Some of the sugars in crystal malts caramelize during kilning and become unfermentable; hence, addition of crystal malt will increase the final sweetness of a beer. They contain no enzymes. ASBC 50-165/EBC 90-320; the typical British crystal malt used in pale ale and bitter is around ASBC 70-80.

Distillers malt[edit source | editbeta]

Standard distillers malt or pot still malt is quite light and very high in nitrogen compared to beer malts. These malts are used in the production of whiskey/whisky and generally originate from northern Scotland.

Peated malt[edit source | editbeta]

Peated malt is also available; this is distillers malt that has been smoked over burning peat, which imparts the aroma and flavor characteristics of Islay whisky and some Irish whiskey. Some recent brewers have also included peated malt in interpretations of Scotch ales, although this is generally ahistorical. When peat is used in large amounts for beer making, the resulting beer tends to have a very strong earthy and smoky flavour which most mainstream beer drinkers would find extremely irregular.

Pilsner malt[edit source | editbeta]

Pilsner malt, the basis of pale lager, is quite pale and strongly flavored. Invented in the 1840s, Pilsner malt is the lightest-colored generally available malt, and also carries a strong, sweet malt flavor. Usually a pale lager's grain bill consists entirely of this malt, which has enough enzymatic power to be used as a base malt. The commercial desirability of light-colored beers has also led to some British brewers adopting Pilsner malt (sometimes described simply as "lager malt" in Britain) in creating golden ales. In Germany, Pilsner malt is also used in some interpretations of the Kölsch style. ASBC 1-2/EBC 3-4, DP 60 °Lintner.

Vienna malt[edit source | editbeta]

Vienna malt or Helles malt is the characteristic grain of Vienna lager and Märzen; although it generally takes up only ten to fifteen percent of the grain bill in a beer, it can be used as a base malt. It has sufficient enzymatic power to self-convert, and it is somewhat darker and kilned at a higher temperature than Pilsner malt. ASBC 3-4/EBC 7-10, DP 50 °Lintner.

Munich malt[edit source | editbeta]

Munich malt is used as the base malt of the bock beer style, especially doppelbock, and appears in dunkel lager and Märzens in smaller quantities. While a darker grain than pale malt, it has sufficient diastatic power to self-convert, despite being kilned at temperatures around 115 °C. It imparts "malty," although not necessarily sweet characteristics, depending on mashing temperatures. ASBC 4-6/EBC 10-15, DP 40 °Lintner.

Rauchmalz[edit source | editbeta]

Rauchmalz is a German malt that is prepared by being dried over an open flame rather than via kiln. The grain has a smoky aroma and is an essential ingredient in BambergRauchbier.

Acid malt[edit source | editbeta]

Acid malt, whose grains contain lactic acid, can be used as a continental analog to Burtonization. Acid malt lowers mash pH, and provides a rounder, fuller character to the beer, enhancing the flavor of Pilseners and other light lagers. Lowering the pH also helps prevent beer spoilage through oxidation.

Other malts[edit source | editbeta]

Honey malt is an intensely flavored, lightly colored malt. 18-20 °L.

Melanoidin malt, a malt like the Belgian Aromatic malt, adds roundness and malt flavor to a beer with a comparably small addition in the grain bill. It also stabilizes the flavor.

Unmalted barley[edit source | editbeta]

Unmalted barley kernels are used in mashes in Irish whiskey.

Roast barley are unmalted barley kernels which has been toasted in an oven until almost black. Roast barley is, after base malt, usually the most-used grain in stout beers, contributing the majority of the flavor and the characteristic dark-brown color; undertones of chocolate and coffee are common. ASBC 500-600/EBC >1300 or more, no diastatic activity.

Black barley is like roast barley except even darker.

Flaked barley is unmalted, dried barley which has been rolled into flat flakes. It imparts a rich, grainy flavor to beer and is used in many stouts, especially Guinness stout; it also improves head formation and retention.

Torrefied barley is barley kernels that have been heated until they pop like popcorn.

Other grains[edit source | editbeta]Wheat[edit source | editbeta]Wheat malt[edit source | editbeta]

Beer brewed in the German Hefeweizen style relies heavily on malted wheat as a grain. Under the Reinheitsgebot, wheat was treated separately from barley, as it was the more expensive grain.

Torrefied wheat[edit source | editbeta]

Torrefied wheat is used in British brewing to increase the size and retention of a head in beer. Generally it is used as an enhancer rather than for its flavor.

Raw wheat[edit source | editbeta]

Belgian witbier and Lambic make heavy use of raw wheat in their grist. It provides the distinctive taste and clouded appearance in a witbier and the more complex carbohydrates needed for the wild yeast and bacteria that make a lambic.

Wheat flour[edit source | editbeta]

Until the general availability of torrefied wheat, wheat flour was often used for similar purposes in brewing. Wheat flour was also, erroneously, used as a yeast food in medieval andrenaissance brewing; flour would be cast into the fermenter to feed top-floating yeasts, which have no means of absorbing the raw flour. Brewer's flour is only rarely available today, and is of a larger grist than baker's flour.

Rye[edit source | editbeta]

The use of rye in a beer typifies the rye beer style, especially the German Roggenbier. Rye is also used in the Slavic kvass and Finnish sahti farmhouse styles, as readily available grains in eastern Europe. However, the use of rye in brewing is considered difficult as rye lacks a hull (like wheat) and contains large quantities of beta-glucans compared to other grains; these long-chain sugars can leach out during a mash, creating a sticky gelatinous gum in the mash tun, and as a result brewing with rye requires a long, thorough beta-glucanase rest. Rye is said to impart a spicy, dry flavor to beer.

Sorghum and millet[edit source | editbeta]

Sorghum and millet are often used in African brewing. As gluten-free grains, they have gained popularity in the Northern Hemisphere as base materials for beers suitable for people with coeliac disease. Sorghum produces a dark, hazy beer, however, and sorghum malt is difficult to prepare and rarely commercially available outside certain African countries. Millet is an ingredient in chhaang and pomba, and both grains together are used in oshikundu.

Rice and corn[edit source | editbeta]

In the US, rice and corn (maize) are often used by commercial breweries as a means of adding fermentable sugars to a beer cheaply, due to the ready availability and low price of the grains. Corn is also the base grain in chicha and some caium, as well as Bourbon whiskey and Tennessee Whiskey; while rice is the base grain of happoshu and various mostly Asian fermented beverages often referred to as "rice wines" such as sake and makgeolli; corn is also used as an ingredient in some Belgian beers such as Rodenbach to lighten the body.

Corn was originally introduced into the brewing of American lagers because of the high protein content of the six-row barley; adding corn, which is high in sugar but low in protein, helped thin out the body of the resulting beer. Increased amounts of corn use over time led to the development of the American pale lager style. Corn is generally not malted (although it is in some whiskey recipes) but instead introduced into the mash as flaked, dried kernels. Prior to a brew, rice and corn are cooked to allow the starch to gelatinize and thereby render it convertible.

Non-grain solids[edit source | editbeta]

Buckwheat and quinoa, while not grains, both contain high levels of available starch and protein, while containing no gluten. Therefore, some breweries use these plants in the production of beer suitable for people with coeliac disease, either alone or in combination with sorghum.

Syrups and extracts[edit source | editbeta]Main article: Adjunct (beer)

Another way of adding sugar or flavoring to a malt beverage is the addition of natural or artificial sugar products such as honeywhite sugar, Dextrose, and/or malt extract. While these ingredients can be added during the mash, the enzymes in the mash do not act on them. Such ingredients can be added during the boil of the wort rather than the mash, and as such, are also known as copper sugars.

One syrup which is commonly used in the mash, however, is dry or dried malt extract or DME. DME is prepared by fully converting base malt, then draining the resulting mash, still including amylases, and evaporating it down to a high density. DME is used exclusively in homebrewing as a substitute for base malt. It typically has no diastatic power because it is all used up in the production process.

Regional differences[edit source | editbeta]Britain[edit source | editbeta]

British brewing makes use of a wide variety of malts, with considerable stylistic freedom for the brewer to blend them. Many British malts were developed only as recently as theIndustrial Revolution, as improvements in temperature-controlled kilning allowed finer control over the drying and toasting of the malted grains.

The typical British brewer's malt is a well-modified, low-nitrogen barley grown in the east of England or southeast of Scotland. In England, the best-known brewer's malt is made from the Maris Otter strain of barley; other common strains are HalcyonPipkinChariot, and Fanfare. Most malts in current use in Britain are derived from pale malt and were invented no earlier than the reign of Queen Anne. Brewing malt production in Britain is thoroughly industrialized, with barley grown on dedicated land and malts prepared in bulk in large, purpose-build maltings and distributed to brewers around the country to order.

Continental Europe[edit source | editbeta]

Before controlled-temperature kilning became available, malted grains were dried over wood fires; Rauchmalz (Germansmoked malt) is malt dried using this traditional process. In Germany, beech is often used as the wood for the fire, imparting a strongly smoky flavor to the malt. This malt is then used as the primary component of rauchbieralder-smoked malt is used in Alaskan smoked porters. Rauchmalz comes in several varieties, generally named for and corresponding to standard kilned varieties (e.g. Rauchpilsener to Pilsener); color and diastatic power are comparable to those for an equivalent kilned grain.

Similarly to crystal malts in Britain, central Europe makes use of caramel malts, which are moistened and kilned at temperatures around 55-65 °C in a rotating drum before being heated to higher temperatures for browning. The lower-temperature moistened kilning causes conversion and mashing to take place in the oven, resulting in a grain's starches becoming mostly or entirely converted to sugar before darkening. Caramel malts are produced in color grades analogous to other lager malts: carapils for pilsener malt,caravienne or carahell for Vienna malt, and caramunch for Munich malt. Color and final kilning temperature are comparable to non-caramel analog malts; there is no diastatic activity. Carapils malt is sometimes also called dextrin malt. 10-120 °L.

The United States[edit source | editbeta]

American brewing combines British and Central European heritages, and as such uses all the above forms of beer malt; Belgian-style brewing is less common but its popularity is growing. In addition, America also makes use of some specialized malts:

6-row pale malt is a pale malt made from a different species of barley. Quite high in nitrogen, 6-row malt is used as a "hot" base malt for rapid, thorough conversion in a mash, as well as for extra body and fullness; the flavor is more neutral than 2-row malt. 1.8 °L, 160 °Lintner.

Victory malt is a specialized lightly roasted 2-row malt that provides biscuity, caramel flavors to a beer. Similar in color to amber and brown malt, it is often an addition to American brown ale. 25 °L, no diastatic power.

Other notable American barley malts include Special Roast and coffee malt. Special Roast is akin to a darker variety of victory malt.

Belgium[edit source | editbeta]

Belgian brewing makes use of the same grains as central European brewing. In general, though, Belgian malts are slightly darker and sweeter than their central European counterparts. In addition, Belgian brewing uses some local malts:

Pale malt in Belgium is generally darker than British pale malt. Kilning takes place at temperatures five to ten °C lower than for British pale malt, but for longer periods; diastatic power is comparable to that of British pale malt. ASBC 4/EBC 7.

Special B is a dark, intensely sweet crystal malt providing a strong malt flavor.

Biscuit malt is a lightly flavored roasted malt used to darken some Belgian beers. 45-50 EBC/25 °L.

Aromatic malt, by contrast, provides an intensely malty flavor. Kilned at 115 °C, it retains enough diastatic power to self-convert. 50-55 EBC/20 °L.

See also[edit source | editbeta]References[edit source | editbeta]Notes[edit source | editbeta] Bibliography[edit source | editbeta]
  • Daniels, Ray, Designing Great Beer, 1996, 2000, Brewers Publications. ISBN 0-937381-50-0
External links[edit source | editbeta]Categories Navigation menuSearch InteractionToolboxPrint/exportLanguages

regards Derek

Janetcook's picture


THANKS soooo much for this information!  I realize what I need is a brew/bread shop in my area too!  This really helps explain the temps. and I see some of the malts that I purchased the other day - crystal, chocolate, honey, Vienna,victory and biscuit to name a few at first glance.  One young man at the shop was really helpful in educating me to the different flavors of each grain.  He especially recommended the caramel flavored barley - which are part of the crystal malts….They do have a wonderful aroma.  Now I know they are okay as sweeteners thanks to this information!

This will help me identify and label the ones that I can use as a sweetener from those that should only be used for the extra enzymes for long fermentation times.  According to other info. I have read b-amylase is the enzyme that causes gumminess in the crumb during baking.  It can be denatured at 170°F.  Lots of the above malted grains are heated a lot higher than that which should make them 'safe' in my breads.  Time will tell as I experiment.

Again, thanks so much for finding this.  It is just PERFECT!

Take Care,


P.S.  Did some searching in my files today and did find the link with the temp. chart and a bit more info. on the mashing process.  Fits in perfectly with what you posted above.  The picture becomes much clearer :- )




Franko's picture

Many thanks Derek!

Looking forward to trying this one out. What type or brand of stout would you recommend I use for this, Guiness perhaps? Enjoy your pizza mate, and thanks again.


yozzause's picture

Hi Franko

The stout that seems to be universal is the Guinness however here it comes in aluminium cans with a widget  i prefer a bottled stout we have a couple of very good ones here Coopers from Sth Australia  being probably the best in fact you can use the last little drop to get a starter up and running basically a brewers barm is born. 

The cost is what got me interested in having a go at making my own, A couple of our Irish chefs reckon they would be happy to be served my stout if they were buying at the pub, high praise in deed.

Did you here about the Australian that drowned half an hour after falling into the guinness vat during a visit to the guinness factory in Dublin.He would have drowned sooner but had to get out twice to use the bathroom!.

Kind regards Derek

breadsong's picture

Hi Ross,
Thanks for writing about this great sounding class. How fortunate for you and the other students to have a chance to learn from such an experienced baker as Derek.
Thank you for sharing this class experience, and some really beautiful-looking breads!, with us.
:^) breadsong

rossnroller's picture

...for your nice comments. All the best to you!