Building a Malt Cider – Part 1 – Malt

As I sit here drinking a bottle of h3lldr0p’s homebrew, I’m reminded of this cider project mulling around the recipe book. Thoughts on what types of ingredients to use keep popping into my mind. Different types of yeast, styles of malt, little extras like fruit, spices, and back-sweetening quickly come to mind. But where to start? Well, before I start let us explore the major components first, and what better place to start than malt.

First things first, if you’re going to make a Malt Cider, you’re going to need some malt. Now I’ve never been a big fan of DME. Granted there is now real reason for my dislike, I would just rather deal with and handle LME. I find that the flavor and over all results just work out better for me.

In the world of malt, I’m leaning more into the area of something light. I want the overall flavor of this brew to come out being cider and not beer, so something light seems the way to go. Now, with that said what exactly to go with?

A simple 2-row light malt might do the trick. It is light enough with a gentle flavor and a good sugar content. The only concern is that it might be to lacking in flavor. Even though, in the end, this product should have a great cider flavor, I would still like it to be unique with a an understandable difference from a straight cider.

Now a wheat malt should be a bit more stout. Granted such a malt is still light, but wheat has a great crisp and doughy flavor that it should blend well with cider. Besides many wheat malts are a blend with 2-row anyway. This will probably give a light yet robust enough flavor to accomplish the “malty” aspect of this project.

I’ve considered the possibility of using a bit of grain in this brew as well. Looking at it, it would definitely impart a wonderful flavor, but I fear it maybe too much. A grainy beer is a great thing in my book, but I’m not sure how it translates in the world of cider. Considering that the original “Snakebite” idea uses Harp, a beer not known for a very heavy grain flavor, this may be pushing it.

As for now, it seems that a good wheat LME is the way to go, at least for this experiment.

–Next time – Yeast–