After kicking off with pale and pilsen malts, in the second instalment of our new Malt Vault blog posts, we're exploring the depths of some regional specialty malts originating from Vienna and Munich.

Talk of the tun:
When choosing malts for a brew, brewers must select from a variety of base malts and specialty malts. Vienna and Munich malts are great examples of specialty malts used for some widely recognised beer styles.
Vienna and Munich malts are coloured malts, meaning they've been roasted to give them dark colour and more flavour. Due to the roasting process, these malts lose a lot of their "enzymatic power" or "diastatic power" if you want to be technical about it! For that reason they need support in the mash tun in order to ensure there are enough fermentable sugars at the end of it.
Vienna malt is often found in Vienna lagers and some Bocks, and Munich malt brings the colour and flavour for Oktoberfest beers, Bocks and dark lagers.  A great example of a BrewDog beer that rocks Munich malt is Zeitgeist. Nanny State, Five AM Red Ale and Dogma all see it in their malt bill, but Zeitgeist really displays the impact well.

Here's what Head Brewer Bowman has to say about these two;
"Both Vienna and Munich malts provide very malty flavours and aromas, without too much colour pickup in the beer. Used in moderation, they act to lift the malt profile to a much higher note. Munich in particular is one of our regulars, but Vienna we've never really tried out!
In Zeitgeist, nearly 40%  of the malt bill is Munich malt. The first batch we brewed was over 80% though! However, it tasted like dog biscuits, unfortunately, so we scaled it right back to something a bit more palatable…!
Both these malts are great for fine-tuning a malt profile as they can be quite subtle so they're a great tool in our malt arsenal. Despite not really using Vienna at BrewDog that much,  I'm personally planning a small scale batch of Marzen-style beer for my homebrew, which will have both Vienna and Munich malts. Malt is the new hops! Maybe…."

Angelos gives us a bit more background;
"Vienna malt offers up distinctive, toasty biscuit aromas but it has a lower extract yield than Munich malt. Beers brewed with Vienna malts tend to be 100% Vienna, which isn't something we've really experimented with at BrewDog…yet! Munich malts are darker and add reddish amber colour to beer. They offer up very malty flavour with a sweet aftertaste and aroma."
Have you homebrewed a Vienna lager or a Munich-y Bock? Hit us up with your experimental successes!

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Audrey Hopburn 01.10.2014 @ 1:34pm
Is that a hipster Rick Astley pouring the malt in the hopper next to the head brewer Bowman?
Chris Airplays 30.09.2014 @ 1:57pm
@Stout pout the reason is more than likely because most small UK breweries dont have the facilities to make proper lager. Lager requires chilling during fermentation which is to do with the kind of yeast used. Im guessing that Brewdogs new lager making equipment would allow them to make this style.
Stout pout 29.09.2014 @ 1:19pm
anyone explain why the Bock style is more or less untouched by UK breweries?
Zeitgeist heist 29.09.2014 @ 11:47am
I love Zeitgeist! Great beer! Cool to know a bit more about how it is made :)