How to make a malt

Kids and adults alike enjoy drinking all sorts of milkshakes. With countless flavors and blends available, who wouldn’t want to try even just a glass? Some people, however, are curious as to the difference between milkshake and malt just to get a better understanding of what it is they are consuming. Below are short and easy descriptions of each.


How to make a malt

A milkshake is a sweet, cold beverage, which is usually a blend of milk, ice cream, fruit, and syrup. Some restaurants and diners still prepare milkshakes “by hand” combining scoops of ice cream and milk in a blender, unlike most fast food restaurants that now use automatic milkshake machines. Milkshakes can also be prepared by stirring flavored powder into fresh milk, creating different flavors such as chocolate, caramel, strawberry, and banana, among countless others.

How to make a malt

Choco malt shake

A malt or malt shake is a hand-blended milkshake where malted milk powder is added as an ingredient to enrich the flavors included in the shake.

Milkshake vs Malt

What, then, is the difference between milkshake and malt? Based on the given descriptions, not much. A milkshake is a blend of ice cream, milk, flavoring, and syrup, while malt is simply a variation of the milkshake wherein malted milk powder is added after the shake has been blended, to enhance the flavors present in the shake. The only difference between the two is the presence or absence of the malted milk.

Malt flavoring is an extract that can be used to make a variety of edible items, including beer, whiskey, milkshakes and certain candies and baked goods. The term “malt” comes from the process associated with making malt flavoring, “malting.” The origins of malt flavoring are simple, but it can be used to create a number of different food items.

Malt is normally made from barley, a grain. It can also be made from other grains. It is turned into malt flavoring with a process called “malting.” Malt can be brewed at home with the proper equipment and knowledge or it can be purchased in a grocery store. Malt extract comes in two forms: a liquid and a dried version. The liquid form is generally darker in color, either brown or black, while dried malt is usually white or pale beige.


Malt flavoring is made by germinating barley or other grains. This is a process that occurs by soaking the grains in water. Then, after they are thoroughly soaked, the grains are dried with hot air that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit to stop the germination. If the germination is not stopped in time, the plant will begin to grow. This process alters the grain’s starches, turning them into sugar. From here, the malt is ready to be made into an extract, malt flavoring, and then added to a variety of foods and drinks.

Uses of Malt Flavoring

Malt flavoring is most frequently used in the brewing of beer. After the malting process is complete, the substance goes through a second process, called “mashing.” During this process, the sugars are extracted from the malt to remove sweetness. This produces a viscous liquid called wort, which, when concentrated, is malt extract. Malt flavoring is also used in a variety of foods, including baked goods and breads, breakfast cereals, milkshakes and candies.

Cautionary Information

Many food products specify on the packaging as to whether there is gluten in the food. Since malt flavoring comes from barley, it is not always guaranteed to be gluten free. Gluten is a complex combination of proteins found in the grain. For people with Celiac disease or another illness that causes them to have gluten sensitivity, foods with malt flavoring should be avoided. If these individuals eat or drink something containing malt flavoring, contact emergency professionals.

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There’s no telling when a craving for a thick, creamy malt will hit. Fortunately, all you need is ice cream, milk, and malted milk powder. Use these ingredients as a base and customize your malt with different flavors of ice cream, syrup, or fresh fruit. Garnish your malts with whipped cream and enjoy!

Makes 1 to 2 malts

Makes 1 to 2 malts

Makes 2 malts

How to make a malt

How to make a malt

Variation: For an adult vanilla malt, add 1 to 2 fluid ounces (30 to 59 ml) of bourbon or rum.

How to make a malt

How to make a malt

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How to make a malt

How to make a malt

Variation: For a classic malt flavor, try a Black and White malted milk shake. Instead of using chocolate ice cream, use vanilla ice cream. This will give you a less-sweet, creamier tasting malt.

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How to make a malt

Barley malt is a natural sweetener that is derived from barley. It can be used in the home as a substitute for processed sugar, and many commercial foods make use of it as a way of providing sweetening in frozen or packaged foods.

The malt is created by toasting sprouted barley and grinding the sprouts into a powder. The powder can then be processed for use as a dry product or made into barley malt syrup, which has a relatively high concentration of maltose. While not as sweet as granulated or powdered sugar, the final product is often sweet enough to produce tasty foods.

There are two distinct advantages to using this sweetener. First, it tends to cause lower spikes in blood glucose levels, which means that people who are trying to monitor their blood sugar levels might find that it can help with this goal. While the malt does contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, they are considered to be the “good” kind, similar to those found in oatmeal and other whole grains.

Another benefit of using barley malt has to do with the texture and consistency of the prepared dish. Unlike many of the artificial sweeteners that do not lend any real texture to recipes, malt can be ideal for use in baking and other applications. Using it allows bakers to cut the sugar content of some foods and reduce the calories without negatively affecting the taste.

Because of the high fiber content, this type of malt is sometimes processed into a product known as barley malt extract. The extract can be consumed to add bulk to the stool, which in turn helps with general colon health and lowering bad cholesterol in the body. Along with the powder form, it is also possible to purchase tablets for this purpose.

The malt can also be used in the creation of home brewed beers and ales. Many of the kits on the market today specifically recommend it in order to produce the best results. As with many types of malt, this form can add a pleasant flavor to the home brew that is difficult to achieve using any other product.

It is possible to purchase barley malt in many retail outlets, including some supermarket chains. The product is also available from a number of online services. In some cases, the malt is marketed as barley flour, which may be confusing to some consumers.

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

If you already grow your own hops and culture your own yeast, why not make your own malt? All you need is raw barley, water, time, and some TLC.

Dave Carpenter Jan 22, 2016 – 3 min read

How to make a malt

If you already grow your own hops and culture your own yeast, why not make your own malt? All you need is raw barley, water, time, and some TLC.

Raw barley (with husks) is available at feed stores and health food stores, but generic grain may not produce good malt. For best results, source your grain from a farmer who grows barley specifically for brewing.

Place the raw barley in a large bucket, then fill the bucket with enough cool water to submerge the kernels. Soak the kernels for eight hours. Spread the moist grains out to air-dry for eight hours, then soak them again for another eight hours.

How to make a malt

After the second soaking, chits (rootlets) should emerge from the kernels. Spread the sprouting barley in a cool (60°F/16°C) area and allow the grain to germinate. Every four to eight hours, turn the barley with your hands and spritz with water to aerate and cool the kernels as well as break up the mass of sprouts.

Each day, slice a couple of kernels lengthwise with a sharp knife and monitor the growth of the small white leaf inside, called the acrospire. When the acrospire is nearly the same length as the kernel itself—three to five days of germination—you have green malt.

In an oven, food dehydrator, or warm garage, dry the green malt at a temperature of 90–120°F (32–49°C) for twenty-four hours or more, or until the chits easily fall off. Agitate the grains outdoors on a screen to remove the dried, brittle chits.

Finally, kiln (heat) the malt anywhere from one to five hours at about 180°F (80°C) to produce a basic pale malt. Experiment with longer kilning or higher temperatures to create malts of different colors and flavors.

Treat your home malt as you would any base malt, keeping in mind that mash efficiency may be less than you achieve with commercial malt.

How to make a malt

Malt extract is quite a powerful homebrewing ingredient, especially for beginners, as it takes out some of the variables like hitting mash temperatures and volumes. While more seasoned homebrewers can use it to supplement sugars in a “big” brew or help reach a target gravity if you fell short.

Malt extract most commonly comes in liquid or dry form. Liquid malt extract (LME) is a molasses-like consistency, while dry malt extract (DME) is more of a fine powder. Extracts come in different types depending on the grains used in production. Extra-pale, pale, amber, pilsner, wheat and Maris Otter are just a few of the options available to homebrewers. Liquid malt extract can also come as pre-hopped, though much less common in the homebrewing community.

Believe it or not, the malt extract making process is much like the beginning of an all-grain brew day.

How to make a malt

Click image to enlarge.

First, a large mash tun is filled with strike water and heated to the appropriate temperature. The amount of water needed is kept to a minimum, since extracts are low in water content. Once the liquor is heated, the grains are milled and sent to the tun for mash in. The grains undergo a standard mash, typically single step, where enzymatic activity breaks down components of the grain to create fermentable sugars, as any all-grain homebrewer or pro-brewer would do before moving to the boil. For extracts, the goals are usually a low water to grist ratio and quick yet efficient mash rest.

How to make a maltOnce the mash is complete, the sugary-sweet wort is sent through a pipe to a filter. The filter helps separate out the spent grain sediment, while sending the sediment-free wort to holding tanks. If a malt extract is hopped, it will often times undergo a boil in one of these tanks to promote isomerization.

From the tanks, the wort is sent to evaporators. This is where the process starts to really differ from your typical homebrew day.

The evaporators rid of 80 percent of the wort’s water content, leaving a syrupy, 20 percent liquid malt extract. Dry malt extract requires one additional step where the evaporated malt extract is sent through a centrifuge to further separate water from the malt. What is left is a powder-like substance.

That’s it! Essentially malt extract is made by mashing and dehydration.

For more information on malt extract, visit the How to Brew section and check out the past article LME vs DME: Which is Best For Brewing?

Sources: Brewing Classic Styles by J. Zainasheff & J. Palmer; Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels; “Extracting the Essentials” by Bill Metzger (Summer 1996Zymurgy); How to Brew by John Palmer; “Making Better Extract Beers” by Amahl Scheppach (May/June 2005 Zymurgy); Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. Special thanks to Muntons for providing the infographic!

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Shake up your typical milk shake with a touch of malted milk — it’ll add an irresistible flavor that will make you feel transported to an old soda shop.


Recipe Summary


Place 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoons malt powder in the jar of a blender, and process until malt is dissolved. Add half the vanilla ice cream, and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add remaining vanilla ice cream, 1 scoop at a time, until it is fully incorporated. Pour half the shake into a glass measuring cup, and place in freezer. Divide remaining half between two glasses, and place glasses in freezer. Allow to chill for 10 minutes before proceeding to step two.

Place remaining 1/2 cup milk and remaining 3 tablespoons malt powder in clean jar of blender, and process until malt is dissolved. Add half the chocolate, or strawberry, ice cream, and blend until smooth. With motor running, add remaining ice cream, one scoop at a time, until fully incorporated. Divide half the shake between two empty glasses, and top off the two partially filled glasses from freezer with the remainder. Allow the half-filled glasses to freeze for 10 minutes. Stir reserved vanilla shake before topping off remaining glasses. Garnish with malted-milk powder and malted-milk balls if desired, and serve immediately.

How to make a malt

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
727 Calories
21g Fat
117g Carbs
17g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 727
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 373mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 117g 42%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 97g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 525mg 40%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1151mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

For some, the toasted, nutty flavor of a malted milkshake will bring back memories of hanging out at the soda fountain. But sadly, most of the true old-fashioned soda fountains are gone. So for the younger generations who don’t know what a true malted milkshake tastes like, we bring a classic vanilla malted milkshake—and for the older folks we bring back a piece of their childhood. Creamy and thick, a milkshake made with malted milk powder is a true American treat. Ready in under 5 minutes, this is a perfect and decadent dessert or a fun treat for a hot summer afternoon.

Some diners or cafes where they maintain the old crafts might still serve a malted milkshake, and even some trendier spots that want to hearken back to that artisanal era might offer it. But there’s no need to search for it, as with very few ingredients you can have this blast from the past at home. Our recipe uses reduced-fat ice cream and low-fat milk. It maintains the same rich flavor and indulgence, though it isn’t as straw-defyingly thick as the full-fat counterparts. If you want the more rich version, simply use full-fat milk and ice cream.

Click Play to See This Vanilla Malted Milkshake Come Together

“This vanilla malted milkshake was super easy, tasty, and not overly sweet. You could swap out some of the milk for more ice cream if you like a thicker shake. If you can’t find malted milk powder locally, it’s easy to find online. I made it with vanilla bean ice cream, and it was delicious.” —Diana Rattray

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1 cup low-fat milk

1 cup ice cream , slow-churned or reduced-fat

4 tablespoons malted milk powder , or Ovaltine

Steps to Make It

Gather the ingredients.

How to make a malt

Combine ingredients in a blender, or place in a tall and wide glass to mix with an immersion blender beaker.

How to make a malt

Blend until creamy, 10 to 20 seconds.

How to make a malt

Transfer to a tall glass.

How to make a malt

Decorate with your favorite toppings, insert a straw, and enjoy.

How to make a malt

What is Malted Powder?

Malt is a term that describes a grain that has been sprouted and then quickly dried. Barley is the most common grain used to make malt. The powder has a natural sweetness and nutty flavor. It was originally used as a supplement for infants and those with health conditions for whom better nutrition and a robust 1caloric intake were necessary. Malted milk powder offers a good source of carbs and moderate amounts of copper and vitamins A, C, E, and B6.

Malted milk powder is made with malt powder, wheat powder, and powdered milk. Often sugar and additives such as salt and food coloring are included, as well as flavoring like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. Nowadays it’s commonly used in baking, as the enzymes from the sprouting process release sugars that help yeasted doughs grow better.

Ovaltine and Carnation are the most common brands in the United States. Easily found in most major grocery stores, it’s often displayed in the baking aisle and near the powdered milk.

Add Your Favorite Toppings

Our simple recipe is a great base to personalize the milkshake to your taste. Here are some ideas:

  • Add malted balls, peanut butter cups, or chocolate chips for decoration and crunch.
  • Use chocolate or caramel syrup to coat the glass before adding the milkshake.
  • Add your favorite berries on top for decoration, or blend a handful of your favorite to give the milkshake a pretty hue of pink.
  • Make a chocolate malted milkshake by adding 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to the mixture before blending. Decorate with chocolate shaving or chocolate chips.

There’s something very satisfying about a cup of tea with a slice of buttered malt loaf – this simple, good-for-you version makes two and improves on keeping


Nutrition: per serving

Highlight Nutrient Unit
kcal 140
low in fat 1 g
saturates 0 g
carbs 31 g
sugars 22 g
fibre 1 g
protein 3 g
low in salt 0.17 g


  • sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 150ml hot black tea
  • 175g malt extract, plus extra for glazing (see tip)
  • 85g dark muscovado sugar
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda


  • STEP 1

Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Line the base and ends of two greased 450g/1lb non-stick loaf tins with strips of baking parchment.

Pour the hot tea into a mixing bowl with the malt, sugar and dried fruit. Stir well, then add the eggs.

Tip in the flour, then quickly stir in the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and pour into the prepared tins. Bake for 50 mins until firm and well risen. While still warm, brush with a little more malt to glaze and leave to cool.

Remove from the tins. If you can bear not to eat it straight away, it gets more sticky after wrapping and keeping for 2-5 days. Serve sliced and buttered, if you like.