The quality of beer has always been tied to the quality of the malt used. As craft brewing has grown, the demand for an array of base and specialty malts from Europe, North America, and South America has also grown. Today there is more malt available to brewers than ever before.
Mocama will source a consistent supply of base and specialty malts from large multinational suppliers such as BSG Craft Brewing and Country Malt Group. Base malts are the malt varieties that comprise at least 70% and sometimes 100% of the grain bill in our recipes. Specialty malts undergo a more complex malting or roasting process and contribute significantly to flavor, color, or body (mouthfeel).
Craft beer consumers tend to focus only on hop profiles and completely forget how important malt is to a beer. Oktopus will differentiate our products significantly from those of virtually all other brewers by sourcing malt from craft maltsters in addition to the large suppliers mentioned above. While these malts are more costly, our analysis concludes that given the minimal amount of specialty malts used in most of our recipes, sourcing from craft maltsters will increase the cost of a pint of beer by less than 15 cents. We think this is a small premium to pay for a noticeable improvement in our products. As we develop our recipes, we plan to work with Epiphany Craft Malt and Riverbend Malt House from North Carolina, and Mecca Grade Estate Malt from Madras, Oregon.
Craft maltsters are utilizing production methods that run the gamut from traditional to technological. This range in production methods, combined with the utilization of heirloom and regionally adapted grain varieties, offers an exciting opportunity for Mocama to educate our customers about the diversity of flavors different malts contribute to our beers. One of the services available to us through membership in the Craft Maltsters Guild is the Malt Sensory Ambassador program, a grant funded initiative to help train and advance malt sensory evaluation protocol for use by brewers. Mocama employees Eric Kirchner, Derek Imes plan to pursue continuing education in this field with the assistance of several of our craft malt suppliers. Tasting hot steeped samples of the same malt from different companies based in different geographical areas allows us to quantify and qualify the unique characteristics that can develop with each maltster. Having sensory evaluation expertise on staff to independently select and monitor the malts we choose to brew with will invariably lead to more distinctive and consistent flavor profiles in our beers. Utilizing this standardized malt sensory analysis protocol will help Mocama streamline recipe development. This protocol will also assist in reaching concensus among our brewers before bringing a new malt on board or switching suppliers of an existing malt we already use.