For the serious brewer, purchase full sacks and save big on these flavor boosting, body building, foam forming specialty malts. Crystal malts are one of the most versatile, widely used specialty grains and are at home in nearly any beer style. We carry the full spectrum of crystal malts from maltsters around the world - robust and tangy English crystal malts, smoothly sweet Cara malts from Germany and Belgium, and a wide variety of excellent caramel malts from right here in the US. So whether you're looking for extra light dextrin malts, or dark and characterful varieties like Special B®, you’re sure to find exactly what you need to craft outstanding homebrew.
Basically, anything labeled crystal, caramel, or cara-something are crystal malts. Crystal malts are steepable and they’re generally used to add sweetness, body, flavor, color, and foam retention to both extract and all-grain brews. They’re usually named based on color - which can be very specific and scientific, based on the Lovibond color scale (Caramel 60 L), or pretty subjective (Dark Crystal). As a general rule, the lighter-colored crystal malts are more strictly ‘sweet,’ while darker crystal malts can add toffee and caramel flavors and some roastiness or nuttiness in addition to sweetness. On the extreme light end, there are dextrin malts - these malts add dextrins (unfermentable sugars), which contribute body and a thicker mouthfeel to beer without adding color or flavor. Many maltsters have their own trademarked brand names for certain malts - so CaraFoam® (Weyermann®), Carapils® (Briess), Caramel Pils, and Dextrin Malt are all different names for very similar malts. On the dark end, crystal malts such as Special B®, Extra Special Roast, and Extra Dark Crystal can add a wide variety of flavors which may include burnt sugar, raisin, prune, cherry, or other dark dried fruit. Crystal malts in the middle tend to offer varying degrees of sweet caramel flavor, hence the name.