Hops and Malt with John Mallett from Bell’s – BeerSmith Podcast #69

by Brad Smith on November 12, 2013 · 2 comments

John Mallett from Bell’s Brewery is my guest this week. John joins me to discuss how the changing landscape in hops and malt is driving craft beer and home brewing forward and pushing new frontiers for craft and home brewers worldwide.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (53:46)

  • This week I invite John Millett to join me to discuss key beer ingredients. John is the Director of Operations for Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, MI. He is responsible for all brewing, logistics, packaging and capital projects for the brewery. He also serves on several technical committees and boards including the Master Brewers Association, the Brewer’s Association, the American Malting Barley Association and Hop Quality Group. He’s written extensively and lectured at the Sibel Institute since 1995. He was previously head brewer at Boston’s Commonwealth Brewery and BrewMaster at Old Dominion Brewing. He is also the founder and President of SAAZ.
  • We start by talking for a minute about John’s role at Bell’s Brewing as Director of Operations.
  • We next move to a discussion on malt and hops supply and how it drives the home brewing and craft beer market.
  • John explains how the hop supply and introduction of new hop varieties are expanding horizons for craft and home brewing.
  • He also talks about the hop shortage cycle (the last hop shortage was in 2010) , and the genesis of the hop quality group.
  • John tells us how hops are grown, processed and pelletized for home use. He also describes the importance of proper hop storage and preserving hop oils for flavor.
  • We discuss John’s favorite hop techniques including dry hopping options and whirlpool/steeped hops to preserve hop oil, flavor and aroma.
  • John and I switch over to discussing malts and how barley varieties are really becoming a new frontier in brewing, since currently only a very limited stock is used here in the US.
  • John explains why looking at alternate barley grains may truly open up some new flavor options in the near future.
  • We talk about the malting process including soaking, germinating and drying/kilning and how this affects the quality and flavor of the malt.
  • John shares a few tips on using specialty malts, as well as some final tips on getting the most out of malts.

Thanks to John Mallett for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Storey December 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Thanks Brad, this was a great interview. John Mallett really knows his stuff.



Alex August 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm

This podcast was simply awesome. I learned a ton!

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