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Malt extract

Wholesaler August Töpfer & Co. is a reliable distribution partner for malt extract, made from different types of grain, in light to dark colour variations, and with or without hops.

Malt extract: what is it?

Malt extract is a finishing product made from Malt that is entirely natural and primarily used in brewing and for baked goods. The production of malt extract begins with grinding the raw material malt. Adding hot water produces in a mash, which is kept at around 50 °C to 70 °C for several hours. During this time, all the sugary components as well as starch, protein, cellulose and hemicellulose dissolve, which are broken down into water-soluble compounds by the enzymes contained in the malt. Insoluble substances are carefully filtered out of the mash during the production process. The resulting interim product has a high water content of around 85 percent and is referred to as wort. This provides an ideal breeding ground for microorganisms and only has a short shelf life. Removing water produces a concentrated syrup that can be stored for longer periods: the malt extract.

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What are the ingredients of malt extract?

Malt extract is largely composed of different types of sugar such as maltose, dextrin, glucose and fructose. The ingredients are rich in natural sugar, proteins and minerals beneficial to health. The composition of malt extract includes B vitamins and folic acid, minerals, trace elements and proteins broken down by enzymes, which vary according to the type of grain.

The high proportion of sugar gives the product a sweet flavour. Malt extract is therefore ideal for the production of confectionery as well as sweeteners and substitutes for refined types of sugar. In dried form, malt extracts are used in baking mixes, finished flours and as baking agents, natural colouring and flavour enhancers. The sugar and amino acids contained intensify the flavour, colour and the aroma of baked goods.

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Barley malt extract

Barley malt extract is the most commonly used malt extract used in the food and drinks industry. To produce it, a watery extract from barley malt is carefully thickened. The water-soluble contents as well as valuable vitamins in the malt are retained during the production process. The use of this malt extract is highly versatile, ranging from baking mixes and baking agents to spreads and sweeteners. Barley malt extract is suitable for sweetening food and drinks, as a raising agent for baking and for improving dough structure. Buy malt extract from August Töpfer & Co. and choose from various colour variations from light to dark, as well as from hopped or non-hopped options.

Further varieties of grain

At wholesaler August Töpfer & Co., you can order malt extracts made from a range of different grain varieties. Besides barley malt extract, we offer oat malt extract, rye malt extract and wheat malt extract. The name of the grain variety is typically prefixed to facilitate differentiation. By increasing the temperature during production, malt extract can be caramelised due to the high sugar content and thereby processed into caramel malt extract. This process intensifies the flavour, colour and aroma of baked goods. Roasted malt extract is likewise made with high temperatures and available from August Töpfer & Co. The malt extracts are available with or without the addition of hops.

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The wide variety of malt extracts

When buying malt extract, you can choose from a range of options depending on the application. Liquid malt extract is a natural product obtained from malted grain. The processed and dried powder version is suitable for use in dry mixes as well as for products in which water cannot be added. Classic examples include baking or spice mixes, chocolate, instant drinks and home breweries. At August Töpfer & Co., malt extracts are available wholesale in various colour strengths from light to dark. Very dark malt extracts can be used as an alternative to conventional caramel. Despite their dark colour, they are free from E-numbers.

Enzyme activity of malt extracts

Due to the high temperatures during the production process, most malt extracts are enzyme-inactive or non-diastatic. They are primarily used to enhance flavours and colour baked goods. Depending on the drying intensity, the enzyme activity can be specifically influenced. Some of our light extracts can also be supplied as diastatic malt extracts or with enzyme activity as a result of their production at lower temperatures below 65 °C. These malt extracts accelerate the breakdown of starch, support yeast fermentation and improve crust and crumb properties. We only recommend buying these malt extracts when they are to be used with doughs containing predominantly wheat. Rye doughs already have enough enzyme activity. Therefore, the addition of active-enzyme malt extracts can potentially lead to bread defects.

Use of malt extract

The use of malt extract is wide-ranging and encompasses the food and drinks industry as well as the pharma sector.

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Malt extract is an ingredient permitted in beer according to the German beer purity law. The other permitted ingredients are hops, yeast and water. By purchasing malt extract from the wholesale trade, you skip the mashing and purification process. The long shelf life of the syrup enables the product to be stored, making brewing easier. Due to the use of sugar in malt extracts, the beers produced are characterised by a rich, full-bodied flavour. Foam formation and stability are also improved by using dried malt extracts.


Malt extract is one of the oldest, natural baking agents and is still used for a wide range of applications in traditional baking. The sugar contained in malt extract reacts to the heat during baking and intensifies the flavour, colour and aroma of the baked goods. Moreover, malt extract improves volume, crumb structure, the raising properties of yeast and the binding quality of the dough. The characteristic malt flavour can be tasted particularly in the crust. In dried form as malt extract powder for baking, it is also suitable for baking mixes, finished flours and baking agents. As an alternative to malt extract, sugarbeet syrup is likewise suitable for sweetening baked goods. This is distinguished by a somewhat lower sugar content and a different flavour.

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Our malt extract is certified:

Buy malt extract from wholesaler August Töpfer & Co.

Order malt extract in Germany from the wholesaler August Töpfer & Co., a traditional company based in Hamburg. We offer high-quality malt extracts in different packaging units: loose, in IBCs or containers, in canisters as well as buckets. We also offer a number of organic malt extracts as well as extracts with Naturland, Bioland or Demeter labels. Dried extracts are available in airtight sacks or carton packaging, weighing 20 or 25 kilograms each.
Our team will be happy to advise you on our product range. Based on your documents and specifications, we will help you find the most suitable products for your individual needs.