How do these two malts differ? I can find sources at times with slightly different colors and I know there must be flavor differences.

I was wondering if anyone could shed light on how the two are produced and what the flavor impressions are of each one.


2 Answers 2


Chez, you're in luck. I just wrapped up a double 1-gallon experiment with these two malts. Had the brew-bug one day & two 55 pound sacks of malt.

My experiment was simple. I made gallon batches of 1.040 OG beer solely from each malt. Hopping was kept to a single 60 minute addition of about 20 IBUs. I selected a clean ale yeast and fermented cool to minimize its influence. Both brews finished around 1.011 SG.

Munich Malt


Toasty notes. A little grainy sweetness.


Tanish-amber in color. Tan head.


Grainy, toasty. Leans to the dry side, with just a little malt sweetness.

Vienna Malt


Grain sweetness up front


Paler than the Munich beer.


Biscuit. Has a soft (or smooth) sweetness but not cloying.


Based on a standard Pilsner Malt, for Vienna the barley gets watered some more (44-46% water instead of 42-46%). Also the roasting is slightly higher at 90°C instead of 80-85°C. Munich is made with still more water (up to 47%) and temepratures up to 110°C. Water and higher temperatures lead to a more pronounced Maillard-Reaction and hence formation of darker colour and caramel taste.

  • 1
    Thanks for rounding out my post by answering the first part of the question. Jan 15, 2010 at 3:03
  • This is a great addition to the first answer by dean. Very complete. I wish I could vote for these answers again!
    – brewchez
    Jan 15, 2010 at 17:34

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