Malt is an important addition to your mash, since it adds needed enzymes to the grain in order to convert starch in the grain into sugar. This sugar is used by yeast to produce alcohol. Starch is much more difficult to for yeast to use, so buy malt or an enzyme called amylase in order to assist with this conversion of starch into sugar.
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As a rule, use at least 10 percent of your grain volume in malt. There's no harm in using more, but you won't need more than about 20 percent, and it is a bit more costly than regular grains, since it goes through a conversion process to make the grain into malt.
Liquid malt can be used too, as long as they contain the proper enzymes for conversion.
If you'd rather, you can also use an enzyme called amylase to convert grain starches into sugar, which the yeast then converts into alcohol. It is sold in powder form, and you simply add the right measurement to the quantity of mash you are making.