Ask Mr. Wizard

Munich Malts Explained

TroubleShooting

Robert Waligora — Solon, Ohio asks,
Q

I have noticed a lot of variation in Munich malts from different maltsters and I’m trying to understand the difference between Munich Light, Medium, and Dark malts. I can order Munich Light in 5, 8, 15, and 30 °L, and Munich Dark comes in 8, 15, and 50 °L colors. There are also malts offered as Munich 10 °L, Munich 20 °L, and Munich 60 °L, which I assume are Munich Medium. What does Light, Medium, and Dark really mean?

The BYO “Tips From the Pros” (https://byo.com/article/using-munich-vienna-malts-tips-from-the-pros/) didn’t provide many answers to this question. In fact, this reference says that Munich Malt has a color rating of 5–20 °L, Which adds more confusion because I see 30, 50 and 60 °L versions.

A
The differences among specialty malts is confusing for a number of reasons, including how the same description, such as Munich or crystal, is used for a wide range of malts. And some
Response by Ashton Lewis.