The Benefits of Oat Malt in Beer Brewing

Oat is a versatile ingredient that can greatly enhance the texture and flavor of beers. Whether you're a porter, , or any other style that could benefit from a creamy, velvety mouthfeel, oat malt is definitely worth considering.

One of the key characteristics of malted oats is their large, thick husks. These husks are beneficial because they aid in run-off during the brewing process. However, it's the grain inside the husk that truly shines. Once the husk is cracked open, the creamy goodness of the oats is released, imparting a silky smoothness to the .

The addition of malted oats can help cut through the astringency and sharpness often found in beers like porters and stouts. The creamy texture they provide creates a more balanced and enjoyable drinking experience. In fact, oat malts are known for their ability to add a sumptuous, velvety character to beers.

Crystal oat malts, on the other hand, offer a slightly nutty flavor that can add depth to your brew. They also contribute to a creamier body and smooth mouthfeel. So, if you're looking to create a beer with a richer, more complex profile, crystal oat malt is a great choice.

Flaked oats are another option for brewers. These oats have been pre-gelatinized with steam and then rolled, making them easy to use without the need for cooking prior to mashing. While they don't have the same enzymatic properties as malted oats, they can still contribute to the overall texture and mouthfeel of a beer.

It's important to note that oat malts are not suitable for strictly gluten-free beers. Although oat grains themselves are gluten-free, oat malts are typically produced in facilities that also process barley and wheat malts. Therefore, they may contain traces of gluten and should be avoided if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy.

Another benefit of using oat malt is its potential to increase sparge efficiency. Oat husks are similar to rice hulls and can help prevent stuck mashes during the brewing process. By adding oat malt to your recipe, you can improve the flow of liquid through the grain bed, resulting in better extraction of sugars and increased efficiency.

Oat malt is a fantastic ingredient to consider when brewing beers that require a creamy, velvety texture. Whether you choose malted oats or flaked oats, you can expect to enhance the overall mouthfeel and flavor of your brew. Just be mindful of the gluten content if you have dietary restrictions. So go ahead, experiment with oat malt in your next brew and enjoy the luxurious texture it brings to your beer.

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What Is Oat Malt?

Oat malt refers to malted oats, which are oats that have undergone a malting process. Malting is a procedure where grains, such as barley or oats, are soaked in and allowed to germinate. During germination, enzymes are activated within the grain, which convert starches into fermentable sugars.

Oat malt is specifically made from oats, which are known for their large, thick husks. These husks are beneficial because they assist in run-off during the brewing process. Once the husks are cracked open, the inner grain is revealed. Oat malt grains are relatively small compared to other malted grains.

The unique characteristic of oat malt lies in the creaminess and smoothness it imparts to beer. When the oats are malted, the creaminess is enhanced, resulting in a silky smooth texture. This velvety texture adds a luxurious and sumptuous mouthfeel to the beer.

To summarize, oat malt is malted oats that have undergone a malting process, resulting in a creamy and smooth texture that enhances the overall quality of beer.

Do Malted Oats Have Gluten?

Malted oats do contain gluten, as they are processed in facilities that also handle barley and wheat malts, both of which contain gluten. Although the grains themselves are naturally gluten-free, the cross-contamination that occurs during processing makes them unsuitable for use in strictly gluten-free beers.

To clarify further, here are a few key points:

1. Oat grains are inherently gluten-free: Oats themselves do not contain gluten, but they can come into contact with gluten-containing grains during processing.

2. Malted oats are produced in facilities that handle gluten-containing grains: The malting process involves soaking, germinating, and drying the oats. This process typically takes place in facilities that also handle barley and wheat malts, which contain gluten.

3. Cross-contamination can occur: Due to the shared processing facilities, there is a risk of cross-contamination between oats and gluten-containing grains. Even trace amounts of gluten can be detrimental to individuals with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

4. Not suitable for strictly gluten-free beers: If you are brewing a beer that needs to be completely gluten-free, using malted oats is not recommended. Instead, opt for gluten-free grains such as millet, quinoa, or rice.

Malted oats should be avoided in strictly gluten-free beer recipes due to the potential for cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains during processing.


Oat malt is a versatile ingredient that can greatly enhance the texture and mouthfeel of beers. Whether in the form of malted oats, crystal oat malts, or flaked oats, each variation offers unique contributions to the brewing process. Malted oats, with their creamy and velvety characteristics, add a smoothness that can balance out the astringency and sharpness of darker beers like porters and stouts. Crystal oat malts bring a subtle nutty flavor and contribute to a creamier body, while flaked oats provide convenience by being pre-gelatinized and rolled for easy use in the mash. Additionally, the husks of oat malt can assist in improving sparge efficiency, similar to rice hulls. It is important to note, however, that while oat grains themselves are gluten-free, oat malts are produced in facilities that process barley and wheat malts, making them unsuitable for strictly gluten-free beers. oat malt is a valuable ingredient for brewers looking to add depth, texture, and complexity to their beers.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.