International Sorghum and Millet Collaborative Research Support Program (INTSORMIL CRSP)


Date of this Version


Document Type



USAID, INTSORMIL, University of Pretoria, August 28, 2008.


U.S. government publication.


Malt (dried, sprouted cereal grain) is the major ingredient in most beers and in certain hot and cold beverages. It is also a useful ingredient in some cereal food products such as bread and infant porridges. In terms of nutrients, malt contains mainly complex carbohydrates (starch and dietary fiber), but also protein of reasonable quality and availability, B vitamins and minerals. Malt is a source of hydrolytic enzymes, especially amylases. In brewing, the malt amylases produce the sugars which the yeast ferments to alcohol and carbon dioxide The amylases also increase the sweetness and improve the texture of food products such as bread and porridges.

Floor malting of sorghum and millet is a traditional craft that has been carried out throughout Africa for hundreds of years. The modern factory manufacture of barley malt and sorghum malt is in principle identical to traditional malting. This guide shows how traditional floor malting can be scaled-up into a small commercial-scale operation, through the application of simple, sound food manufacturing practices.

Note: The guide is an introduction to the technology of sorghum and millet floor malting. It is not intended to provide complete instructions on how to floor malt sorghum and millets. If the reader wishes to undertake sorghum and millet malting and has had no previous experience, it is strongly recommended that he/she contacts INTSORMIL to be put in touch with an expert in sorghum and millet malting.