Admiral Maltings - It's the Chit! (Chit Malt), Organic

Chit Malt

What's Chit Malt? In a nutshell, it's barley that has been malted only a tiny bit compared to other malts. The chit is the first little bit of the rootlets that start to poke out of the barley kernel when germination gets started during steeping. For other malts, it's one of the signs that steeping is complete and it's time to turn the grain out onto the floor for several days of controlled germination. With chit malt, though, we send the grain straight to the kiln, skipping the germination floor altogether, stopping the germination process super early with the heat from the kiln. 

That means the beta-glucan content is very high which, while potentially adding some time to lautering, can add body to a beer. This is similar to using raw, unmalted barley but that's notoriously hard to work with (which is why malting happens in the first place). Chit malt is much easier to mill and the husk can help with lautering compared with using flaked barley or oats. 
The proteins that are present thanks to not being broken down during a more normal germination schedule are great for enhancing foam formation and stability. 
And then, at higher percentages, some brewers are using chit malt for haze formation instead of or in addition to other haze builders like oats and wheat. One reason oats aren't so great for hazy beers is that they have a high percentage of manganese, which can accelerate oxidation (which can partially explain why hazy beers are so unstable). 
So, in short:
  1. Good for body, especially in lower ABV beers that might otherwise come across as a bit thin
  2. Great for foam formation and stability (head retention)
  3. Nice alternative or complement to other haze building grains like malted or flaked wheat or oats

Check out the current malt specs at