Malt is any grain artificially germinated, so as to induce certain changes in the construction of the seed. Barley is the variety of grain usually employed for making malt. The barley is first screened, and then poured into a large vat; after which it is covered with six inches of water, the blasted kernels and foreign substance being skimmed off. It is left in this water from forty to fifty hours, taking less time in summer than in winter. The barley is then taken from the vat and thickly spread upon a floor where it is left to continue sprouting until it reaches a certain point, where the maltser knows from experience that the starch of the grain has been changed to soluble sugar and dextrin. These changes arc-effected by a peculiar nitrogenous ferment called "diastase," which exists in the grain, but is increased in amount during the sprouting process. The barley is then kiln-dried and ground to a flour. Diastase is obtained by making a paste of the malted grain and water, and kept at a temperature of 76 for a few minutes, when the water is then pressed out, filtered, and placed in a warm bath at 170o . At this temperature the foreign nitrogenous matter coagulates, which is afterward separated by filtration. The filtered liquid is quite pure diastase, and is evaporated at a low temperature, until it is dry. Diastase is not only soluble itself, but it has the power of dissolving starch, and is converted into soluble gum, to which is given the name "dextrin," and finally into grape-sugar, so called because, on analysis, it closely resembles the sugar which naturally exists in the grape.
Diastase is so powerful that 1 part of it will convert 2,000 parts of starch to grape-sugar. For this reason it is extensively used in the preparation of farinaceous foods for infants, and in the form of malt extract it possesses considerable repu tation in pharmacy, being recommended by physicians for patients who have lost the power of digesting starch, as the digestion of starch changes it to sugar or dextrin, and the malt extract produces the same result. Malt extract is very sweet, and has the consistency of honey; it blends nicely with nuts, and may also be eaten on grains and bread. It is one of the greatest fat-producing food elements made, and is especially recommended to persons who find themselves losing in flesh from any cause, and is equally well adapted to persons of all ages. It is, however, a very concentrated food, and care should be taken not to eat of it too freely.
Take 2 cups of butter, 1 cup of malt, and mix thoroughly. When desired to be used on bread, mix in water till of the consistency to spread. A little salt may be added to suit taste.