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Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby Aussiedownunder » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:17 pm

Just been given 10 kg un malted barley
ideas please
Last edited by JayD on Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed title to suit what ever grain you malt.
If its free pick it up
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Re: Malting barley

Postby the Doctor » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:18 pm

There are a few resources online which will explain the process...but in a nutshell...wet the barley thoroughly to seep through the shell, place between wet hession or towels til they just start to sprout...place on a mesh over a slow smouldering fire of peat, not so much to cook but to dry out and smoke it...this part is what gives it the unique whiskey flavour and can take from hours to days.... But as i said Google is your friend.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Zombie » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:49 am

I have 3'x5' sprouting/drying racks made from 2"x4" lumber. The bottom is stretched w/ stainless screen (like you use for windows, and what we call "hog wire" here. The hog wire is 4"x2" mesh. It supports the screen from underneath.
Depending on how much/often you intend to malt you can make a rack for these "trays", and enclose the entire deal in a homemade smoker box.Plywood is fine. I have a mohogany box made from a salvaged boat. Ebay has lots of electric smokers, and Peat is readily available from all the garden centers.

Under a hundred bucks to make a permanent addition to your armory. Otherwise you could smoke small batches in a dome type Barbaque. Just smoke till the kernels "snap" when squeezed between two spoons. That way you can store it long term. Do be careful to keep smoking temp under 120*f. 100-105* is perfect

I may need to be "put down" soon.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Toddy » Thu May 05, 2016 7:55 am

Rather than start a new thread. I am trying peat smoking myself. I have built the cold smoker - s/s tube, fish tank air pump etc.
It works well on wood chips but struggles on the peat that is available from garden suppliers. I can get it to work with a bit of ingenuity , but the peat properties make it really quite difficult to maintain a slow/ cold smolder in the smoker.
I was wondering if anyone has tried mixing a small portion of some type of wood chips to the peat when they smoking the malt.
What wood wood be the best as far as not distracting from the peat flavor or is there a wood that would add an interesting flavor
to the malt.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Thu May 05, 2016 11:44 am

If you're in the US, what you're buying from a garden supply store as peat is NOT peat in any sense; it's peat MOSS, technically dried sphagnum moss, and has absolutely nothing to do with flavoring whiskey (or whisky). I as able to score some proper Irish peat years ago from an Irish member of another forum, and it's something completely different from American "peat moss".

Most importantly, real peat has undergone a great deal of decomposition from sitting in bogs for hundreds or thousand of years (We have a layer of peat sloughing off the sandy cliffs into Puget Sound, but it's so old, hard, and compressed that it's also worthless for flavoring spirits)

This stuff appears to be the real thing. http://www.irelandearth.com/about-us/irish-peat-for-sale/
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Toddy » Thu May 05, 2016 6:51 pm

OK, if I am not be to ues peat moss, what alternatives are there for "smoking your own malt"?
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Re: Malting barley

Postby bigfoot » Thu May 05, 2016 9:02 pm

There is a member that uses corn cobs....to reported great effect.
LARK whiskey accidentally discovered some peat in tassie highlands whilst on a fishing trip. He then set about purchasing the land and to this day, it's location is a closely guarded secret. It's a wonder the HBS shops haven't caught on yet...
I am no fan at all of essences - to be honest I'm not a fan of single malt whiskey - but there is a essence in a satchet(still spirits), a premium essence that is probably the most expensive I've seen - apparently, it's pretty decent. I make it now and again for a friend, I add some personal touches to the recipe but... It's still an essence.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby S-Cackalacky » Fri May 06, 2016 12:40 am

Am I correct in my understanding that, not all Scotch single malt whiskies are made with peat smoked malt? From some of the opinions I've read, it would seem that some love the flavor imparted by the peat and others dislike it. It would seem that the flavoring of barley malt would be a very subjective thing.

There's a distillery here in Virginia that makes a single malt and smokes the malt with cherry and apple woods - http://www.copperfox.biz/history/ . The owner of the distillery did an apprenticeship in a Scottish distillery and is maybe the only distillery in the US that floor malts barley in the Scottish tradition. It would seem that finding a preferred malt flavor would be best achieved with some experimentation.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby res » Fri May 06, 2016 12:55 am

S-Cackalacky wrote:Am I correct in my understanding that, not all Scotch single malt whiskies are made with peat smoked malt?


Indeed. Peated whisky is usually found around the island distilleries, most notably from the island Islay. It's a fantastic addition in my book. :handgestures-thumbupright:
If you don't like it or can't be bothered fresh malt could be dried without it no problems, just won't have any smoke though :violin:
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Toddy » Fri May 06, 2016 6:35 am

I guess this thread highlights the fact that we all like experimenting. As I said, I have managed to build a cold smoker that is able to successfully burn the peat moss from the local garden supplies (in Aust.). I know it not the real peat thing , as mentioned, but it does have a much less objectionable smell and it doesn't sting your eyes like the wood chips I have mucked about with. I suppose that I it's about the flavor of the final product. While it would be nice to be able to reproduce the magical flavors of a Laphroaig, it's not going to happen in the back shed in Tasmania! Maybe I should try smoking small quantities of malt with a variety of woods etc.and see what flavors they bring to the malt. Flavor is very subjective.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Fri May 06, 2016 9:56 am

It's often assumed that "peated" means only "peat-smoked malt", but I'll hazard a guess that your final spirit often gets way more peat flavor when it's diluted with the tea-colored water from peat bogs, as in many locations in Scotland. I tried to get the peat flavor I wanted from purchased peat-smoked malt, and it has a flavor note (like scorched circuit boards) that I don't care for in any great strength, although I've detected that same note in a high-end Scotch whisky I encountered at a single-malt tasting party.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby JayD » Fri May 06, 2016 10:13 am

research your area for natural peat bogs, you may be delightfully surprised to find one in your own back yard? I know they are scattered around Tasmania... :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Toddy » Fri May 06, 2016 11:32 am

Yeah Bob, I tried a bottle of Laphroiag the other week with my son. First taste i "thought what the" , then it grew on me, now I love it.
Jay, I have done some web searching with no luck. I know there is peat in Tas. - I bush walked for many years. Trying to track down a source that is available
to us hobbyist is difficult. Any ideas?
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Re: Malting barley

Postby res » Fri May 06, 2016 2:48 pm

Tassie peat bogs are a bit like the Tassie Tiger, people who see them don't generally say. :shhh:
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Re: Malting barley

Postby waza » Fri May 06, 2016 8:32 pm

There is stacks of peat in Tasi's north west. The Tasi government recently spent millions putting fires out in the north west because they were scared the peat would catch fire. Once peat catches fire it burns underground and it is very very hard to put out. They haven't had fires in this area in the north west before, but this year due to unseasonal dry weather the had fires. They shipped interstate fireies in to totally black out the fires. Look in the north west where fires have been recently, that is where you'll find peat. If you don't know what your looking for you would just mistake it for thick muddy clay with a bit if vegetable matter thrown in.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby kimbodious » Fri May 06, 2016 8:50 pm

Peat bogs at the base of the foothills western end of Sisters Beach, NW coast.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Toddy » Fri May 06, 2016 8:53 pm

This may require a covert operation! most of the peat areas are in national parks and or protected areas. Next time I'm down Sisters Beach way i will pack my bucket and spade and a pair of dark sunglasses. :grin:
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Re: Malting barley

Postby Zymurgy Bob » Sat May 07, 2016 2:45 am

I've got a peat bog a couple of miles down the road from me, but I've never figured out how to get access to it.
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Re: Malting barley

Postby JayD » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:05 pm

Malting Barley, Rye or Wheat, how do we do it, easy really, firstly we steep it in water for two periods of time depending on what your malting, then we either lay it out on the floor and periodically turn it, or we place it into a a cereal grain roller, this acts like the floor method only its circular! which ever way you go its not that hard to malt your own grain. :obscene-drinkingcheers: food for thought folks. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Malting barley

Postby JayD » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:31 pm

Im, steeping some wheat at the moment, 20 kilo's want to follow along? ive just steeped it for around 8 hours, it was supposed to be 12 hrs but i was not staying out in my malting shed for another 4 hours, so it's laid out on a tarp on my cement floor for it's breathing period, i have a thermometer in it and the grain is reading around 20c, photos to follow in morning. :teasing-tease:
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:49 am

Grain (soon to be Malt) after it's airing rest on a tarp. (overnight) never forget the KISS principle. You do need to top the steeping water once or twice as the grain absorbs the water and expands.

malt1.JPG


Malt temp on floor.

maltemp.JPG
take note of how plump and full the grain looks after its first steep.

About to reload the steeping container (large garbage bin) for its last drink before it either goes back on the floor or i can jury rig my roller.

maltcontainer.JPG


Malt roller, all it is a a food grade 200ltr plastic drum that sits on a rotater.

maltroller.JPG


being steeped fpr the last time, I use the hose to blow oxygen into the water.

maltrehyd.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:56 pm

Well unfortunately my roller just broke :crying-yellow: I knew i had dramas with it :violin: , so its back to the drawing board for me...back to business :obscene-drinkingcheers: i've gone old school now with my grain laid out on a tarp on my malt shed floor. just like the first photo on last post.
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby FullySilenced » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:08 am

Scarecrow has a few photo's of his roller and his drying cabinet... you may want to take a look over at MT's place :? ...Jaybird :roll:

happy stillin,

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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:24 pm

This grain is just past the chiting stage as it's starting to sprout rootlets. The chiting stage is when you can just see the beginning of the shoots, like a little white tip on the end of the grain


trulychited.JPG


I lay my grain on a tarp as you simply grab one end of the tarp and lift, the grain rolls along the tarp, i generally roll it from all four sides.This is old school with out the monkey shoulder thing happening

turninggrain.JPG


Once i turn the grain, I then smooth it out to around 100mm in depth so it uniformly heats the mass. The heat is generated by germination.

bedthickness.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:32 am

What a difference a couple of hours make :-o

rootletacrospires.JPG


We are at the stage now where we need to keep a close eye on the germinating grain, it has roots, and acrospires, the length of the acrospire is the most important thing to watch as we want it to be around 75% of the grains length, this is called fully modified when the acrospire gets to this length. Once this is achieved we need to stop the germination in its tracks...more to follow soon. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

rootletacrospires1.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:26 pm

here we are curing the malt in a jacketed mash tun, i turn it every 10 minutes or so. :handgestures-thumbupright: I have a four ring burner under it, I heat up the grain stirring it frequently then once the heat gets into the grain i back it off to one burner set on low.

curingmalt.JPG


curing temperature, i'm trying to cure the malt slow. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

curingmalttemp.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby bigfoot » Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:27 am

Very interesting and very cool.
Thanks for sharing JD!
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby SunShine » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:38 pm

With the slow curing are you trying for a Distillers Malt?
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:55 pm

No, this is for grain beer that i'm developing. :handgestures-thumbupright: it is very easy to over do it with wheat, i tried a sample cured on another heat source and do not like how it turned out.
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:54 pm

and here we go again, this time it's Barley. :handgestures-thumbupright:

Barleymalt.JPG


this photo is after it's first steep period, some of the grain has started to chitt.
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:55 pm

barley just beginning to chitt. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

startchitt.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:26 pm

properly chitted Barley. :obscene-drinkingcheers:

chitted1.JPG


chitting1.JPG
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby bigfoot » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:02 pm

Chitting / malting releases flavours but more importantly releases more starch from the commencement of sprouting, which equals more available sugar product ?? Yes/no ?
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:18 am

What happens during germination?

"In preparation for the journey through germination, seeds stock up on supplies of essential nutrients and minerals, including carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. Despite gathering food supplies, however, seeds remain dormant until inundated with hundreds of tiny water molecules. Water helps seeds process and digest the food that they have stored up to that point; upon digesting food, seeds turn fuel into glucose and other forms of energy that they can use to grow. As seeds continue to ingest water, they swell and expand to the point where pressure becomes overwhelming. High pressure signals the tough outer shells of the seeds to burst open, exposing the tiny buds to light. This triggers the second stage of germination, which prepares seeds for rapid growth. During the second stage, young seedlings generate roots and leaves; the final stage of germination involves the unfurling of leaves and extension of roots, which enable young seedlings to sprout and grow." [1]

Barleymalting.JPG


The Malting Process.

"The malting process takes about seven days. During the steeping stage, which lasts for approximately two days, water causes the grain to sprout, and the raw barley becomes what is known as chitted barley. Chit is term for the small roots that begin to emerge from the kernel.
The germination stage typically takes four to five days. Adjusting the temperature and humidity in the germination tank regulates the process. Mechanical turners keep the grain separate and prevent the roots from growing together.
The drying stage, sometimes called malting or kilning, halts the germination process. The grain heats in a kiln to between 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately two to four hours".
Beer making makes use of malted barley to provide complex carbohydrates and sugars for fermentation. Malt also helps to give beer its unique flavor and color. Malted barley is also an ingredient in baked goods, snack foods, cereal and granola. Because it is a natural grain, it is an ingredient in many products labeled all-natural, non-GMO and Kosher.[1]

Simply put we invert the starches into simple sugars to ferment on after the mashing phase.

Malting[1]
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:04 pm

The Barley is progressing nicely. :handgestures-thumbupright:

maltendday.JPG

this is around 11 hours later. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby bigfoot » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:00 pm

Is there a discernible difference to taste at this stage - from the raw product?
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:42 am

bigfoot wrote:Is there a discernible difference to taste at this stage - from the raw product?


I have not tasted it at the stage seen above, but I have tasted it before and after malting...after the curing stage when its officially called malted Barley it has a biscuity taste to it. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:53 am

Acrospire starting to show, you have to decide when most of Barley has modified enough, a fine line between over modified and under modified. :handgestures-thumbupright: YOU need to keep a close eye on it now.
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby JayD » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:30 pm

Here is a great read on malting grain, for beer or distillation. :handgestures-thumbupright:


Although this column is typically devoted to techniques for making beer, this time we’re taking a step back and looking at making one of beer’s essential ingredients, the malt itself. Malt is simply barley that has been sprouted to the point where enzymes are produced that will convert its starchy interior to sugar. If a barley seed is carefully halted in its quest to grow, the result will be a starch-packed kernel with enzymes at the ready for mashing. Additionally, the kilning (heating) that occurs during malting develops color and flavor in the husks.

There are four basic steps to making malt: steeping, germination, drying and kilning. Now before you think this process is too difficult or complicated to do yourself, the only really specialized piece of equipment you may find particularly helpful is a food dehydrator. With a little planning and a few minutes of work a day for several days, a home malt-works is in the reach of most homebrewers.

From a practical standpoint, I make malt in 4.0 lb. (1.8 kg) batches because that’s how much grain fits on the big roasting pans and racks of the food dehydrator that I use. How many pounds you produce at a time will depend on the capacity of your set-up.

While malt could be made from practically any variety of barley (or any number of different starchy grains), there are several varieties that have been bred for making quality brewing malt. Some major malting varieties of barley grown here in the U.S. include six-row types: Drummond, Excel, Robust, Stander, Foster, Lacey, Legacy, Tradition and Stellar, and two-row types: Conlon, Harrington, Merit, AC Metcalfe and B1202. The designation of six-row and two-row comes from the habit of how the florets are arranged on the pedicel, creating the appearance of six-rows or two-rows of seeds in each head. Barley seed can be ordered from Howe Seeds (www.howeseeds.com), Johnny’s Selected Seeds (www.johnnyseeds.com), or if you live in an agricultural part of the country, ask your local county extension agent for sources. Purchasing seed retail can be expensive, but if you have a place to grow your own barley, a pound (0.45 kg) of seed can produce about 30 lbs. (14 kg) of grain for malting.

Steeping

The first step in malting is steeping. In this stage, the moisture content of the barley is increased from the 12–13% moisture present in barley seed to the 42–46% required for germination to proceed. Steeping has two components, wet steeping and air rests.

Since the barley kernels being malted are alive and respiring, they need air. Therefore, too long of a steep and the seeds will drown and die. Too short of a steep and the seeds will not take on enough water to successfully sprout.

For the initial wet steep, the barley should be steeped in cool (50–60 °F/10–15 °C), hard (or at least not softened) water for about eight hours, but no more than sixteen hours unless vigorous aeration is supplied. If you have an aquarium aerator or a trickle of water running to replenish oxygen, this will help supply oxygen to the kernels during the steeping period. I just use an ordinary 3 to 5 gallon (11–19 L) plastic pail.

After a period of steeping, excess water should be drained off and the grain allowed to rest for eight to ten hours in a cool (50–70 °F/10–21°C) place. The initial steeping water will carry away dirt from the outside of the barley kernel as well as dissolved husk components that would yield unpleasant flavors in your beer. This step is called an air rest. After the resting period, the barley needs to be steeped again for another eight hours. After the second steep, the water is drained off and the moisture content checked to make sure the barley has taken on an appropriate amount of water. After being properly steeped, the barley should contain about 42–46% moisture by weight. Shoot for the lower end of the range if you are trying to make a pale base malt, such as Pilsner malt. For a darker malt, like Munich malt, aim for the high end of the moisture range.

I aim for 45% moisture. This translates to 20 oz. (0.58 g) of wet barley for each pound (0.45 kg) of “dry” barley (12 % moisture) used at the start. I weigh out 4.0 lb. (1.8 kg) of barley seed before steeping. Then after steeping, I can check to see that it weighs about 5.1 lbs. (2.3 kg) to be sure it has taken on the proper amount of water. If the barley has imbibed the necessary amount of water, it will begin to sprout (or chit, in maltster lingo) and begin the process of germination.

In most modern malting plants, the duration of wet steeps are shorter (4–6 hours) and more water changes and air rests are employed. The above method, however, which is based on more traditional English malting methods, works well at home.

If you are malting sorghum for a gluten-free beer, your steeping temperature should be significantly higher (80–86 °F/27-30 °C). Use several short (4–6 hour) wet steeps, with air rests in between, until the moisture percentage reaches 52–58%.

Germination

During the second stage of malting, germination, the roots and shoot emerge from the kernel. Inside the kernel, the production of enzymes proceeds and the hard interior endosperm of the grain is broken down. The degree to which this is accomplished is called modification. Properly modified barley will have undergone changes to also modify the gums and proteins in the kernel. Good malt should have the enzymatic power to be able to convert not only the starch from its own kernels, but also that of other adjuncts in the mash.

Once steeping is complete, the germinated grains need to be spread out and allowed to sprout. Sprouting grain is obviously very much alive, and as such undergoes respiration, which produces heat. The sprouting grain must be kept cool and moist, but not wet and cold. Grain that is too wet and warm may encourage the growth of mold. Grain that is too dry or cold may not continue to sprout properly. If sprouting barley is kept moist and cool (55–64 °F/13–18 °C) the modification process should proceed smoothly. You can let the temperature rise up to 71 °F (22 °C) towards the end of the germination step. For darker malts, your germination temperature can be slightly higher — 73–77 °F (23–25 °C.)

Uniformity of modification is the goal during germination. All the barley should sprout and modify at the same pace so when the time comes to end the germination phase, every kernel will be properly modified. In order to achieve uniformity, it is necessary to turn the malt at least twice daily. Turning the malt by hand — using your fingers to untangle the rootlets — will make sure that as the grain is misted with water it is all moistened the same. Turning also allows heat to be dissipated, keeping all the grain at the same temperature.

A small-scale approach to the germination process is to lay the steeped grain about 3⁄4 in. (1.9 cm) deep over a single layer of paper towels on shallow roasting pans or cookie sheets. The pans can then be slid into plastic trash bags and the end folded under the pan to hold in moisture. When the grain needs to be turned, the pan can be removed from the bag, the grain turned and moistened with a little spray bottle filled with water. Then the pan of grain is returned to the bag again to continue sprouting.

Each time the grain is turned and moistened, it should be carefully inspected to monitor its progress. The shoot or acrospire will grow underneath the husk starting from the root-end of each grain (where the rootlets will begin to emerge and grow). The shoot is the part of the sprout that will become the above-ground part of the barley plant. The growing shoot is not easily observed under the husk. To monitor shoot development, take a kernel and cut it open with a razor-sharp blade. This will expose the shoot to determine its progress.

The sprouting process will usually take 3–5 days from when the steeped barley was spread out after steeping. Modification is complete when the shoot is almost the full length of the kernel of grain. By the time the first white shoot tips poke out of the husk, most of the remaining kernels should be fully modified. By this stage, there will also be 4 or 5 rootlets of various lengths protruding from the other end of the kernel. For darker malts, germination is allowed to proceed slightly farther than for malts destined to become pale malts.

If you are making sorghum malt, germination needs to proceed to the point that the shoots extend about 1.5–2 kernel lengths to ensure that adequate enzymatic power is developed.

A simple test for modification can be performed by biting a few kernels to see if they are crumbly inside. The modification process typically proceeds from the base of the kernel where the roots appear, and works toward the tip. To test for modification, put a kernel between your incisor teeth and bite down starting at the root end and working your way to the tip. The modified portion of the kernel will give way and be crumbly. Any unmodified part of the kernel will still be hard and “steely,” and resist being crushed by your teeth.

Drying and Kilning

Once the malt is fully modified, it is dried immediately and then cured at high temperatures. These are the final two steps of malting — drying and kilning.

Drying stops the sprouting process at the point where the endosperm has been converted to starch granules and the enzymes to convert starch to sugar have been produced.

Initial drying must be done with care. If the malt is dried at too high a temperature, the enzymes may be denatured (inactivated). Moist malted barley (called green malt) fresh from modification should be dried at temperatures less than 125 °F (52 °C) until it has dried down to 10–12% moisture or less. Below this level, the malt can be dried at higher temperature without affecting the enzymes.

With this in mind, it is most practical to dry malt at a temperature of 100–
125 °F (38–52°C) in a food dehydrator or some similar arrangement where a good air flow and proper temperature control can be maintained. At 10% moisture, the malt should weigh about 0.5 oz. (14 g) less per pound (0.45 kg) than your starting weight. After 10% moisture is reached, the temperature should be increased to 140–160 °F (60–71 °C) until the malt is at or below 6% moisture — 3–5% is the target for most malts. This will be a little less than 13 oz. (376 g) for each original pound (0.45 kg) of seed barley. There are various types of electronic grain moisture testing meters, but they are fairly expensive ($200 to $2,000), so unless you know a farmer or grain elevator manager you can borrow one from, you’ll just have to weigh your malt and do the math. The entire drying process typically takes six to eight hours in a food dehydrator. After the malt is dried, it should be sieved to remove the dried rootlets, which may cause problems during kilning, storage, or milling.

Kilning (roasting) the dried malt develops the final desired character and flavor. Unkilned malt will produce a “green” tasting wort and resulting beer. To produce standard pale malt, the dried malt should be kilned for three to five hours at 176–185 °F (80–85 °C). This can typically be achieved in your home oven with an inexpensive oven thermometer.

However, as we all know, there are a wide variety of brewing malts available in many different colors and flavors. Malt can be kilned at temperatures between 220–400 °F (104–204 °C) for various periods of time to produce darker or more aromatic malts. For example, try 220 °F (105 °C) for 4 hours for a Munich-style malt. Any malt kilned at temperatures over 194 °F (90 °C) will develop melanoidins, the “malty” flavor found in Munich and other dark malts. During the kilning process, occasional stirring will result in a more uniform final product. More highly kilned malts will have little or no enzymatic power.

Crystal malt is produced by “stewing,” rather than kilning, green malt. This approach is simply mashing within the kernel, by heating the green malt to mashing temperatures without letting it dry. Crystal malt can be produced by putting green malt in a covered dish and holding it between 150–170 °F (66–77 °C) for a couple hours then spreading it out on an open pan at 250 °F (121 °C) until it achieves the desired color. The longer it kilns, the darker and more caramelized the sugars will become.

After malt has been kilned sufficiently, the malt should be allowed to cool to room temperature then stored in a cool, dry place in a closed container. With some basic equipment and a little care, producing malt is within reach of any homebrewer who would like to add the technique of malt-making to their repertoire, and homemade malt to their next batch of homebrew.

Finally, there is one possible health and safety issue associated with malting your own grain. If your malting grain is infected with Fusarium mold, it will produce beer that may be unhealthy to drink. Fortunately, affected beer will also gush when opened, so you will know if you need to discard it. If you buy your grain, rather than grow it yourself, ask if it has been tested for Fusarium.

Jon Stika is Brew Your Own’s new “Techniques” columnist.
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Re: Malting Barley/Wheat/Rye.

Postby S-Cackalacky » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:17 pm

Thanks for the artiIcle JayD. I did a copy/paste to a file on my laptop for easy reference.

BTW, great thread as well.
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