« on: July 20, 2011, 10:39:10 AM »
good call, another option.
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You can check out Colorado malting company for raw barley too...luckily, my father in law is on the board of directors for a co-op that receives Coors reject barley, and keeps me posted when it comes in. Good enough stuff for malting at home IMHO - the barley typically rejects at a higher rate when sales projections dip ; -)
Yeah I have that book. It's a good one. I think it's rye that is dangerous to malt at home. But I have to dig that out and give it another perusal.Rye definitely is, it sometimes contains ergot spores. Other grains can too (including barely), but not as often. My understanding is that it is not so much how you malt it, but if it contains ergot in the first place. I would be sure that whatever grain I was going to malt was sold for that purpose, that way it should be inspected to make sure ergot is not a problem.
Ergot does affect wheat as well as rye, but it's more common in rye. It's present on the grain before harvesting. It should be screened out before supply, and shows up as a distinct red color when milled (easy to miss in rye).
As a point of interest, it is believed that an ergot infection of wheat was possibly responsible for the belief that several women in Salem, MA were witches. It causes hallucinations and erratic behaviour (it has in fact been used to synthesize LSD), blistering on the skin, convulsions and potentially death. It generally requires long-term exposure to cause these probems, but there are some things that can activate it.
I've done two all grain batches with malt made at home... check out "the homebrewers garden" for some malt recipes, as well as some tips on what not to malt (wheat, if done improperly can supposedly turn toxic)
The first batch was all malt I did in the oven (various temps from 170 with the oven door cracked to 300). The second batch got smoked over apple wood on the smoker when it was green malt, then baked at 170, door cracked. I've found that shorter is generally better (in Colorado with low humidity) as grain laid out over some drying screens will still continue to lose some moisture, but over roasted malt can't un-roast... good luck and keep us posted on how it turns out!
Grow your own beer......I applaud you.