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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: morticaixavier on November 13, 2013, 08:31:18 PM

Title: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 13, 2013, 08:31:18 PM
So last weekend I started malting some barley. I had a 5 lb bag of barley that I got for planting in the garden for next year and since I only needed about a lb of that for planting I decided to play around with the rest. This is not really a malting variety but it is what was available and should work for proof of concept.

On Saturday morning I put 500 grams of barley seed in a .5 gallon mason jar with a sprout screen lid and, after rinsing a few times I filled it up with water and let it soak over night, then I drained, rinsed and let sit for about 8 hours, filled it back up and soaked it for another 6 or so hours.

Upon draining again for a final rinse and soak I noticed the grains were already beginning to chit. there were little white bumps pushing out of one end of the grain.

So instead of refilling I laid the jar on it's side and started turning it every hour or so. The chits began to grow and branch out pretty quick and by last night they were about 1.5 - 2 times the length of the grain.

I took about 10 grains from a couple places in the mass and cut them in half and the acrospires was at least .75 times the length of the grain. everything I have read says that's when it's fully modified and the endosperm smooshed readily between my fingers so...

Into the dehydrator it went on the lowest setting spread between two trays. This morning it was getting nicely dried. The Chits were more or less completely dry and withered. I turned it up to 135*f let it ride a while longer. When I checked it before leaving for work it was 90% of the way there I would say. the grains were still a little soft so I left it to go a while longer.

They taste slightly sweet and... well... malty. so I'm pretty excited. It's only one lb but I figure I can make a test of it. mash it and see what kind of yield I see.

just thought I'd share.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: dkfick on November 13, 2013, 08:36:10 PM
Interested in your results.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: denny on November 13, 2013, 09:02:48 PM
My impression has always been that making malt is easy, but making good malt is hard.  I'll be looking forward to your results!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 13, 2013, 09:09:02 PM
My impression has always been that making malt is easy, but making good malt is hard.  I'll be looking forward to your results!

this is also my impression. I think this first round may have gone too quickly based on my research. This is supposed to make the malt less flavourful. we will see.


The process itself is really quite easy. I can see this becoming a big part of my homebrewing jones... err... hobby.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: tschmidlin on November 13, 2013, 10:10:00 PM
That sounds cool mort, I'm looking forward to hearing more about it.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on November 14, 2013, 06:35:39 PM
Just the nudge I need.  Last spring I planted a couple of packets of barley seeds in my garden, and harvested about 3 lbs.

Hadn't done anything with it.  I think I need to start malting it this weekend!

Good luck w/yours!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 14, 2013, 06:39:48 PM
Just the nudge I need.  Last spring I planted a couple of packets of barley seeds in my garden, and harvested about 3 lbs.

Hadn't done anything with it.  I think I need to start malting it this weekend!

Good luck w/yours!

nice, good luck to you as well.

You might want to start with a very small test just to make sure you're going to get the germination rate you expect. Depending on variety barley needs a certain amount of time between harvest and sprouting to become fully viable. Modern malting varieties tend to take less time but they still take some. Storing very cold (stratification) for a period of time can help accelerate this process.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 15, 2013, 05:57:26 PM
Interesting research results:

I was looking at the variety of barley I have. It's Robust which is a 6 row multi purpose variety. Apparently it is in fact used for malting. One website I found had this to say about it:

"Malting characteristics:  Robust barley Lends wort, a deep reddish hue when used at 5% of the grist or more. Can be especially useful as a color enhancer for low-alcohol, non-alcohol, and light beers. Aromatic odor of mash and rate of filtration is normal."
http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/malting-barley/robust-barley-seed.html (http://sustainableseedco.com/heirloom-grain-seed/barley-seed/malting-barley/robust-barley-seed.html)

so that will be interesting. I guess I wasn't aware that the barley variety itself would have much impact on the color although thinking about it now, it makes perfect sense.

Get's me wheels turning thinking about purple barley.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on November 17, 2013, 12:43:03 AM
1/2 of mine is the "excelsior" from sustainable.  It was recommended in Fishers' Homebrewers Garden.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 25, 2013, 07:40:35 PM
So I think I'm going to brew with this test batch this weekend. It's only a pound of grain so I figure I can brew a .5 gallon batch around 1.045-1.050.

given the tiny volumes I'm thinking I'll use the blender or food processor to 'mill' my grain in hopes of really maximizing yield.

I'll mash at 155 BIAB style till gravity indicates that I am near 100% conversion efficiency, maybe do a iodine test but that would require buying some iodine.

boil for 90 minutes as I dried this pretty cool, never over 165 and only that high at the very end for an hour or so and I'd hate to have an otherwise successful test be full of DMS.

A small charge of magnum at 90 minutes and maybe something noble(ish) at 30 and 0.

thoughts? will this plan give a good sense of the grain? or should I skip the late hops all together and just go with a single small bittering charge, let the grain shine through.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: tschmidlin on November 25, 2013, 07:57:41 PM
I would skip the late hops and just see what you have.  And maybe do another batch with pale or pils malt for comparison.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: dkfick on November 25, 2013, 08:08:18 PM
I think I would go for your normal crush to better gauge what kind of differences you will see in yield.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 25, 2013, 08:45:58 PM
I would skip the late hops and just see what you have.  And maybe do another batch with pale or pils malt for comparison.

I think your right (big surprise) on both counts. I do have some pale and a little pils, I think I'll try the pils as, like I said, I kilned this pretty lightly.

I think I would go for your normal crush to better gauge what kind of differences you will see in yield.

Good point. Given the way my mill has been behaving lately thi sis just about the right amount of grist to be working through it at a go anyway  :o
Title: Re: malting
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 26, 2013, 03:19:06 PM
I thought grain sold for planting is usually sprayed with fungicides?

Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 26, 2013, 03:22:21 PM
I thought grain sold for planting is usually sprayed with fungicides?

not organic seed
Title: Re: malting
Post by: b-hoppy on November 27, 2013, 06:29:18 PM
My impression has always been that making malt is easy, but making good malt is hard.  I'll be looking forward to your results!

Very true, as you're just encouraging a seed to do what it naturally does (germinate), but from that point on is the real test.

I did about 15 pounds of feed barley back in the early 90's and ended up turning it into a munich/vienna malt as I couldn't get my final kiln temps below about 220F.  It did make a decent beer but what I remember most was that I'd never do it again because of all the work, haha!  (especially the fact that you could buy a bag of malt for less than $20 back then)

I'm sure you'll have good luck with your project!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 27, 2013, 06:53:49 PM
My impression has always been that making malt is easy, but making good malt is hard.  I'll be looking forward to your results!

Very true, as you're just encouraging a seed to do what it naturally does (germinate), but from that point on is the real test.

I did about 15 pounds of feed barley back in the early 90's and ended up turning it into a munich/vienna malt as I couldn't get my final kiln temps below about 220F.  It did make a decent beer but what I remember most was that I'd never do it again because of all the work, haha!  (especially the fact that you could buy a bag of malt for less than $20 back then)

I'm sure you'll have good luck with your project!

you know, I hear the 'lot of work' thing from a lot of folks when they are talking about home malting and I wonder. This process, not counting the waiting part, took maybe 20-30 minutes of my time. Granted I only made 1 lb of malt but I could easily scale the process up to 5 lb at a time without too much additional time, maybe double what I spent this first time.

So overall it might add 2-3 hours to my 'brewday' but those extra hours would be spread over the couple of weeks between brew days. It's possible I'm talking out my bottom and we will see as this experiment continues.

Price wise, I'm paying 50-60 bucks for a sack of organic domestic malt. If I want continental or british malts, we're talking 70-100 bucks. So the economics might have changed. That being said, it's not really about being economic is it? I make a decent living and my time is way more valuable than the value of the beer I produce (theoretically my beer is priceless but in the hard cold light...)
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on November 27, 2013, 08:28:53 PM
If the additional work or the cost were the issue, I could go to Costco and buy a case of Celebration for about a buck a bottle, but I like homebrewing.

I have been growing hops for about 5 years and grew barley for the first time this year.  My winter barley experiment is in.

I will probably malt my first batch after Christmas. (either Santa will bring me a dehydrator, or I'll pick one up on after Christmas sales) I'll probably be working in the 1# range too.

Best of luck on your batch!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on November 27, 2013, 08:47:48 PM
If the additional work or the cost were the issue, I could go to Costco and buy a case of Celebration for about a buck a bottle, but I like homebrewing.

I have been growing hops for about 5 years and grew barley for the first time this year.  My winter barley experiment is in.

I will probably malt my first batch after Christmas. (either Santa will bring me a dehydrator, or I'll pick one up on after Christmas sales) I'll probably be working in the 1# range too.

Best of luck on your batch!

thanks,

from everything I've read, that dehydrator is going to be key. You can dry at an extremely low temp and a good one will allow you to cure at ~165 or above which is great.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: klickitat jim on November 28, 2013, 01:20:43 AM
I think knowing how to malt is a great skill. Probably not efficient but neither is building tiny ships in bottles. But when the ZA comes, people who can malt their own will be kings.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on December 01, 2013, 03:43:48 AM
Well the game is afoot...

This afternoon I milled my 443 grams of home malted 6 row robust barley, then I milled 443 grams of gambrinus pilsner malt.

Unfortunately, at about this point I got distracted and forgot which grain bag had the pils and which the home malted stuff. oops. oh well, it's good and truly randomized now. Too bad it will never be un-randomized  ::)

I mashed each at 155 45 minutes (I used the oven set to 170 to maintain the temp and that worked well). I mashed in with 2.25 liters of water each so right around 4 liters/kg.

I pulled the grain bags and rinsed each with 2.5 liters of 180 degree water and let them drain while I went out to dinner. about an hour later I took a preboil gravity on each. Started the boil and added 4 grams of american liberty hop pellets to each.

Given my above comment I has assigned Sample A and Sample B.

Sample A Preboil gravity = 1.020
Sample B Preboil gravity = 1.027

I have my suspicions on which is which. I think A is the homemalted stuff. There is also a slightly less... well malty aroma to A which re-enforces my suspicion
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on December 01, 2013, 06:10:59 AM
Final results:

Sample A: 1.8 liters @ 1.047 for a 63% Brewhouse efficiency. Taste is sweet and bitter.
Sample B: 2.0 liters @ 1.052 for a 77% Brewhouse efficiency. Taste is also sweet and bitter.

Pitched 4 grams of us-05 in each after chilling. Time will tell. It's cool enough here now that I am going to just ferment these out at room temp which is ~65 here.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: tommymorris on December 01, 2013, 05:57:55 PM

I think knowing how to malt is a great skill. Probably not efficient but neither is building tiny ships in bottles. But when the ZA comes, people who can malt their own will be kings.

Now you're talking!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on December 13, 2013, 05:43:37 AM
Okay, sample time:

Sample A: 1.012 (75% apparent attenuation) Possible infection as there is a thin whiteish film on the surface. Not 100% sure it's infection but it is suspect. Aroma is very very yeasty/raw bread dough with a pear/apple aroma. Flavor is light, fruity, grainy not bad.

Sample B: 1.006 (89% apparent attenuation) No film on this one but the aroma and flavour are quite similar to Sample A. There is a much stronger alcohol heat/flavour in this one and it comes across as somewhat more harsh. There is a slight metallic aftertaste that may be there with Sample A but the higher FG masks it.

Overall they are both drinkable and after a couple more weeks might even be passably good if overly simple/boring. I'm still not sure which sample is the homemalted sample so I guess we will have to move on to test 2.

I'm going to malt 5 lbs and make a small 2 or 3 gallon batch with more thought to making a proper beer. Kolsch seems like a style that will lend itself to highlighting the malt.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 08, 2014, 06:00:01 AM
Well, I bottled the initial test samples. I got 1 22 ounce bottle from Sample A and 2 from Sample B.

We will see what happens in a few weeks. Not holding my breath here but I'm still interested. Neither was totally revolting upon bottling but neither were something I would drink either. thin, slightly too bitter.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 03:01:30 PM
Well, I bottled the initial test samples. I got 1 22 ounce bottle from Sample A and 2 from Sample B.

We will see what happens in a few weeks. Not holding my breath here but I'm still interested. Neither was totally revolting upon bottling but neither were something I would drink either. thin, slightly too bitter.
Well they were very low gravity all base malt beers... I would expect them to be somewhat thin... But I think what you need to look at is if they taste similar...  Did your homemade basemalt stand up to the maltsters basemalt.  That would at least give you an idea if you would liek to do it on a larger scale for a whole batch etc...
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 08, 2014, 03:32:49 PM
Well, I bottled the initial test samples. I got 1 22 ounce bottle from Sample A and 2 from Sample B.

We will see what happens in a few weeks. Not holding my breath here but I'm still interested. Neither was totally revolting upon bottling but neither were something I would drink either. thin, slightly too bitter.
Well they were very low gravity all base malt beers... I would expect them to be somewhat thin... But I think what you need to look at is if they taste similar...  Did your homemade basemalt stand up to the maltsters basemalt.  That would at least give you an idea if you would liek to do it on a larger scale for a whole batch etc...

Oh don't get me wrong. I'm not disappointed particularly with either. I didn't expect much. They do taste similar. one might be a bit breadier than the other and one a bit more bitter. Hard to tell till they have some time away from the yeast and some carbonation.

I'm moving forward with the next step anyway because I have the barley and it really wasn't that difficult.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 03:36:13 PM
Nice.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on January 19, 2014, 10:05:44 PM
Ok, I'm taking the plunge.  Just started soaking a pound of my homegrown barley.  (since some of the same seed is growing in the garden - I'm sure it's venalized enough)

Here it is soaking:

(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv983%3A%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E2823%3B6%3B8%3B5259ot1lsi)
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 19, 2014, 10:45:46 PM
nice!

I tasted one of the samples (I got 2 22oz out of one sample but only 1 out of the other). It was odd, kind of doughy bready. I suspect partially an infection but I also suspect that that was the homemalted stuff and I didn't kiln it off right at the end. the final curing process is it seems important so after it's all dried off it should be bumped up to ~ 165 for 20-60 minutes to cure it. This is what I'm going to try next anyway.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on January 22, 2014, 03:47:39 AM
Tonight I've got "good chit":
(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv4%3C3%3C%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E282469%3B4%3A8259ot1lsi)
Title: Re: malting
Post by: Jeff M on January 22, 2014, 04:00:14 AM
Tonight I've got "good chit":
(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv4%3C3%3C%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E282469%3B4%3A8259ot1lsi)

Neat, altho i was under the impression that barley only put out 1 sprout. I was surprised to see that most of them seem to have 3!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on January 22, 2014, 04:15:37 AM
Neat, altho i was under the impression that barley only put out 1 sprout. I was surprised to see that most of them seem to have 3!
Most of the drawings I've seen have 3-5 "chits" or rootlets.  There's one "acrospire" that will be the indicator of when the conversion has taken place.  So far I don't see much indicator of that.  But, it's early.  :)
Title: Re: malting
Post by: Pinski on January 22, 2014, 04:25:24 AM
Tonight I've got "good chit":
(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv4%3C3%3C%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E282469%3B4%3A8259ot1lsi)
Very cool, thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 22, 2014, 06:38:06 AM
Tonight I've got "good chit":
(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv4%3C3%3C%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E282469%3B4%3A8259ot1lsi)

looks good. eagle eye time. it happens fast once it starts happening. try to keep it cool to slow it down.
Title: Re: malting
Post by: Jeff M on January 22, 2014, 12:47:06 PM
Neat, altho i was under the impression that barley only put out 1 sprout. I was surprised to see that most of them seem to have 3!
Most of the drawings I've seen have 3-5 "chits" or rootlets.  There's one "acrospire" that will be the indicator of when the conversion has taken place.  So far I don't see much indicator of that.  But, it's early.  :)

Ah! so i was mixing up the bottom with the top.  I could of sworn the pictures(not many tbh) i had looked at only had an acrospire showing first without the rootlets.

Cheers,
Jeff
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 22, 2014, 03:57:32 PM
Neat, altho i was under the impression that barley only put out 1 sprout. I was surprised to see that most of them seem to have 3!
Most of the drawings I've seen have 3-5 "chits" or rootlets.  There's one "acrospire" that will be the indicator of when the conversion has taken place.  So far I don't see much indicator of that.  But, it's early.  :)

Ah! so i was mixing up the bottom with the top.  I could of sworn the pictures(not many tbh) i had looked at only had an acrospire showing first without the rootlets.

Cheers,
Jeff

you should never see the acrospires on the outside when malting barley. wheat is a different story because it lacks a husk. You need to split open a kernel to see the acrospires. and you want to stop the sprouting process when the majority of grains have an acrospires ~.75 of the length of the grain. You can also tell it's close just by mooshing a grain between your fingers, when it's almost there it really just turns to paste with a gentle moosh
Title: Re: malting
Post by: b-hoppy on January 24, 2014, 06:38:02 PM
Tonight I've got "good chit":
(http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv4%3C3%3C%3Dot%3E75%3A5%3D826%3D34%3A%3DXROQDF%3E282469%3B4%3A8259ot1lsi)

Nice job!  Whatever variety of barley that is, the husk is almost transparent.  This makes it very easy to monitor the process and know when to begin kilning.  Like was said, cooler temps will buy you some time by slowing the germination process if you're not yet ready to dry them down.  If you observe a few random kernels on a daily basis for the next few days,  you'll know then the majority are at about 3/4 the way to the tip.  That's generally the time suggested to begin halting the process.  Remember your temps!
Title: Re: malting
Post by: BrewArk on January 24, 2014, 08:27:03 PM
I made the call yesterday.  I put it into the dehydrator at 100°F while I was at work for the day.  When I got home, I raised the temp to 130°F for two hours, then maxed the dehydrator (~160°F) for another 3 hours.

Afterward, I cleaned the chit out of it, in a strainer.  The result looks a lot like Pilsner malt.  Very light.

Since I have some pilsner malt, I may try a side/side this weekend.  The only issue is the logistics of mashing/sparging/fermenting such a small batch.  Assuming that my conversion isn't as good as commercial, I'll probably plan a long mash, maybe a protein rest.

That's my challenge for the weekend. ;D 
Title: Re: malting
Post by: morticaixavier on January 24, 2014, 09:08:18 PM
I made the call yesterday.  I put it into the dehydrator at 100°F while I was at work for the day.  When I got home, I raised the temp to 130°F for two hours, then maxed the dehydrator (~160°F) for another 3 hours.

Afterward, I cleaned the chit out of it, in a strainer.  The result looks a lot like Pilsner malt.  Very light.

Since I have some pilsner malt, I may try a side/side this weekend.  The only issue is the logistics of mashing/sparging/fermenting such a small batch.  Assuming that my conversion isn't as good as commercial, I'll probably plan a long mash, maybe a protein rest.

That's my challenge for the weekend. ;D

nice,

I didn't notice a huge problem with efficiency in the small batch test. you can mash as usual and put I through a fine mesh sieve to 'lauter'. I fermented in a gallon jug.