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Chris Colby on malt conditioning

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I just listened to Chris Colby’s BBR interview about malt conditioning and his techniques for conditioning malt seem much more complicated than the spay and mix process that I proposed? Steaming in the mash tun or using a partner to sprinkle the malt with hot water? Is he just trying to avoid my technique? BTW, if you pour water over the malt you will get it too wet and gum up the rollers. I’ve tried that first.

James referenced my work but Chris didn’t I doubt that he hasn’t come across malt conditioning when searching the web.

I haven’t come up with this but like to get some credit for bringing it up to the home brewers attention here in the US.




When I saw the title I thought it will be interview with you.
How disappointed I was that it was Chris Colby.


--- Quote from: Thirsty_Monk on February 09, 2010, 02:23:17 PM ---When I saw the title I thought it will be interview with you.
How disappointed I was that it was Chris Colby.

--- End quote ---

I think that Chris just had to plug his article and was trying to avoid my spray bottle technique. I can't see myself steaming grain in the mash tun or running hot water over it. Way too much work. I know not conditioning is even less work but if you try to adapt commercial techniques for home brewing you you also make it simple for a home brewer. Steaming might be easier and more controllable for a large brewery but not for me.


Kai, why not write a BYO letter to the editor and ask why he's using such a labor intensive technique when a much simpler one suffices?  I'd do it, but since I haven't tried conditioning, I don't know how much weight it would carry.


I think the steaming method sounds pretty easy and also pretty quick. No spritzing and turning, spritzing and turning. Put it in a bag and steam - what could be easier? The water needed to create enough steam to get a 2% increase in moisture is minimal and would come to a boil very quickly. You can let that happen while you're weighing the grain. He says 1 - 2 minutes of steaming with a short rest. Pretty quick.

Perhaps there are other advantages to steaming?  Do you get better saturation of the husk with steam and thus less breakage during milling? Definitely sounds like it could give more consistent results. Steam is the same temp every time, and you time how long the grain is exposed. Very repeatable. Stirring once or twice eliminates variables due to grain quantity.

Not knocking the bucket method, I just don't think steaming is that big of a deal. I can even do it in my cooler since I use a steam infusion manifold for step mashing.

Just my 2 cents.


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