Author Topic: Help with preparing to malt  (Read 1976 times)

Offline beerslinga

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Help with preparing to malt
« on: July 12, 2014, 07:38:52 AM »
I met a farmer who provided me a place to cut wild growing wheat. I failed the first experiment at malting this wheat due to the fact it was too young. The second try at malting was, I believe, a success. Now I can apply this to a larger scale. In reflecting, I had noticed that some of the wheat looked different when I was cutting. It had long tendrils coming off the tops. This stuff I avoided on my first attempt. I went home, prayed to google, and got my answer. Barley. 2 row and 6 row. Perfect. The main ingredient in beer is malt, and I know how to make it. The barley and wheat is free, growing wild, but a pain in the butt to prep. Anyone have suggestions on how to get the kernels off the stalks in prep for soaking quickly? I have about...I dont know...a trunk load or so to sort through.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2014, 07:41:16 AM by beerslinga »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 01:08:16 PM »
Not sure how to help you - the most I have ventured into malting is browning some 2row and smoking a little...your step is taking it pretty far beyond what most of us do!  Good luck with your malting and may your endosperm mature perfectly!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 01:14:49 PM »
A quick inter web search returned this, though:

http://www.ehow.com/how_8694003_thresh-wheat-hand.html

I am sure there must be better ways, however.  Again, good luck!
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 02:02:10 PM »
good job malting wheat, that's tricky. the lack of husk makes it very delicate while it's sprouting.

The best way I have found for threshing grain is to put a load of it into a pillow case and beat it with a stick or stomp on it or similar. when you've done that for a while cut one corner off the pillow case to make a small hole < 1 inch in diameter and much of your grain should just fall out. if you do this outside on a somewhat windy day extra dust and hull material will blow away and the grains will fall straight down into a wide basket or bucket.

After the grain stops coming out empty your pillow case and see if you got it all or you need to go around again.
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Offline beerslinga

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2014, 09:58:38 PM »
Excellent, the technique I used for the malt was a lot more labor intensive. I held the tip of the wheat and pulled back on the spine, pulling out the wheat. First batch yielded only 4oz of malted wheat, but hey! Appreciate the advice, I think the pillow case trick will work
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2014, 11:59:40 PM »
Excellent, the technique I used for the malt was a lot more labor intensive. I held the tip of the wheat and pulled back on the spine, pulling out the wheat. First batch yielded only 4oz of malted wheat, but hey! Appreciate the advice, I think the pillow case trick will work

did you soak and sprout the wheat? how did you dry and kiln it?
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Offline beerslinga

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 12:09:58 AM »
first I soaked for 8 hours, drained and rested for 8 hours, soaked for another 8, drained and spread out in waxed cardboard to-go containers about an inch thick. Closed the lids and let them sit for about 2 days, lightly mixing them up every 8 hours or so. When the tendrils were about 1.5 times the length of the grain, tasted one and had a very damp chalky taste, I pulled the sprouting wheat out and put on some metal pizza trays. I spread it as thin as possible and put in the sun. Finally, still on the pizza trays, I left them sitting on the edge of the wood fired pizza oven I have at work.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 12:13:25 AM »
sounds good. you want to watch the temp on the kilning step and keep it below 190 or so. Don't let it get too much over 120 until it's totally dry.

I malt my barley in half gallon mason jars with ~ 1 lb of barley in each. I use the Stainless sprout screens to keep bugs and gunk out while it's soaking and resting. At 1 lb per jar you can turn the jars on their sides and turn them every coupel hours during the growth phase.

I use a dehydrator to dry and then cure the malt and kiln it in my oven.
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Offline beerslinga

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 12:47:53 AM »
Yea, I have read that the barley needs to be kilned at a higher temp than wheat. that pizza tray was about a consistent 110 for about 2 hours. Thanks for the advice! :)
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Offline beerslinga

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 12:52:18 AM »
It's funny, but I am really excited about this process. I hope to be able to up my scale, harvest the remaining barley and wheat on the farm, stock it up for future batches as well as work with this farmer to set up future plots of land to actually grow it instead of have it sprout wildly
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2014, 01:13:56 AM »
My process is similar.  I use a pillow case.  Put all the heads of the grain in, and beat it against a bench or something for a while.  Then I dump the contents into a large sieve, & swish for a spell.  After getting all the "fines" off, I pour the grain from one large pot into another a few times in front of a box fan on it's highest setting.  All of the chaff is in my yard, but the grain is clean.

That's for barley.  My first crop of wheat is still in the ground.  If it isn't easy to thresh & winnow I'll probably just use it to make bread.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2014, 01:45:51 AM »
It's funny, but I am really excited about this process. I hope to be able to up my scale, harvest the remaining barley and wheat on the farm, stock it up for future batches as well as work with this farmer to set up future plots of land to actually grow it instead of have it sprout wildly
Keep us posted, I'm growing my first field of barley this year and am looking forward to hearing your experience. It sounds like you and I might be dealing with slightly larger quantities that might be different to deal with. I don't think I can use the pillowcase method for instance. Probably going to beat with a stick on a tarp to thresh. We 'll see.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2014, 05:21:42 AM »
I harvested about 100 square feet and filled a7 gallon bucket half way with the heads. Haven't threshed or yet but it will comfortably fit in two pillow case loads.
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Offline beerslinga

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2014, 02:41:33 PM »
At this point, I have about 2 paper bags full of heads and about half a table still left to separate. Hopefully today I will go back down to the farm and finish cutting down what is left of the barley and wheat. If anyone is interested, I have been posting some of the progress on my facebook page "The Long Branch Brewing Coop". Now that the barley is in grasp, I can begin the larger process of doing pounds at a time. https://www.facebook.com/home.php
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Offline Jeff M

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Re: Help with preparing to malt
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 11:51:52 AM »
At this point, I have about 2 paper bags full of heads and about half a table still left to separate. Hopefully today I will go back down to the farm and finish cutting down what is left of the barley and wheat. If anyone is interested, I have been posting some of the progress on my facebook page "The Long Branch Brewing Coop". Now that the barley is in grasp, I can begin the larger process of doing pounds at a time. https://www.facebook.com/home.php

THis link wont work, you need to go to the public side of your page.
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