Author Topic: malting your own  (Read 5044 times)

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
malting your own
« on: July 18, 2011, 12:51:34 PM »
So, as if brewing by itself isn't enough of an obession I have decided to try malting my own. This is the first step on an eventual growing my own project but it is too late in the year to plant hops and too early to plant barley so I will experiment with malting. The eventuall recipe is based on the Barclay Perkins 1839 XXXX as seen on the 'Shut Up About Barclay Perkins' blog. which is 100% Mild malt. from what I can gather this means a base malt kilned a little higher than normal pale malt for a SRM of around 5-6. I have read up on the process of malting and understand the basics;

soak malt 8 hours on 2 hours off until moisture content is around 35-45%
Germinate till 90-95% of grains are fully modified (acrospire full length of kernel)
Kiln back to 10% moisture.

I am planning to get a food dehidrator for the kilning, unless I discover a way to build a more efficient kiln or the weather gets really hot for a while (not impossible here in northern california) but what I cannot find is the temp to kiln at to reach my desired SRM. I can't just toast after drying cause I need enzymes. The only thing I have found so far is that we are looking at 90-105f for pale malt and 'a little higher' for Mild although the site where I found the ' a little higher' advice had typos so the kilning temp given for pale was 95-105c which is WAY to hot as it would denature the enzymes so I am not trusting that much.

This may be kind of out there but if anyone has advice I would love to here it. I hope to begin this project in mid august.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11670
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: malting your own
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2011, 01:46:56 PM »
Although I haven't tried it, my impression from talking to people who have is that it's not hard to make malt, but it's very hard to make good malt.  You need precise temp and moisture control and a way to measure them.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2011, 01:55:59 PM »
Yeah that's the impression I am getting. Still seems like a really fun project. The moisture content I am not so worried about. Sample wieght before and after and you should be able to get darn close. and seeds WANT to sprout! BUt the temp control on the kilning step I suspect is what will make or break you. I was just reading a blog in which I guy tried it and only managed 35% eff. I suspect he denatured most of his enzymes. My oven only goes as low as 170 so I suspect that route is right out.

on the other hand even organic barley is only about $.50 a pound so if it doesn't work it's not a huge loss money wise. Just gotta find a localish source. I am thinking about contacting a micro maltster in the Reno area to see if they would be willing to share some knowledge and barley.

"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 07:29:11 PM »
Grow your own beer......I applaud you.
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 08:00:35 PM »
Grow your own beer......I applaud you.

Thanks,

That's part of where the whole home brewing things comes from for me. I mean it's fun! and, after the initial investment... and discounting all the subsequent investment in equipment, saves money. but at it's heart it's about being as close as possible to the moment when the proto-beer is created by nature. Plus it just sounds cool to brew a true estate beer
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline wiley

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Great beer - built from the ground up!
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 08:28:10 PM »
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!

Cheers!

Offline weithman5

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1668
  • naperville, il
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 08:36:16 PM »
i second the homebrewers garden.  great info on malting grains, aramenth, corn, quinono, barley, roasting barley, malting barley,  growing hops and herbs dandelyion, rhubarb. this is one of my favorite books.
Don AHA member

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 09:57:22 PM »
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!

Cheers!

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.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8130
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 10:48:58 PM »
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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline alikocho

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 567
  • Bristol, UK
    • View Profile
    • A Storm Brewing
Re: malting your own
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2011, 11:27:28 PM »
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.
Bristol Brewing Circle (BBC)
Bristol Craft Brewers

UK National Homebrew Competition - http://www.bristolhomebrewcompetition.org.uk/

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 07:33:46 AM »
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.

Also the basis for the pied piper myth. It's right in the original story, they make rolls out of old rye and feed it to the rats causing them to go crazy and drown in the river (later versions of the story change it to salt to make them thirsty). Then when not paid the piper feeds the same rolls to the children and leads them away.

I hopefully have found a source for malting barley via rebel malting in Reno, waiting to hear back from them. been looking on line for ideas about a temp controlled kiln as my over does not go lower than 170. I supose in a worst case scenerio I could get a temp controler and plug my electric over into it as a secondary thermo. Found some good stuff on homebrewtalk about it as well. and one of the guys in my club has done it so I am hopefull that I will be able to find the info I need.

I know it's a lot of work and isn't always the most consistant process but then I don't think homebrewing is about ease or consistancy. otherwise I would just buy bubweiser. Easy, Cheap and Consistant(ly bad).
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline wiley

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 91
  • Great beer - built from the ground up!
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 08:13:30 PM »
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 ; -)

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 10:51:10 PM »
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 ; -)

I looked into colorado malting. not sure if they are organic which is important to me. cool tip on the sales projections though
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline hankus

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 48
    • View Profile
Re: malting your own
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 12:32:21 PM »
I have home malted wheat as well as barley and it is a major PITA but like a lot other things in life I am a better person for having tried it-like driving from Mobile to Panama in a Karman ghia with another large American when the Pan-Am hiway was a 2 lane road-a youthful exuberance!!.
   Separate the chaff from it up front by a short soaking (chaff floats) and put  the  grain  in a bucket filled 3" over grain level and soak X 7 hours drain X 7 hours then soaked X 7 hours then placed in a large plastic tray which had been lined with paper towels.When the rootlets (multiple tiny hairlike fibers)  pop out one is close to full modification and needs to examine every hour.When the TIP of the root begins to uncap (about 1/16" tip) the opposite end of the seed from the rootlets then it is fully modified.U could also slice a seed every hour lengthwise and also be able to see when it is about to "crown".DON'T wait for the root to come completely out.
  
   I had weighed the dry grain and after it was malted  it was 50% heavier.I placed it in the legs of some cotton scrub pants and I ran it in the dryer on delicate X 15 " a few times weighing it after each cycle and when it was 10% heavier than the raw grain,I stopped.I then put the seeds in a big collander with a SS screen and rubbed the seeds against the bottom and the rootlets fell off.
i crushed it and brewed the next day.My efficiency was 75% of what a commercially malted grain would produce (75% of the usual 70% efficiency) rather than half as efficient as others have reported so i consider it a success  but like the long drive I mentioned,a once only experience.


« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 12:58:21 PM by hankus »

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5690
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: malting your own
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 03:25:47 PM »
cool thanks for the info. This is an adventure. Just at the soaking in ideas stage right now. still looking for a source of organic malting quality barley. I want to do it right. I don't think i want to use feed barley as I understand it to have a higher protein content leading to cloudier beer and less extract potential. so much to learn.

Wish I had a cloths dryer. Perhaps a trip to the laundrymat is in order
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller