Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:20 pm

So as a lot of other homebrewers out there, I'm pretty pragmatic/cheap/self-reliant/whatever and grew some barley in the back yard. Had some issues with growing and harvesting but now that I'm ready to malt (like 6 months later) I thought I would check to see if there was anyone out there with any success. I've read some stuff on the internet and have the homebrewer's garden book but I'm kind of neurotic when comes to doing something new. You should have seen the time it took me to get into all grain :lol:

DL
Last edited by Drunk Logic on Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Drunk Logic
 
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:29 pm

I have thought about malting and have done a lot of reading on it on various forums and books. The consensus of most homebrewers that have done it is that it is something to try so you can say you have done it and to improve your understanding of the malting process. If you are doing it to produce malt in enough quantity to brew with it on a regular basis, it simply isn't worth the trouble. It is difficult to be consistent in the quality of the malt and is an awful lot of work.

I think I still want to try it once as a learning excercise, just as I did with decoction mashing. But I know before I begin that it is something that I will not want to do on a regular basis.

Wayne
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:07 am

From what I understand of it it's a lot like all grain brewing. It's a process with several variables that as you become more educated and experienced you make a better product. The attraction for me is that it would be nice to have a product on hand (bonus that I made it and it's locally sourced) and not have to make the 90 min trip to get grains (or plan ahead and pay for shipping). Or I could be entirely wrong.

I'm thinking that most homebrewer's grow their own hops for the same reasons. Except hops need a little less processing.
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:43 am

I malted some buckwheat once. It was a learning experience, but that's about all I can say. The results weren't all that great and it was a fair amount of work for 2 lbs of malt. My advice is to just buy malt in bulk if you want to have it on hand. It'll be cheaper in the long run to buy it by the sack instead of 10 lbs at a time, or whatever. If you want to be more hands-on, you can try making your own crystal malts, brown malt, amber malt, etc. These would be a little easier to do at home. Good luck either way! :jnj
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:03 pm

I think it's a cool thing to try.

Instead of making a bunch and accepting the results, how about trying a pound? Then try another pound. When you get it right try 5 or 10 lb.

You can always toast the failures and use them as adjuncts.

I seem to recall that the barley is immersed in water until it gets to a certain percentage moisture (volume, temp, time) and then allowed to dry somewhat as it sprouts. It is then kept (relatively) cool and damp and turned twice a day until the conversion is a certain percentage (sprout length might approximate that), and dried (temp, time, turning).

Hey, study up and go for it.

Charlie
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:20 am

Thanks guys, I really dig the support.

I like what Huskerbrew was thinking. Sort of a top-down strategy v. bottom-up. I also agree with Charlie that it would need some "bench scale" type experiments before going crazy. I do buy in bulk and have done one experiment with toasting the pale malt into something amber-ish. I would like to try the crystal malt thing. I've seen some instructions and have to search through the hundreds of bookmarks.

What I can tell you so far that on my (ridiculously) small scale it's been a pain in the ass to harvest and thresh. However, I know that there's certainly efficiencies to be gained. But I can definitely relate to the "why bother" mentality; it's a lot of work for an inferior product...but goddammit it's my inferior product.

Whatever the outcome I'll be sure to let everyone know.
DL
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:29 pm

I've successfully malted appx. 200lbs of pale (50lbs at a time), here's a link to my thread on another forum, it does take some enginuity and quite alot of time.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happiness-home-malting-107409/

Happy malting! :jnj
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Re: Anyone ever try malting or is that just stoopid?

Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:39 am

I work in the grain industry, and come from a farm. The most important thing if you want to malt your own is getting the proper grain. I am going to try my hand at it, but only because I get selected malt barley for free. I read everywhere on google finds to just go down to the feed store and buy barley. That stuff is in the feed store for a reason, it is not good enough to get selected for malt. There are many reasons for this, simple as too much protien or not heavy and plump enough or not the right variety, to other things like there may be natural toxins (DON and vomitoxins) that can't be seen. Of all the barley grown, under 20% is selected for malt, so that stuff that is in the feed stores is made up of the remaining 80%.
Not to put you off trying it, but the results MAY OR MAY NOT be what you expected.
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