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Old 07-21-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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Default Rye grains

I have recently been given a chance to get my hands on as much rye and I can handle. SWMBO's family is about to harvest their crop growing on some land in northern Michigan.

The question is - would I have to take it through the malting process? If so has anyone here done this with Rye? I have read several threads about people doing their own malting, not sure if it goes the same for rye or not.

Thought about a Rye IPA or something to go along with the lb of Simcoe I got from Jaybird.

Thoughts/input appreciated...

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:25 PM   #2
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You can malt your own grain, it can be a dog sometimes for consistency and spoilage though. You can add unmalted Rye, like unmalted Wheat for some added proteins in the beer from what I have heard. You could just roll it to make it into Flaked Rye and add some nice body to the beer.

Otherwise, don't take more than your hands can carry! It will turn into feed. You only need from 1-8lbs per batch and probably more towards the low end of that. So at a pound or three per batch, you can very well make 15-25 batches of beer with just a sack of Rye!

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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I don't know if rye NEEDS to be malted to get anything useful from it, but I've never heard of unmalted rye being used on its own. Now, of course, rolled/flaked rye is not malted, but cooking/rolling gellatinizes it, which accomplishes the same thing. I love rye but I don't know what you'd get using just raw rye.

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Old 07-21-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Teacher View Post
I don't know if rye NEEDS to be malted to get anything useful from it, but I've never heard of unmalted rye being used on its own. Now, of course, rolled/flaked rye is not malted, but cooking/rolling gellatinizes it, which accomplishes the same thing. I love rye but I don't know what you'd get using just raw rye.
This isn't quite right. Malting is the process whereby the grains are allowed to germinate slightly and then heated to kill the developing plant. Flaking/cooking/geletinizing is just cooking, so all the good things that happen with the malting - the production of enzymes necessary to convert starch to sugar - do not happen. You can mash unmalted rye with a malted grain to help convert the starches to sugar (since the malted grain will have the necessary enzymes), but mashing unmalted rye alone won't really accomplish much. And, to mash with unmalted rye, you will need to cook/gelatinize it first - otherwise the starch will not be accessible to be converted into sugars.

you might find this useful as well - BT - Brewing with Rye

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:07 PM   #5
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Thanks for all of your inputs. I feel a few experiments coming, and if I end up with a full sack of it I may be posting for anyone who would like some.

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Old 07-21-2009, 08:57 PM   #6
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This isn't quite right. Malting is the process whereby the grains are allowed to germinate slightly and then heated to kill the developing plant. Flaking/cooking/geletinizing is just cooking, so all the good things that happen with the malting - the production of enzymes necessary to convert starch to sugar - do not happen. You can mash unmalted rye with a malted grain to help convert the starches to sugar (since the malted grain will have the necessary enzymes), but mashing unmalted rye alone won't really accomplish much. And, to mash with unmalted rye, you will need to cook/gelatinize it first - otherwise the starch will not be accessible to be converted into sugars.

you might find this useful as well - BT - Brewing with Rye
Yes, I did have it right. I wasn't clear about mashing and gelatinizing not being the same thing, but the result is basically the same. I was trying to say that cooking it -- like cooking rolled grains -- will accomplish what gelatinizing does, but I had no idea what mashing uncooked/unmalted/unflaked would accomplish as far as flavor and color were concerned. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

ADDENDUM: I think we were addressing different issues. I was speaking to fermentability only. If you were speaking to flavor profiles, then yes, they do not yield the same products. Malted rye and gelatinized rye -- both of which I've used quite a bit -- offer different flavor profiles in beers.
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:17 AM   #7
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Could you explain the differences in flavor profiles each provide? That way I could guide my decision on which way to try.

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Old 07-22-2009, 01:24 PM   #8
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For me, the malted rye had a more balanced flavor, I guess a little fruitier. The rolled rye was sharper. I used both in the same recipe, so I'm not comparing apples to oranges. In this recipe, the rolled rye worked better for me. However, that was an Imperial RyePA, where the sharp notes worked well with the bitter hops and helped balance out the maltiness. If I were to make, say, a roggen bier, I'm sure I'd want to use malted rye. Neither is better (to me), just different.

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Old 07-22-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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I am hoping to make an homage to my wife's family by using their rye and the honey taken from their bee farms. If I could only get them to start growing hops I might have to move closer

With the 1lb of Simcoe I picked up from Jaybird I figure this could make one hell of an IPA.

I will have to see if I can find space to malt 3lbs of the rye.

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