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Old 03-27-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
bidule
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Default home made barley malt syrup (extract)

Hya folks! My first post here, glad to be onboard.

I've been experimenting with mashing and making home made malt extracts.

My purpose is not to make beer but to eat these as sweeteners. Ok so I had to say it. Sorry if it's blasphemy! You can now ban me from the board.

But before doing so may I ask a couple of questions.

I'm mashing my barley malt in 3 steps - protease rest for 20 mins, beta-amylase rest for 30~50 minutes and alpha-amylase rest for 60mins.

In order to obtain the sweetest syrup possibly, with the lesse bitterness, is there one type of enzyme that I should favour? I understand beta-amylase turns the starch into maltose and glucose whereas alpha-amylase turns it into dextrins. Or is it that alpha-amylose turns the glucose and maltose into dextrins?

Which one would I rather favour in order to obtain a very sweet and tasty product?

Also, which kind of barley malt is less bitter? Right now I'm mashing with 2 row organic pale malt, EBC 5, that I got from a local supplier.

Looking forward to reading your answers! Thanks in advance. Best regards.

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Old 03-27-2011, 04:24 PM   #2
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Which one would I rather favour in order to obtain a very sweet and tasty product?
Those might be conflicting requirements. As you are aware resting at a lower temperature will produce the highest levels of maltose while higher rests will leave a higher proportion of higher molecular weight sugars. I'm guessing that some of the interesting flavors may come from the longer sugars but when the molecular weight is too high sugars are pretty flavorless. I'd want to experiment (I always do) before settling on a procedure and I'd start with low saccharification rest temperature. How you cook the "wort" will have a big effect on the flavor profile.

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Also, which kind of barley malt is less bitter? Right now I'm mashing with 2 row organic pale malt, EBC 5, that I got from a local supplier.
No "base" malt should be bitter. It's only when you get into the burnt stuff that bitterness arises (and even there we now have products like Sinamar (means "without bitterness") made from barley which has been de-husked before roasting.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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Hi there!

Looks like I've come to the right place. Thanks for your reply, very informative!

So I'm going to start experimenting with beta-amylase. Do you suggest I leave it to rest at that stage for a period of up to 90 minutes, never going higher than 65°C (149°F)?

Also it would be interesting if I could get my hands on isolated enzymes, now that would rock!

Quote:
No "base" malt should be bitter. It's only when you get into the burnt stuff that bitterness arises (and even there we now have products like Sinamar (means "without bitterness") made from barley which has been de-husked before roasting.
Ok great!
Since you mention that. I also understand that the husks have a fair amount of tannins. Do you think it would help if I ground my base diastasic barley to a fine flour and sieve it like a white flour, managing to leave most if not all of the husks out? I've been thinking of this, but have no clue if it could be a good idea. My understanding is that the more you grind the grain, the more available it is for the enzymes to degrade the starch. Did I get this right? That way i would both be leaving bitter-producing husks out and making the mash work better?

Another question, if I may. Before I was sprouting my own barley. Then I mashed it up without kilning it. Of course, acrospires and rootlets ended up being thrown into the mix. Are these known to impart undesirable flavours to the wort? I realize when the barley is kilned these are left off so I don't know if it's an easy question to answer.

Anyway, thanks again!
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #4
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They do but those tannins would contribute puckery mouthfeel more than bitterness in a beer and I think we worry more about them for their haze causing potential than flavor effects. But we like to keep them as they form a filter bed which makes it possible to separate clear wort from the spent grains. It is true that the finer you grind the more access the enzymes have and the more sugar you will get but it becomes then a question of how you will get it. So I'd say no - don't pulverize. The goal for a brewer is to crumble the interior of the grain as much as possible while damaging the husk as little as possible.

As to acrospires: plenty of them wind up in the mash tun because most maltsters go to the kiln when the acrospire length is about 3/4 the length of the kernels. They don't seem to contribute to flavor. The chits? I have no idea. There must be a reason they knock them off so I'd assume they aren't so good.

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Old 03-27-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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They do but those tannins would contribute puckery mouthfeel more than bitterness in a beer and I think we worry more about them for their haze causing potential than flavor effects.
Gotcha!
Well in my case I think puckery and bitterness are all undesirable hehe. So I will do some experimenting with this.

Quote:
But we like to keep them as they form a filter bed which makes it possible to separate clear wort from the spent grains.
I realize this, but in my case i'm not using standard brewing equipment since I'm not really making beer (well, not at all actually ). So I have been straining it through filters and cloths which is quite hard but i have realized the more I can get those hazy bits out of the mixture the more clear my reduced syrup is and the better tasting it is, too.

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As to acrospires: plenty of them wind up in the mash tun because most maltsters go to the kiln when the acrospire length is about 3/4 the length of the kernels.
Good point. Thinking of which. I never really understood how you measure the ideal acrospire length. Since the acrospire starts from deep down the bottom of the grain, inside the husk, do you mean by 3/4 length you never actually see it popping out of the husk or you mean it measures 3/4 length from the point where it sticks out? I'm sure this is a basic question that people ask all the time.

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The chits? I have no idea. There must be a reason they knock them off so I'd assume they aren't so good.
I thought it was pure coincidence, since they dry out and the malt is turned they just fall off.
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #6
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Brewers want to leave that stuff behind as much as you do and lautering on the grain bed has proven a way to get bright runoff involving nothing more than the mash itself as a filter (and, of course, something to put it in). We control tannin extraction by monitoring the runoff pH and/or extract content. Keep runoff pH below 6 and the tannins are not extracted even though you are using the husks as a filter.

If you look closely at barley corns you can see the acrospire beneath the husk. Brewers examine some number of corns and note the percentage that have acrospire length, as a fraction of the corn length, in each of the quartiles and the fraction that is over. This is part of the malt spec.

As for chitting, it's more than the fact that they tend to fall off. The malt is tossed about or blown about with compressed air to make sure they do.

And I just remembered that chitted malt is used in some beers so I guess they aren't flavor negative.

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Old 03-27-2011, 05:45 PM   #7
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Ok thanks for everything.
I did think that brewers wanted to keep a lot of bitterness unlike me, hence my questions.

I'll ask my final question for the time being. In my case, do you think a protease rest is important?

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Old 03-27-2011, 06:37 PM   #8
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That's a good one. I guess if you digest the proteins thoroughly so that all peptide molecules are short they can stay in solution better and wouldn't render the syrup cloudy. OTOH you could argue that longer protein molecules would clump better and you could precipitate more out in the boil.

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Old 03-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Right no easy choice then.

It's not the cloudiness of the syrup that bugs me, it's rather that I tend to think that what makes the syrup cloudy is what makes it untasteful too.

Any chance the peptides / proteins do anything to flavour?

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Old 03-27-2011, 08:45 PM   #10
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If you continue to malt your own barley, you probably should keep on doing the protease rest as you may not have the control that the commercial maltsters do and your conversion may be incomplete. However, commercially available malts are nearly all fully converted and should not need a protease rest so you can avoid that step. If your bitterness is from extracting tannins (I can't think of any other source in commercial malts) you have, as mentioned above, not controlled your pH and have gotten the temperature too high.

Brewers do want bitterness in their beers but they try hard to only get this by adding a bittering agent, usually hops. The wort should be sweet before boiling the hops in it.

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