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Old 01-29-2014, 08:42 PM   #1
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Default malting GF grains and fusarium

Hi,

I am currently malting corn, millet and buckwheat as an experiment. It is all going fine but I have done some research and found that the maltsters have to be vigilent about fusarium.

Now a quick search has shown that all of these are susceptable to fusarium, so how do I know my drink is safe ?

there is information showing that everyday beer has only a few ppm of DOM ( the toxin produced by the mold that is what you worry about ), but this beer has been brewed with malt screened by the brewery and malt that is created with many safeguards by the maltster.

I have never malted my own grain before, it seems something that GF brewers have been doing for some time, so what are your thoughts ?

Ignoring that if it gushes you shouldn't drink it cos it may poison you, which tends to make a wary person less able to enjoy your beer when you give them some bottles as a present!


Thanks!

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Old 01-31-2014, 05:27 AM   #2
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Here's what I'll say...
Malting has only been an exacting science for a hundred years or so, give or take depending on region. For literally thousands of years, people made beer without worrying about microorganisms growing in their malt. Heck, for most of that time beer was usually/often/sometimes brewed with what we now call gluten-free grains.

Only the highest grades of barley are selected for malting; sub-par grain doesn't get malted. If anything doesn't seem right about your grain at some point in the process, it's best to toss it out. I think that avoiding fungi in general is the #1 challenge of malting from batch to batch.

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Old 02-01-2014, 02:09 AM   #3
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Would the boil kill any mold along w/the other bad stuff?

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Old 02-01-2014, 10:19 PM   #4
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Killing the mold is not the concern; denaturing the toxin is. And no, the boil won't do that. So there is a risk, indeed.

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Old 02-04-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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I talked to the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain and got a very informative response. They said that it is perfectly safe using modern methods termed 'pneumatic', that is to keep the grain cool and aerated to inhibit mold growth whilst keeping the air humid to allow germination by blowing cold air over the grains.

He suggested on a small scale that keeping the temperature of the grain at 15 degrees, and definately not over 20 would make things safe enough.

interestingly enough, in regard to muench1 comments, he said that historically malting would only be performed over the winter in order to avoid mold growth (at least in the uk).

he also suggested during kilning that the grain should be kept aerobic and kilned for the shortest possible time (highest temperature possible without damaging enzymes)

Good advice for barely although some of what I have read says that some grains like millet may want to germinate at temperatures higher then 15 degrees.

time to experiment!

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Old 02-04-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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My approach to kilning is that airflow is key. A good flow of 90-100F air through the grain bed in the kiln seems to work very nicely; I have my airflow set up in a push-pull configuration at both the top and bottom of the kiln. I also keep my grain bed fairly thin. I haven't gotten to the nitty-gritty of maximizing my DP, because I haven't finished building my germination mechanism; once I have the variables controlled there I'll move on to more scientific kilning trials. The only bad thing about my [prototype] kiln is the thermostat can only be set to multiples of 10F I already have the design figured out for my new fancy kiln, I just need to get everything else done first so I'll have something to kiln with it... then comes interfacing the whole works to the computer, with automatic monitoring and reporting...

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