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Old 10-15-2012, 05:30 PM   #31
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Just to update on this, I finished malting my barley - about 200g of it, when finished, ha ha. It was just meant to be a little test sample. Brewsmith tells me that's enough for about a litre of beer . Actually, I am going to try mashing it to see what kind of efficiency I can get - not sure how accurate the result will be...

In the end I was pretty pleased, probably well over 90% germination rate and actually pretty uniform germination in the end, I think most of the acrospires I checked were within 5% of the target conversion, i.e. close to 100% of the length of the grain.

The proof will be in the brewing, of course (and with a bigger batch), but so far I am quite please with my feed grain!

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #32
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What are you going to mash in? I am thinking acoffee french press would be very well suited for 200g of malt

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Old 10-15-2012, 07:50 PM   #33
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What are you going to mash in? I am thinking acoffee french press would be very well suited for 200g of malt
Heh, I was thinking a Thermos flask actually .

Seriously though, it's a ridiculously small amount, but it's just a proof of concept before I scale up. I mean, I have to justify building a malting shed to the missus, right
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:56 PM   #34
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Ooer, never heard of that - my grain sinks like a stone, yet here it says,



Errr... ha, mine definitely ain't floating, nowhere near.

However, there might also be some confusion with this:



So something isn't right there, these two texts seem contradictory... Hmm, again, looks like the only way is to try...
The good barley sinks, floating stuff is non-viable, my experience is here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happ...alting-107409/

Malt on my friend
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #35
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The good barley sinks, floating stuff is non-viable, my experience is here: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/happ...alting-107409/

Malt on my friend
Couldn't miss your monster thread

Did you mean the good MALTED barley sinks, or the unmalted stuff? I certainly ditched any "floaters" that turned up while I was soaking.
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:58 PM   #36
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Unmalted barley, you did good.

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #37
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Thought someone might like to hear the epilogue to this story, or at least the conclusion of chapter 1:

I decided to get my little handful of malt, grown from the feed barley as per the OP, and brew it up (JUST that grain, no other ingredients except a little hops), just for the hell of it. The amount I had was good for a maximum of a litre of beer, if I wanted any sort of gravity, but I wasn't really interested so much in whether I get beer at the end, as seeing what the efficiency of the entire process is. Yes, brewing up a litre of beer is laughable, but I thought it might at least give me a rough idea of whether I am actually getting anything viable out of this home-malted feed barley.

Well, to cut a long story short, disastrous! My gravity ended up at about 1.017, which according to Brewsmith (as compared to a standard 2-row pale malt) is consistent with an efficiency of about 30% .

Now I know I can't possibly get any sort of accurate or efficient process with mashing 200g of malt, but still, as a wild ballpark indication, it still doesn't look good.

My guess is that the malting process is mostly to blame (unless I have bungled up a calculation somewhere), since mashing such a small amount ought to be done pretty efficiently - mashing is easy, sparging is easy, you can swoosh the grains around and drain them again, and all sorts. On the flipside, it does get much harder to regulate water temperatures properly...

However, I am thinking that probably the barley isn't THAT suitable to begin with, maybe by virtue of some properties it has that make it more suitable for animal feed. Also, probably inconsistent germination (my fault) leading to under-/over-conversion, too many unviable seeds, too much other crap in there that I couldn't be bothered to pick out.

So I have to rethink this, or else using 3 times more malt for my future AG projects .

I still pitched some S04 in there to see if I get anything remotely resembling beer - I do actually have a nice sweetish wort that I can sort of imagine as a very weak beer in the not-too-distant future!

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:04 PM   #38
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An additional source for malting is the Alaska Bootleggers Bible by Leon Kania (available on Amazon). It goes into malting barley for home brewing, and it also has some other decent materials on some less than legal activities. I have malted about 50lbs of Alaska 6-row feed barley and have had good results. The barley has lower starch content than good 2-row barley from the mid-west, but I can brew some pretty good beer with it. I just have to add 25-30% more home malted barley to get the same O.G.(decoction may help some with less than perfect modifcation of malt). This still saves money since malted 2-row is $55/50lbs. and Delta 6-row is $10/50lbs. The only problem I had starting off was kilning the barley after it had fully modified. You can make crystal malt in the oven easily, but most ovens don't go low enough to kiln. I solved the problem by getting a Nesco food dehydrator off of craigslist, now I can kiln 4-5lbs at a time at 135-145 degrees.

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Old 10-30-2012, 11:19 AM   #39
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An additional source for malting is the Alaska Bootleggers Bible by Leon Kania (available on Amazon). It goes into malting barley for home brewing, and it also has some other decent materials on some less than legal activities. I have malted about 50lbs of Alaska 6-row feed barley and have had good results. The barley has lower starch content than good 2-row barley from the mid-west, but I can brew some pretty good beer with it. I just have to add 25-30% more home malted barley to get the same O.G.(decoction may help some with less than perfect modifcation of malt). This still saves money since malted 2-row is $55/50lbs. and Delta 6-row is $10/50lbs. The only problem I had starting off was kilning the barley after it had fully modified. You can make crystal malt in the oven easily, but most ovens don't go low enough to kiln. I solved the problem by getting a Nesco food dehydrator off of craigslist, now I can kiln 4-5lbs at a time at 135-145 degrees.
Hey, I wish I had started this whole discussion over on that epic home malting thread.

I tried to track down that book in some electronic form, but may have to buy a "real" book. However, you can get this one on Google Books http://books.google.rs/books?id=s9tf...page&q&f=false - there are sneaky tricks to download it, not sure of the legality, but it's just easier than reading online.

As for the less than illegal activities, they are legal where I live, but I am not getting into that just yet!

About kilning malt, I have just had a learning experience - my oven does get up to about 35C with the pilot light on, but my 3-4kg of wet malted barley was taking absolutely days to dry out. After reading around, I realised that the initial phase of kilning is really about DRYING the malt, temperature is not so important. So I propped open the oven door a little, got a somewhat lower temperature inside, but the malt dried out a whole lot quicker. Just hope I didn't stew it too much in the meantime. Then I ramped up the temperatures slowly, up to 212F.

Seems there are a LOT of different ideas about the protocol to use! I really need to read up on the subject matter as I need to find the reasons for my poor efficiency.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:17 PM   #40
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From what I know it is best to keep the temperature while kilning the malt low. If you heat up the barley to above 160 while it is wet you will destroy the enzymes in the barley and it will lose it's diastic properties. Essentially you will be making crystal malt. The reason it was taking so long to dry in the oven was lack of airflow. In the book I referenced he used on old refridgerator with a few incandescent light bulbs in the bottom to heat it and some vent holes top and bottom to allow airflow. Lay some screen on the racks and you have a cheap malt kiln.

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