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Old 04-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #1
Cachalote
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Default Bad smell when malting grains

well, I've been following this tutorial for 3 days now with barley and wheat grains

It's been turning out fine, the grains have been sprouting quickly, tomorrow morning I'll transfer the grains to a clay pot for the germination to be completed.

One question though: when I open the pot with the grains, there is a stench that gets worse once I fill it with water (which also forms a little bit of foam) and drain it. It's sort of a sour, fart-like stench. I guess this is probably some sort of bacteria growing in it. Does this affect the malt? Should I discard it or can I still use it for brewing? I'm guessing I could, since the grains will be heated after the germinating is complete, but will it give some sort of off-flavour to the beer once it's finished?

Thanks!


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Old 04-19-2011, 09:09 PM   #2
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Lactobacillus = sauermalz

Just taste it when you are done and see if it is sweet and nutty like regular malt or sour.


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Old 04-20-2011, 01:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by beerkrump View Post
Lactobacillus = sauermalz

Just taste it when you are done and see if it is sweet and nutty like regular malt or sour.
What if it's sour? Should I discard it?

ps: I didn't expressed myself correctly in the first post; the smell resembles more that of vomit... gross
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:21 AM   #4
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Vomit, as you'd imagine, contains a lot of acid, specifically stomach acid, so it may be lactobacillus.

If it's sour, I wouldn't throw it away, but I also wouldn't try to use it as a regular malt. Treat it like sour malt. Find or come up with a different recipe. It could end up being a happy accident.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cachalote View Post
One question though: when I open the pot with the grains, there is a stench that gets worse once I fill it with water (which also forms a little bit of foam) and drain it. It's sort of a sour, fart-like stench. I guess this is probably some sort of bacteria growing in it...
You are speaking about the first 48 hours alternating soaking and resting?

Does it smell worse than the previous times you have done this?

Or do you just mean unfamiliar?

I just followed that same video to malt some millet grain for the first time.

I'd say you can either go with your gut that the smell is "a stench" due to bacteria and toss it all or continue with the experiment (that's what it is if it is your first malting project) and follow through with sprouting and drying.

If it's really "a stench" due to bacteria you should probably toss it. Are you really that sure that is what it is?
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Old 04-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Professor View Post
You are speaking about the first 48 hours alternating soaking and resting?

Does it smell worse than the previous times you have done this?

Or do you just mean unfamiliar?

I just followed that same video to malt some millet grain for the first time.

I'd say you can either go with your gut that the smell is "a stench" due to bacteria and toss it all or continue with the experiment (that's what it is if it is your first malting project) and follow through with sprouting and drying.

If it's really "a stench" due to bacteria you should probably toss it. Are you really that sure that is what it is?
Yes, I started malting it Sunday afternoon, removed the residual husks and unusable grains, left it 6 hours covered in water, washed the water away, and have been convering it in water, draining and leaving it 8 more hours since then (with the pot covered). Today (Wednesday morning) I rinsed for the last time and put it in a sieve, and put the sieve over a pot to drain any residual water (I don't have terracota pots in my home, like the guy from the video). But since the first 24h, the malt began to stink and has been getting worse over time.

Actually, I'm not sure it is due to bacteria, I just guessed so due to the acid vomity smell.

This is the first time I'm trying this, so I'm not sure wether I did something wrong or not. I washed all the pots and sieves before putting the grains in them, but didn't sanitize them (the video didn't say anything about sanitizing, and the guy just put his hands on the grains, so I guessed it wasn't needed).

Yesterday evening I bought some more barley to test if the same smell would occur, put it through the same process (took extra care with the cleaning part this time) and left it resting with no cover this time. Today morning it wasn't smelly at all, I sieved it and put some more water, but now (10 AM) I went there and it is beggining to get a similar smell (still very light though).

I'll continue with it to the end and see the final results, maybe even if it's sour I'll brew some of the stuff to see how it fares as beer.
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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I've been thinking, maybe the smell is due to the bacteria fermenting only the sugar in suspension in the water the grains were soaked, and they only contaminated the water (or maybe the outer surface of the grains). Hopefully when I'm done with the drying and roasting process, the smell will go away and the malt will taste normal.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #8
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Let me first say, that I didn't watched the video, but I have germinated all kinds of seeds, including barley. It sounds to me like the grains are too wet and there is poor air circulation. These conditions favor funky smelling bacteria.

I'm not convinced it is lactobacillus, as that should smell, well, kinda yogurty. Actually I recently read that malt companies now routinely ADD lactobacillus when malting as it not only out competes other undesireable microbes, it apparently some how improves the quality of the final product.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cachalote View Post
...I'll continue with it to the end and see the final results, maybe even if it's sour I'll brew some of the stuff to see how it fares as beer.
Let us know what you think after the drying phase.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:17 AM   #10
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So I'm in the 5th day of germination and the bad smell is gone. Now i'm worried about a white gluey substance that's coming out of some grains when you squeeze them. I'm also having a hard time finding whether the acrospyre is at the right length to stop the germination. Help?


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