- May 3, 2010
- Reaction score
- Palo Alto
Malting varieties of barley are usually optimized for synchronous germination and steady, synchronous growth of the acrospire. These traits matter quite a bit in commercial malt houses, but they're not very important when you malt grains at home.Yes, all barley varieties will malt, but the ones designed for malting will give much superior end results.
Who cares if you lose 5% of your total sugar due to asynchronous growth? I would much rather encourage people to be adventurous and bold in what they chose to play with. Every cereal grain will malt, and if somebody wants to plant a strange variety of rye and try to malt it, then I say go for it!
Even if you're playing with a high protein variety of a cereal grain (usually malting varieties are low protein), the worst that can happen is that you'll get a hazy beer. That's part of the adventure of brewing!
If somebody had told Medieval Germans not to both malting wheat because it wasn't an optimal grain, we wouldn't have Hefeweizen or Weizenbock.
I've malted purple barley and white wheat, brown rice, kamut, and millet, all from the grocery store. None were optimized for malting, but they all germinated roughly synchronously and produced a sugary wort.