Fusarium-Infected Malt. Salvaging by Picking the Bad Grains Out?

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The Gulper
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I got a batch of a Vienna malt apparently infected with Fusarium. Hello, gushers. Sorry, liver.
I see some purplish-red and dark grains in it. Also it has a faint hint of smell - a faintest one, not unpleasant or funny but definitely not encountered in my other malts.
Do Fusarium produce any special odour at all?

I don't want to toss it. It's a rare malt from a producer and country I've never tried yet, Optima Malt from Poland. I was thinking to make some Polish Baltic Porters in winter with it.
I don't want to toss it so much, I'm even ready to sort out each bad grain by hand, however long it takes. Then I think to dry it for several days out in the sun - that's what I do successfully to cure moldy stuff in my house.

My question is: will the malt be safe if I sort the bad discoloured grains out?
 

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I'd dump it, but do a mini brew to test it first, if it's a big batch. I'd dump it because I had a similar issue with a sack of Munton's MO several years ago. I had to open bottles in the kitchen sink. About half foamed out. It robbed all the joy. Two brews in I decided to dump the rest of the sack, about 15kg , in the bottom of the garden.
 
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Now when I'm reading lots of forums and articles on Fusarium I'm starting to realise that many of my gushers (especially those for which I was absolutely sure regarding my sanitation regimen) could in fact be a Fusarium infection.
I'm mortified by the new.
That means from now I'll apparently have to check every grain in each my grist before milling. Just like with cheap porridge cereals when you have to pick out bad grains and little stones before cooking.
Thank God my grists are small, 1.5 Kg average. Still, not a pleasant addition to the brewing routine.

Got 10 Kg of this malt, and 18 Kg more (different kinds, same producer) are on the way.
Oh why.
 
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McMullan

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High levels of Fusarium contamination shouldn't really be getting through QC, tbh. I've only experience a problem with that one sack. From memory it was on sale at a very good price. Shame they sold it rather than dumping it. I haven't used the HBS who sold it or Munton's products ever since. I can be very superstitious once given the chance.
 
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:(
I read your suggestion to not drinking gushers in another thread.
That's exactly what I did to "salvage" my "overcarbonated" beers recently. Now my liver is aching. Not as much as yours did but still is does.
I wonder what has more pain in it: aching liver or dumping a rare malt.
 

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I wonder what has more pain in it: aching liver or dumping a rare malt.
even at $2 a pound here, a 10 gallon batch would only take me 2-3 hours of work to make the money to buy....


(and i kinda sorta, maybe need a liver?)

edit: i drank about 20 beers of that gusher, in 2 days, maybe why your's isn't as painful....
 
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It's not about money, alas.
Even selling a kindey or liver won't bring me another batch of Polish malt. Which is ridiculously cheap but unobtainable besides this single order.
Polish Baltic Porter from Polish Vienna malt was a concept thorougly thought out, researched and planned half a year in advance.
No English, German or Finnish malts could even come close to substitute it now, after all the planning. Even Danish.
Some Authentic Polish Dark Crystal Malt and Authentic Polish Roasted Rye Malt are on the way, destinied for the same Porter. If they're equally shitty as the Vienna turned out to be, that would be a pain indeed.
 
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Yep, that's the worst.
I was thinkin of picking the bad grains out, of baking the malt in the sun or in the oven, of winnowing the moldy dust off.
Now I realise I won't get rid of the mycotoxins by any of those means :(
 
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Do you know if Fusarium can infect fresh malt or if it affects just a living plant?
I'm wondering on should I disinfect everything that's touched it.
 

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Do you know if Fusarium can infect fresh malt or if it affects just a living plant?
I'm wondering on should I disinfect everything that's touched it.
It's mainly an issue in the field, before malting. And more Fusarium proteins that initiate foaming than viable bacteria. I wouldn't get too paranoid about it spreading in your brewing environment. Got rid of mine by dumping that sack of grains 😉
 
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Well, now after reading forums and articles I think I know what to do. First, I'll sort out most of the discoloured grains - just to decrease mycotoxin level. I know I won't be able to eliminate it completely this way.

Secomd, I will cold-mash the coarse-milled grain.
I read a scientific paper which states that most of the toxins (like 90%) come out into the wort leaving the spent grain very little contaminated. Very well. If it's so, I'll employ a traditional Austrian technique prescribed by old recipes which I've successfully used when brewing my Vienna Lagers: mashing for 3 hours at 10°C. After that I just discard the mycotoxin-laden cold "wort", rinse my bag with more cold water and then add hot water to get into the saccharification range.
Voila. Toxins aren't eliminated completely, however most of them are washed away. Hopefully.

I believe, cold rinsing could severely affect mash efficiency. Anyway, if I just dump the malt I won't have any efficiency at all.
 
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I will feel defeated and depressed. I know.
Brewing is one of the very few things left to feel myself in control.
Salvaging this malt is a question of honour :)
 

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Honest to Big Hairy Thunderer In The Sky, don't test one's mortality on such trivialities as "I bought this malt and it's clearly AFU but I still have a hankering to use it for some reason".

Sheesh...

Cheers!
 

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:(
I read your suggestion to not drinking gushers in another thread.
That's exactly what I did to "salvage" my "overcarbonated" beers recently. Now my liver is aching. Not as much as yours did but still is does.
I wonder what has more pain in it: aching liver or dumping a rare malt.
WTF? Toss it and get some more. Vienna is Vienna, not much difference.
 
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As much as I wanted to salvage this malt it seems I'll have to toss it.
I started picking out the Fusariums, and put the malt into a pail where it was sitting open for a day. During the day, the malt filled my room with a faint stench of dirty socks. Which is grossly disgusting.
Even if I achieve my goal and have a mycotoxin-free malt in the end, the ditry socks flavour is something I'd prefer to avoid, mycotoxins or no mycotoxins.

I wish the sellers of this malt, when they are in the Purgatorium in afterlife, to be force-treated with real-dirty-socks-dry-hopped beer for at least 10 years per each Kilo they sold me.
 
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