Quantcast

Home Malting and Kilning

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Greetings all. Just joined today and have a few questions.

First off, I'm out in the sticks in lower Michigan. I have five acres that I'm going to put into barley and a few hundred square feet I'm going to put into hops.

I am going to grow beer from the ground. Specifically, I'm going for Doppelbock in the end. I'd like to lager a bunch of it over next winter. Temperatures here are perfect for it.

I have spent many days harvesting information from the Internet and from HBT. There are some things I have still not been able to figure out. I was hoping some of the knowledgable folks here can help me out; I have already tried more traditional avenues of approach and come up empty handed. Here are my questions so far:

1. Where can I get seed for two row barley? Preferably a tried and true malting variety. There are a lot of Canadian resources for this but I haven't found an American one. I don't need to go through the hassle of importing seed.

2. Is there anyone who can give step by step simple instructions for attaining a pale malt, a Munich malt, Crystal malts (20L, 40L, 60L), black patent, chocolate, etc. I will obviously be starting with living, breathing green malt and I need to be able to get the different varieties. They don't have to be spot-on perfect but I'd like to use 100% my own barley. I'm looking for something like "For Crystal 40L, roast the green malt for so-long at so-many-degrees in this kind of oven, taking care not to do this or that, and here is how it will look and smell if you've got it right." I've seen some "approximate" recipes for this but I'd like to see something with a little more specificity.

3. What is the easiest, most reliable way to malt at home with low technology? I am not going to build a machine like these folks... http://www.trash.net/~stmoser/beerbrewing_main.en.html but I do need a way to do this without molding, rotting, etc. and I don't have a concrete mashing floor.

I have already read Dan Carol's article and all the places he links from there.

http://www.bodensatz.com/upage/index.php?page=kiwibrewer_malting

I cannot afford any high dollar solutions such as "buy a real nice kiln for $$$$$." I'm a poor homebrewer!

A lot of folks discourage "beer from scratch" and home malting... I'm not here to be deterred... just please let me know if you have any pertinent advice. :D

Thanks
 

Jo3sh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
I bet these guys would be able to help you out with a source for seed:

http://www.ndbarley.net/malt_barley.html

NORTH DAKOTA BARLEY COUNCIL
505 40TH STREET SW
FARGO, ND 58103
Phone: (701)-239-7200
FAX: (701-239-7280
Email: [email protected]


As to malting processes, I would bet you can do a lot of what the trash.net page talked about with manual or semi-manual processes. I'm envisioning some kind of tumbling drum for the turning of the germinated grain.
 

Dr Malt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
307
Reaction score
16
Location
Pacific Northwest
My advice is to take the home malting approach one step at a time and then reconsider the project at each step.

There is a reason there is a large number of home brewers and few if any true home maltsters. Brewing involves a process that can be conducted and measured by the home brewer with fairly simple equipment like thermometers, standard heating devices (like stoves and outdoor cookers), and buckets and carboys. Even a hydrometer is relatively inexpensive and easy to learn to use. However, malting requires careful monitoring of grain moistures, volumetric air passage and humidity measurements along with stepwise kilning and roasting temprature controls. Because of this, home malting can get expensive quickly and requires a bit of experience. ther are no simple recipes for the different kinds of malt and each kind of malt requires different processing and equipment. To further elaborate, to make a crystal 40L malt or any crystal malt you need a sopisticated roaster not an oven to carefully caramelize the sugars and then dry them at controlled temepratures to hit the 40L color. On yea, and you need a way to analyze for the finished color as color development in caramelized malt progresses exponentially not linearly. That means with 5 minutes more of heat, that 40L becomes an 80L.

I would suggest the following:

First, do some research on commercial malting and the science behind making malt. Then determine if it still looks like something you want to do at home on a limited basis and budget.
Second, on your next vacation or field trip, visit a malthouse. There are some around Chicago and Milwaukee. Unlike breweries, they do not have tours, but with some prior research and a strong interest, one of them may accomodate you to see the malting process. It is not something that is proprietary.
Third, if you still wish to proceed, get some malting barley and give home malting a try with small quantities like a pound or 2. Shoot for making an acceptable base malt. Try making a couple of repeatable batches (this is the tough part) in terms of enzyme activity, color and final moisture. Then assess if this meets your needs of time, effort, cost, etc.

Good luck.

Dr Malt :mug:
 

joshpooh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
326
Reaction score
1
If I had the land to grow barley, I would consider just learning to make a base malt and still buy specialty malts. this way you can just malt everything the same way and it will still spend way less on your grain by doing this. After you master your base malt, then I would experiment with specialty malts. I'm not trying to discourage because I think its a great idea, I'm just saying I think its better to step into malting slowly rather than all at once.
 

Poindexter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
8
Location
interior Alaska
I agree with the above. I have malted one pound of two row I found from an organic place via Google. Malting and kilning is a pain in the butt. When I go into the LHBS and see 25 different kinds of grain at $1.50/ pound, I feel like I am getting a good deal.

But, I would like to see someone sell me 2 row that I could sprout and kiln at my house. 2row and oats also. the trouble with buying seed grain - for me as the low volume maltster - is seed grain comes with fungicide sprayed on it.

Can you grow 2 row and oats that you can sell me as malt grade stuff with no chemicals on it? If I could get a pound of oats with no chemicals on it, sprout it, toast it, kiln it; I would probably pay $10/ per pound - but I am a marginal whack job, you probably won't sell hundreds of pounds at that price.

Also, check out Randy Mosher's "Radical Brewing", he has a whole chapter on this stuff.
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Thank you all for your contributions!

Poindexter, I will be growing without chemicals. It will not be "USDA" organic because that certification is a real pain and we are only really growing for ourselves. But once I finally find and grow my own two-row, I would love to sell some to other brewers just because it's been so hard for me to find and there must be a niche there for hardcore DIY types. We are also growing oats. I cannot guarantee how good they'll be but it's what we're going to be eating here so I am going to be taking the utmost care of them!

Joshpooh, your plan is a good one. I would initially need my own base malt to replace the pounds of grain needed for AG brewing; I'm not averse to buying specialty grains as they are needed in smaller amounts. The long-range plan is also to be able to kiln specialty malts but those will be explored one at a time until I can consistently create them.

Dr. Malt, do you recommend any specific resources for historical malting techniques? It's going to be a low tech solution after all. Perhaps a book which details historical small scale malting techniques. I am not averse to "buying knowledge" but I don't want to buy a book on malting science if it does not give me practical solutions. I may settle for a less consistent, lower quality malt if that's what it takes to be able to do it myself.

Jo3sh, I will try to contact those folks and see if they can direct me to a suitable supplier. My biggest issue is that I only need 3-700 pounds of seed depending on how much I decide to plant. I'm way far down on the pyramid of seed distribution...
 

EvilTOJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
6,394
Reaction score
64
Location
Portland, OR
I'd be very interested to see how your homegrown malting and hop growing turns out. My mom has been murmuring somewhat the same deal about getting some acreage to grow barley and hops on when she retires in a few years...
 

beenjammin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
65
Reaction score
0
Location
St. John's Newfoundland
this is my dream....do you live near a good university library? you might be able to dig into the archives there for historical records or folklore or anthropology papers.

what about building a brick oven outside? could make pizzas and bread after you kiln a hundred pounds of grain.

i did come across this site though a long time ago. the barley appears to be backorder atm, but it says its good for malting...can't remember if it was one of the ones posted already

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/subcategory.aspx?category=289&subcategory=290
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Beenjammin, there are not many institutions of higher learning around, but I will check the ones within driving distance. I thought about the outside kiln/brick oven; I would have to figure out how they are made and what the cost is but undoubtedly I will have one some years down the road. I would like to bake pizza, bread, etc. without using propane gas. Temperature control and air flow control are my biggest problems to overcome at this point. I have looked at Johnny's; we are getting several other seeds from them. But their barley is six-row. Higher in diastatic power and probably fine for malting but not ideal for brewing the dark German bocks I am hoping to brew.

EvilTOJ, sounds like a good plan... I have been wanting to do this ever since I first tasted homebrew. I am a very old-fashioned type of guy. Old European ladies used to brew beer from scratch and sell it out of their houses - I should be able to do it too!
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
You are very ambitious to want to grow and malt your own grains.
Actually the growing is easy. The harvesting is time consuming but not complicated at your size. The malting and kilning/roasting gets tricky. Remember most of the malt varieties we use in brewing are relatively recent inventions.

I would suggest first perfecting your malting and kilning for your base grain. You will need to develop a method and materials that will allow you to efficiently produce a decent volume of malt. Once you have that step down then growing barley is worth while. It doesn't make sense to grow a couple acres of barley only to find you can not malt with sufficient consistency for your desires.

I don't know how much beer you plan on brewing but an acre or two of barley should produce more than enough grain to exceed the max allowed for a house hold. To plant that you should need only a few pounds of grain. The only reason you would need to buy a couple hundred # of raw grain is to experiment with malting. Your local AG service may be able to provide you with some help on growing barley in your area. I know Ohio has an agent in every county to assist farmers.

Craig
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
rurounikitsune said:
EvilTOJ, sounds like a good plan... I have been wanting to do this ever since I first tasted homebrew. I am a very old-fashioned type of guy. Old European ladies used to brew beer from scratch and sell it out of their houses - I should be able to do it too!
Yes they did but I don't think it actually resembled the type of beer we brew today. The malts would have been very inconsistent and the beer probably was infected so they drank it young before it would turn too sour. I brewed a batch of beer that tried to replicate an early 1800s beer by mixing pale, amber and brown malts. The idea was to replicate the inconsistent kilning that would have happened at that time. In addition you will probably have to deal with undermodified grains and your brewing process will have to adapt to accommodate them.
I think you can achieve your goal of brewing beer entirely from homegrown ingredients but you may not be able to produce a really good beer using these techniques.

Craig
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Craig,

To plant five acres of barley would require over 600 pounds of seed. Conlon two-row has only about 9-10000 seeds per lb and there are ideally one and a quarter million plants in an acre.

But after some thought, discussion and reading, I think I will put the acreage into something else this year and plant four hundred square feet of barley. This will give me enough to practice and experiment on so if I fail completely or find that the cost is far too high I won't have tons of barley sitting around. It will also give me an idea of the yield I can hope to expect. You may be right in that several acres of barley would be too much to try to use in 200 gallons of brew. Even the high gravity stuff I'm looking at. Though I bet I could break even selling chem-free two-row to ambitious would-be maltsters...

You're probably right that I won't have a very consistent brew. But that's going to be part of the charm! Unless it tastes awful! Then it won't be charming at all!
 

justbrewit

Zythos Conisseur
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
596
Reaction score
1
Location
tracy, ca
you could also look at using the space you have to plant a bunch of hops and try turning a profit off of those so that you can buy the kiln that you would like and any other epuipment you need for malting.

just my thoughts
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Justbrewit, that's actually something I hadn't considered. There may be a market for fresh hops for aroma and flavor. I wouldn't be able to sell them for bittering to anyone who wanted to follow a strict recipe, because you need some chemistry know-how to figure out the AA%. SWMBO could do it with a nice lab but it's really a lot of trouble to be able to mark the AA%. But I could grow some aromatic hops, more than I could use, and sell them to homebrewers "as is" for aroma and flavor. They'd be very fresh. Nice idea...
 

somecallmetim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
233
Reaction score
1
Location
Loudonville, OH.
I'm shure at this point you know more about malting than I do, I can only add, Keep It simple. As others have said, start by making a base malt, make some beer with it. I wouldent worry about doppelbock or any other style untill after that...

I would assume that you are brewing AG now, right? If not start brewing now so you are familiar with the process & know if your malt is acting "right"
 

EvilTOJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
6,394
Reaction score
64
Location
Portland, OR
Here's some info on home malting I found on usenet from Dan Listermann.

******************************************************

I have done it quite a few times, but you should only try it for the joy of doing it. You are not going to save money and putting more effort into something does not guarantee that it will be better.

First the biggest problem is finding malting barley. We sell it for $0.60 a pound and we only have about 20 pounds in stock.

I use a 10 gallon cooler with a Phalse bottom in it. This makes draining it easy. You have to wash the grain by running water through it and skimming off the junk until it runs clear. The grain should steep for at least 48 hours and the water will have to be changed. Some drain the water and allow the grain air exposure for 8 hours before refilling. I just hook up the shop air to the bottom and bubble air through the grain. If you don't do this, anaerobic bacteria will take hold and it will smell bad enough to make you puke.

After 48 hours I pile the grain, now know as a "piece" ( don't ask me why) on a 24"x48" screen box with a thermometer stuck in it. After a day or so the thermometer will show a rise in temperature and you will notice the grain "chitting" in that the rootlets will start to emerge. I then spread the piece out to a thickness of about 2 to 3". You must mix the piece at least once a day or the rootlets will tangle into a malt brick. After a few days the rootlets will have grown to about 1.5" long and if you split the corns with a razor, you will see that the acrospire ( beginnings of a leaf) will have grown about 2/3 to 3/4 along the length of the corn. The malt is now known as "green malt" and it is time to dry the piece.

I set the screen box on top of two box fans and enclose the rest of the area under the box with cardboard so that the fans will suck air down through the malt. This can take a few days to dry to the point where it is difficult to crush the corns with your fingers. I never did work out a decent kilning method. It is very sensitive to excessive temperatures that will destroy the enzymes. My malt is what is called "wind malt." It was used to make a lot of Belgian beers.

I used SWMBOs dryer to knock off the "clums" or rootlets when she was at her mothers. A jean pant leg makes a very durable bag.

There was nothing magical about the beers I brewed with my malt.

I have made crystal malt in the microwave. I put green malt into a mason jar with a saucer on top and set the microwave to its lowest setting for 35 minutes. It made really cool huge amber crystals.

******************************************************


This sounds completely doable. Sure it's labor intensive, but then again, so is all-grain brewing.
 

Wort*hog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Ogden Utah
It's way too complicated! Don't even try it.. The maltsters of old had PHDs. Way to complicated. Of course with that kind of attitude nobody would be home brewing today..? Give it a shot. Live your dreams and have fun.
 

CBBaron

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2007
Messages
2,780
Reaction score
21
Location
Cleveland
rurounikitsune said:
Craig,

To plant five acres of barley would require over 600 pounds of seed. Conlon two-row has only about 9-10000 seeds per lb and there are ideally one and a quarter million plants in an acre.

But after some thought, discussion and reading, I think I will put the acreage into something else this year and plant four hundred square feet of barley. This will give me enough to practice and experiment on so if I fail completely or find that the cost is far too high I won't have tons of barley sitting around. It will also give me an idea of the yield I can hope to expect. You may be right in that several acres of barley would be too much to try to use in 200 gallons of brew. Even the high gravity stuff I'm looking at. Though I bet I could break even selling chem-free two-row to ambitious would-be maltsters...

You're probably right that I won't have a very consistent brew. But that's going to be part of the charm! Unless it tastes awful! Then it won't be charming at all!
You are correct. I mis-estimated the amount of seed required to plant that much barley. However have you considered the expected crop from that much barley. I think you can expect up to 1.5 tons per acre or 7.5 tons. Even making some really big beers you would need less than 800 pounds to produce the legal limit of 200 gal. What are you going to do with the other 7 tons? :D
A few hundred square feet makes alot more sense until you get more experience.

As a cash crop using mostly manual labor, vegetables or fruits usually produce a better return than commodity items like barley that is much more efficiently harvested with large equipment. I would keep you barley growing to a hobby level of less than 1/2 acre unless you want to invest in the equipment.

Definitely report on your results next fall when the first crop comes in. I am interested though I will not be following your steps. :D

Craig
 

fifelee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
45
Location
Vaughn, MT
rurounikitsune said:
Craig,

To plant five acres of barley would require over 600 pounds of seed. Conlon two-row has only about 9-10000 seeds per lb and there are ideally one and a quarter million plants in an acre.

But after some thought, discussion and reading, I think I will put the acreage into something else this year and plant four hundred square feet of barley. This will give me enough to practice and experiment on so if I fail completely or find that the cost is far too high I won't have tons of barley sitting around. It will also give me an idea of the yield I can hope to expect. You may be right in that several acres of barley would be too much to try to use in 200 gallons of brew. Even the high gravity stuff I'm looking at. Though I bet I could break even selling chem-free two-row to ambitious would-be maltsters...

You're probably right that I won't have a very consistent brew. But that's going to be part of the charm! Unless it tastes awful! Then it won't be charming at all!

600 lbs for 5 acres? Putting it on thick I see. Do you have irrigation?

Not to be a party pooper, but may I ask how you plan on harvesting 400 square feet? That much won't even fill the header on a combine.

Do you live anywhere near Montana. I'll get you all the barley you could ever want.
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Fifelee, I will be harvesting 400 sq ft the old fashioned way. Sickle and threshing floor. It won't be too hard for that small amount. It will just be one small piece of our 10,000 sq ft garden. And I live in lower Michigan... If you have access to two-row malting barley seed, I would buy it through the mail in a heartbeat.

Craig, you're right about too much barley coming from five acres. I thought about becoming a bona fide gov't licensed microbrewer. All natural bottle conditioned microbrewed fine aged beer "from dirt to bottle" in small batches on one piece of land - there must be a market for that kind of thing. But you're right that grains are not feasible to make money on in a small-scale operation unless I have a real market for a rare commodity. Hopefully my yield will be high enough that I won't have to put too much land into the barley growing operation.

Wort*hog, SWMBO has a Master's... I figure it's close enough!

EvilTOJ, that's good info! I hadn't heard of "wind malt." I will probably end up trying that technique first and seeing how the brew turns out. I'm not necessarily looking for special amazing beer... just MY beer from start to finish. And the barley in the dryer tied up in jeans... I can definitely try that!
 

fifelee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
45
Location
Vaughn, MT
rurounikitsune said:
Fifelee, I will be harvesting 400 sq ft the old fashioned way. Sickle and threshing floor. It won't be too hard for that small amount. It will just be one small piece of our 10,000 sq ft garden. And I live in lower Michigan... If you have access to two-row malting barley seed, I would buy it through the mail in a heartbeat.
Make sure you take pictures when you thresh. I would love to see that.
In a few weeks we will be cleaning what is left of last years crop to use for seed on this years crop. It is 2-row harrington barley. Contact me in a few weeks and i'll see what we can work out for shipping you some.
 

Wort*hog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Ogden Utah
Just pull this off a site from No Dakota. It would lead one to believe that a sack of barley from a feed store would most likely be 2row;

FEED VARIETIES PRODUCED IN NORTH DAKOTA
--Most barley varieties produced for feed are 2 row types.
--6 row barley that is too high in protein to meet malting requirements can be used as an excellent feed source.
--Typical 2 row feed varieties produced in North Dakota include Bowman, Rawson, Stark, and Stander.
 

Poindexter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
8
Location
interior Alaska
Wort*hog, I have a hunch feed store grain would be good enough in a pinch, but in general I bet Farmer Brown is going to keep the very, very best grain for next year's seed, and then sell all the grain he can to the malt plant and then sell whatever is left to the horse feed people.

Just saying...
 

Wort*hog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Ogden Utah
Poindexter said:
Wort*hog, I have a hunch feed store grain would be good enough in a pinch, but in general I bet Farmer Brown is going to keep the very, very best grain for next year's seed, and then sell all the grain he can to the malt plant and then sell whatever is left to the horse feed people.

Just saying...
Does make you wonder if its graded good, better. best or not worth a damn, tolerable and Premium?
 

fifelee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
45
Location
Vaughn, MT
Wort*hog said:
Does make you wonder if its graded good, better. best or not worth a damn, tolerable and Premium?
Malting plants want at least 70% plump kernels (plump is a standard size measurement). Most feed barley just has a lower amount of plump kernels. It would be fine for malting, but you would get low efficiency. As a side note, this years is different. Malt plants are so desperate for grain that they are taking anything. We just sold some that is about 50% plump. I imagine that they screen out the thins and still just malt plump kernels.
 

Wort*hog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
165
Reaction score
0
Location
Ogden Utah
Poindexter said:
Wort*hog, I have a hunch feed store grain would be good enough in a pinch, but in general I bet Farmer Brown is going to keep the very, very best grain for next year's seed, and then sell all the grain he can to the malt plant and then sell whatever is left to the horse feed people.

Just saying...
40 to 50% price increase is a pinch!
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Fifelee, that would be fantastic. I will PM you in a few weeks. I need less than 20000 seeds for 400 square feet... I don't know about the kernel size on the Harrington but three pounds ought to more than cover it.
 

EvilTOJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
6,394
Reaction score
64
Location
Portland, OR
If you can't find a good scythe, you think a strong weedwacker would work? :D

I really hope this works out rurounikitsune. btw, what area are you in? Your profile doesn't say.
 

Aclay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
3
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
rurounikitsune said:
First off, I'm out in the sticks in lower Michigan.
Where in lower Michigan? If you have any thing left to go with the hops idea you might want to talk to Larry Bell of Bell's brewing Co. in Kalamazoo. Once a year he does a "Harvest Ale" that uses exclusively locally grown crops to make a batch of beer. It would be some where to start to find where to buy local seed, as well as some hands-on "how-to" of kilning. Check out www.Bellsbeer.com. Michigan is such a great beer state, and if you do end up doing this I would love to do an article on it. I'm sure Brew News or the Michigan Beer Guide would be ultra intrested in a story like that.
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Aclay, the garden and the homestead are all in Hillsdale. But I spend some time in Coldwater as well so K'zoo is pretty close. When it gets closer to harvest time I will have to get an audience with Mr. Bell... I have had quite a bit of Oberon at the Elks that I guess he is responsible for. :D

I will keep this thread updated whenever something pertinent happens. I hope to get seed from fifelee within a couple of weeks and SWMBO is checking around locally to see if anything is available. We need a nice thaw to get our garden plowed up and we need to get some horse crap delivered pretty soon. But hey I'm brewing Raspberry Ale this week so we don't have to drive to Marshall every time we get a hankerin for it!

Aclay said:
Where in lower Michigan? If you have any thing left to go with the hops idea you might want to talk to Larry Bell of Bell's brewing Co. in Kalamazoo. Once a year he does a "Harvest Ale" that uses exclusively locally grown crops to make a batch of beer. It would be some where to start to find where to buy local seed, as well as some hands-on "how-to" of kilning. Check out www.Bellsbeer.com. Michigan is such a great beer state, and if you do end up doing this I would love to do an article on it. I'm sure Brew News or the Michigan Beer Guide would be ultra intrested in a story like that.
 

Aclay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
3
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
well...Dark Horse has some good brews. I had a couple of pub only ones at the Winter Beer Festival in Grand Rapids in Feb. it was an awesome time. I'm sure the guys at Dark Horse could help you out as well. Maybe Bryan at Arcadia. They're all great people. You've also got Jolly Pumpkin to your north. How's it feel to be in the Microbrewery heartland? Good Luck on your Raspberry. I think I'm going to do a Chocolet Cherry RIS when the cherries in Traverse start up.

Too bad it's still snowing out.
 

keiths

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
336
Reaction score
5
Location
Coldwater
Well your not to far from me then if you are in Hillsdale, I live in Coldwater/Kinderhook area. I have 12 acrs and was thinking about planting some as well just dont know where to get the seeds.Let me know if you get any extra.
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Wow, I haven't lived here too long so I didn't know about all the micros around. Never even heard of Arcadia or Jolly Pumpkin. I'm going to have to go on a road trip soon with SWMBO driving. I haven't even made it over to Bell's yet.
 

Aclay

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2008
Messages
98
Reaction score
3
Location
Kalamazoo, MI
next time you go to Dark Horse pick up an issue of Michigan Beer Guide or Brew News. You can also go to Brewnews.com they have a map of a lot, not all, of the micros and brew pubs in Michigan. You'll be surprised at how many their are. Kalamazoo has 3 alone. Grand Rapids has some where around 5-7. Lansing has a couple. Then Battle Creek has Arcadia. Marshal has Dark Horse. Then Ann Arbor has 3 or 4. Lawton has Old hat brew pub. Benton Harbor has The Livery. I think there are even more in the South West Michigan area too. Kraftbrau just closed however :( .

As I said Michigan is a Great Beer State!
 
OP
R

rurounikitsune

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Messages
100
Reaction score
2
Well I said I'd keep everyone updated on this crazy project!

Thanks to fifelee, I have just received ten pounds of barley ready to plant this spring. I should have a few hundred pounds of barley to malt and kiln this year. The hop rhizomes will be started this year as well - probably not enough yield for more than a few batches, but that's OK. I tried to get a good mix of German and English style hardy hybrids to brew Alts and Stouts (and perhaps, in the winter, Bocks).

I have acquired lots of reports, temperatures and times and methods for drying and heating the barley. Because I will be dealing with malt of questionable modification, I am considering brewing with the Triple Decoction mash - an acid rest, protein rest and saccharification rest, and then mash-out. The decoction mash should help with possibly undermodified malt. I will also have an oversized grain bill as I have heard homemade malt is reported to have a lower enzyme level. Hydrometer readings will tell the full story, though.

Planting will come very soon. I will try to have pictures for you all. The rest of the seeds for our 10,000 sq ft garden have also come, so busy days ahead!
 

fifelee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
45
Location
Vaughn, MT
Glad to hear you got the barley. It makes me smile to think that barley we raised will be grown in other parts of the country. We have 250 bushels (about 12,000lbs) of barley left, but only need 10,000 lbs to seed the 150 acres we are putting into barley this year. I plan keeping the rest around to try some malting or in case anyone else on this great forum would like some.
 

EvilTOJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
6,394
Reaction score
64
Location
Portland, OR
Cool, glad to see you're still working on this project. Pleased to be keeping us on updates in the future please.
 

Poindexter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
1,195
Reaction score
8
Location
interior Alaska
I got a ferw pounds of barley in from Montana also.

The first pound of dry barley got to 1lb 11.2ozs in ~24 hopurs of soaking, so I pulled them out of the water and into a couch.

After 12 hours in the couch at 70-75°F I already have rootlets, so out of the couch and on to the floor.

I was googling home malting looking for a kiln when this thread popped up ;-)
 

fifelee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
45
Location
Vaughn, MT
Poindexter said:
I got a ferw pounds of barley in from Montana also.

The first pound of dry barley got to 1lb 11.2ozs in ~24 hopurs of soaking, so I pulled them out of the water and into a couch.

After 12 hours in the couch at 70-75°F I already have rootlets, so out of the couch and on to the floor.

I was googling home malting looking for a kiln when this thread popped up ;-)
Glad to hear the barley I sent sprouted quickly. We have had good luck with that variety (Harrington). Would love to see some pictures.
 
Top