My barley water is fermenting

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Lijowa

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Ok so I have about 21 oz of organic 89% barley in some filtered water from the fridge, I have left it out to steep overnight at about 1pm yesterday. It is now evening next day about 2pm and I checked it to see if it would be fermenting yet. And it is! I'm very excited but I'm concerned with if it is healthy or toxic? I've through research a few minutes ago found barley juice fermentation is a thing. But does it make an alcoholic beer? Any answers and support is nice.
 

jtratcliff

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Not quite sure what you're going to end up with. Probably something sour. Not really beer.

For beer, you typically use malted barely. Not raw unmalted grain. You crush it, steep it in hot water (~150F ish), remove the grain, then boil it.

The malting process makes the starches available to be converted into sugars by enzymes in the grain. This conversion happens best in the presence of water in the ~150ish F temperature range.

The boil does a few things: it evaporates off some water, concentrating the sugars; it kills wild yeast and bacteria that naturally exist on the grain;
and it precipitates out proteins leaving a less hazy final product.

The now-sanitized-by-heat "wort" that results is then cooled to temperature that beer yeasts like. Yeast is added and the fermenting vessel is kept covered to prevent wild yeast and bacteria from contaminating the beer.

It's possible to open ferment with wild yeast, but your results will be unpredictable and most likely not especially tasty.

Shouldn't kill you, though :p
 
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Lijowa

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Not quite sure what you're going to end up with. Probably something sour. Not really beer.

For beer, you typically use malted barely. Not raw unmalted grain. You crush it, steep it in hot water (~150F ish), remove the grain, then boil it.

The malting process makes the starches available to be converted into sugars by enzymes in the grain. This conversion happens best in the presence of water in the ~150ish F temperature range.

The boil does a few things: it evaporates off some water, concentrating the sugars; it kills wild yeast and bacteria that naturally exist on the grain;
and it precipitates out proteins leaving a less hazy final product.

The now-sanitized-by-heat "wort" that results is then cooled to temperature that beer yeasts like. Yeast is added and the fermenting vessel is kept covered to prevent wild yeast and bacteria from contaminating the beer.

It's possible to open ferment with wild yeast, but your results will be unpredictable and most likely not especially tasty.

Shouldn't kill you, though :p
I appreciate the answer. Any advice on what to do from here? Like how long to let it germent?
 

jtratcliff

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Depends on what's going on... If it's wild yeast, they will go until they are done, then drop out to form a creamy layer on the bottom... could be a few days to a week. You might get a beer-like something or other. But unless you used malted barley, not a lot of the starches from the grains will be sugars that the yeast can eat.

If it's lacto, it'll keep getting sour until the bacteria can't stand it anymore. You'll have sour barley water.

If it's wild yeast and acetobacter, you might get some weak vinegar.

Give it a few days and give a sniff and/or taste test.
 
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Lijowa

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Second day. Or is it technically the third? My grains have sprouted in the barley water and it is definitely fermenting. I tasted it. Was very dry and bubbly.
 
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Lijowa

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One last thing, my grain had hull intact, which leads me to believe that beer was a by product of softening the husk before they could remove it with a mill. I've had it in water since day before yesterday, and not only did it make beer but I tested the barley which was now plumper, on my homemade mill stone, and to my delight the hull came off easily, which is different than soaking the grain for only one day, the husks were very difficult to remove. So I am attempting a third attempt. Three days in water... or is it four?
 
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Lijowa

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I also have had one glass of the beer, and I'm positive that it is alcoholic because It has effected me.
 

VikeMan

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Second day. Or is it technically the third? My grains have sprouted in the barley water and it is definitely fermenting. I tasted it. Was very dry and bubbly.
Germination produces CO2. If anything is really fermenting here, it's going to make a very weak, mostly unbeerlike beverage.
 

bracconiere

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Shouldn't kill you, though

as long as it's submerged totally? there are a couple mean molds that grow if it's got stale air.....aflatoxin, and fusarium....

as far as the OP, sounds like you'd be better off grinding your barley in a blender, boiling it, and using a SCOBY to make kombucha?

i'm not sure i'd want to drink anything that came out of my mash tun after a few days of forgetting to clean it, with the way it smells?
 

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