What should I do? is my malt dead?

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polishfarmer

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So I've been malting my organic animal feed barley for about 5 days now and it seems to have stopped growing. I soaked it the 1st day for about 8 hrs then waited about 16 hrs and soaked it again for another 8 hrs and then waited 16 hrs and on the 3rd day I soaked for about 5 hrs.. but it seems to not have grown much in the past day or two.

so does this mean my barley will be undermodified? during the 2nd soak I let the water run over the grains for about 30 min or so and my stupid bathtub nozzle was barely off the cold setting and pretty warm water was coming out. and i didnt realize this until after 30 min or so. do you think the warm water stopped my grain malt?

it doesnt really smell sour yet.. it smells pretty alive but theres minimal growth. also this barley is about 2 years old or so but its been kept inside at room temp

what should I do ?

im trying to brew a munich helles 100% barley malt. i want to do a triple decoction mash. do I need to add enzymes to the wort after I finish kilning ?

I found these enzymes on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N919PIO/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3EB9LRCOJ90E&psc=1


this is like my 3rd time brewing beer and second time malting for beer. Although I have decent experience with sprouting grains for other reasons. it has been a while since I sprouted any grains


for being atleast 4 days in the malt should have grown more right ?


will a triple decoction fix this situation if I end up with under modified malt? or should I add some enzymes to the wort on brew day ?
 

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doug293cz

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I don't know anything about malting, but perhaps @bracconiere can give you some advice, as he is a home maltster.

The enzyme you linked to will cause all of the starch to convert to fermentable sugar, which will result in a very dry beer - FGs can end up below 1.000 using that enzyme. This would not be good for a helles. If you want to add enzymes, look for alpha amylase, not amyloglucosidase (aka glucoamylase.) Alpha amylase will leave you with some dextrins (non fermentable sugars) which is what you want for most beer styles.

Brew on :mug:
 
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polishfarmer

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I don't know anything about malting, but perhaps @bracconiere can give you some advice, as he is a home maltster.

The enzyme you linked to will cause all of the starch to convert to fermentable sugar, which will result in a very dry beer - FGs can end up below 1.000 using that enzyme. This would not be good for a helles. If you want to add enzymes, look for alpha amylase, not amyloglucosidase (aka glucoamylase.) Alpha amylase will leave you with some dextrins (non fermentable sugars) which is what you want for most beer styles.

Brew on :mug:
thanks man I really appreciate the input! I read somewhere that decocting the mash is good for undermodified grain. is that because cooking them exposes the starch more easily to the enzymes in the wort ?
 

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Was the "feed barley" dried for storage? Is there a chance it was dried too much? Maybe its old? Seems like you should have gotten at least some of the barley to germinate. Germination temperature is supposed to be around 16C.
Perhaps you can get seed barley, which will provide you with a better germination percentage.

 

bracconiere

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well, looking at the pics, it looks dehusked? and kinda like wheat not barley?

and your soaking regimen is way over kill, i'd be suspicious you drowned it....i only soak for about 2-3 hours first soak, otherwise i get bacterial funk growing. and after the first soak, i just submerse it in water for about 10 minutes a day, to keep it watered. making sure to turn it every 2-3 hours so it can breath, and keep the rootlets from clumping.

but yeah that looks like wheat, not barley? and what ever it is, doesn't have a husk, so sparging would be nearly imposible without a lot of rice hulls, even if it did sprout..

I can post some tips for next time if you say how many pounds you're trying to make of finished malt? (basically ~10lbs use a cooler, ~20lbs bathtub.)
 

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for being atleast 4 days in the malt should have grown more right ?


i'm done with coffee now, yeah it should be chitting after a day, and fully malted in 3-4 days.....usually takes me 5-6 days from start to finish for a batch of malt.

i was looking closer, it does look like barley now, but still i have to ask does it have a husk?

as far as a decoction goes, i have to do a second decoction step at 162f, otherwise i get piss poor effec with homemalt.
 
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polishfarmer

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Was the "feed barley" dried for storage? Is there a chance it was dried too much? Maybe its old? Seems like you should have gotten at least some of the barley to germinate. Germination temperature is supposed to be around 16C.
Perhaps you can get seed barley, which will provide you with a better germination percentage.

it sprouted really well when I first got it.. I think maybe I drowned it... its starting to smell a little sour and the fruit flys are gathering. XD
 
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polishfarmer

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well, looking at the pics, it looks dehusked? and kinda like wheat not barley?

and your soaking regimen is way over kill, i'd be suspicious you drowned it....i only soak for about 2-3 hours first soak, otherwise i get bacterial funk growing. and after the first soak, i just submerse it in water for about 10 minutes a day, to keep it watered. making sure to turn it every 2-3 hours so it can breath, and keep the rootlets from clumping.

but yeah that looks like wheat, not barley? and what ever it is, doesn't have a husk, so sparging would be nearly imposible without a lot of rice hulls, even if it did sprout..

I can post some tips for next time if you say how many pounds you're trying to make of finished malt? (basically ~10lbs use a cooler, ~20lbs bathtub.)

hmm I dont think its dehusked.. some of the husks were floating in the water.. hmm im not sure.
I was malting about 11lbs of dry barley.

I used it last time without rice hulls. I dont think I sparged it at all.. I just did a triple decoction and then strained the wort at the end.

I might have added a small amount of water and strained it a second time.. Would that be considered a minimal sparge? I dont have a brew pot with a strainer nozzle.

its been a couple years. I just remember not liking the sparging step for some reason.. prolly because my wort was already close to 5 gallons and i didnt have a normal brewing pot. thats not blasphemy is it ? XD
 
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polishfarmer

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i'm done with coffee now, yeah it should be chitting after a day, and fully malted in 3-4 days.....usually takes me 5-6 days from start to finish for a batch of malt.

i was looking closer, it does look like barley now, but still i have to ask does it have a husk?

as far as a decoction goes, i have to do a second decoction step at 162f, otherwise i get piss poor effec with homemalt.

how do I tell if the husk is there? there were husks floating in the steep water from some of the broken grains.. if it was dehusked no husks should be present right ?

the grains smell a little sour now.. not bad. still smell kinda good. you think i should just try to brew with it and see what happens? I kinda wanna try.. and just decoct the hell out of it.

if anything i could add enzymes right?

or i could just use half of this malt and consider it unmalted grain which I read somewhere I can have like up to 40% of in my mash and try to malt some more barley properly for the other half of the mash bill ?
 
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polishfarmer

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yeah the grains smell slightly sour now... not spoiled or rotten but just slightly soured.. and they are kinda sticky.. you think maybe that accidental 30 min of kinda hot water gelatinized the grain ?

if I brew with this grain will beer be a sour beer ?

haha this is so fun and interesting.. I def wanna try brewing it with some decoction alchemy.. maybe i can still make it work with some elbow grease and careful cooking
 

bracconiere

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from the pictures, it looks unmalted..and i wouldn't want o use it without drying and kilning....

the husk is, well i got some malt in my oven now at 170f for 12 hours, i'll take a snap...
maltinoven1.jpg
maltinoven2.jpg



i saw one of your kernel that did grow an acrospire, and if it had a husk it would have been growing underneth the husk and not visible till it poped out the end.....husks will look rough and fiborous....
 

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I keep coming back to this picture - and wondering what the heck I'm looking at. There's like 2% of the kernels with any husks in this pic...

1622256606112.png
 

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I keep coming back to this picture - and wondering what the heck I'm looking at. There's like 2% of the kernels with any husks in this pic...

View attachment 730600


you mean one at the bottom? and how did you calculate 2%? lol

i want to see the one in the middle turned over, it looks like it's got rootlets, i'd want to see the acrospire on the other side.....
 

bracconiere

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almostdoneoatmalt.jpg


sorry this is a crapy pic but, that was like 3 days growth...i'll try and find a pic of the acrospire poping, when it's ready for drying...

acrospires.jpg


you can see it's growing and poping out from under the husk...

edit: for some weird reason, this old pic reminds of the homebrew quiz i just took, i'm REALLY excited to brew tomorrow! :mug: to all!
 

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Am I wrong? I see like six total kernels in that pic that look like they're still wearing husks...

i only see one at the bottom...and only one in the middle with rootlets to turn over to get a look at the acrospire...but i'm not saying you're wrong...this definatly looks like an acrospire with no husk...


acronohusk.jpg


that's what i get with wheat grain.....
 

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I could be completely wrong here - tbh I don't spend much time perusing my malts' visual appearance - but wrt husked kernels this is what I think I see,,,


1622261369986.png


I've never purchased dehusked unmalted barley so I don't know what that actually looks like, but that would be what I think this is...

Cheers!
 

bracconiere

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but more helpful to @polishfarmer , i think you drowned it. with or without husks, should have sprouted...

you need something like a cooler with a leakey lid or a bath tub with a drain you can put a stopper in with a slow leak....

when i do 10lbs for crystal malt, an another topic....i use this cooler soak, sit it up on it's side to drain. and mix it up by hand every few hours to get some breathing...

once their soaked for a couple hours their wet enough the sprout, then just misting would keep them wet enough, but i'm not smart enough for that..


100_0567.JPG



when i get them wet i just close the lid and put it up on it's side and the water drains....

and it really just needs to breath once a day....
 
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bracconiere

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I could be completely wrong here - tbh I don't spend much time perusing my malts' visual appearance - but wrt husked kernels this is what I think I see,,,


View attachment 730609

I've never purchased dehusked unmalted barley so I don't know what that actually looks like, but that would be what I think this is...

Cheers!


you got a keener eye then me man...i'm just used to them all being husked....
 

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Well me too! That's the whole thing here - what implications wrt sprouting might dehusking have - because I think we agree, that is not your random two row barley...

Cheers!
 

bracconiere

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what implications wrt sprouting might dehusking have


i've sprouted wheat without a husk...but i think grian without husk they spray with crap, because my homemalt wheat although it sprouted fine, tastes like crap.....oats, and barley with a husk are fine.....feed store corn is gross too.....

i've even sprouted brown rice.....before i knew it wouldn't have the enzymes i needed....


husk isn't important to sprouting, i think he killed the grain by soaking too much......all the grain wants is a drink not to be waterboarded.....
 
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polishfarmer

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I keep coming back to this picture - and wondering what the heck I'm looking at. There's like 2% of the kernels with any husks in this pic...

View attachment 730600
yeah the husks seem to have come off.. I think what you are looking at is abused grains hahaha.. some kernels have husks and some dont.. maybe i beat up the grain too much during the soak. i was moving it around in the pot while steeping alot and i rinsed and swirled in the pot countless times
( prolly like 20 times lol. the water kept running off grey. i rinsed until water was mostly clear)
because of all the extra dirt and debris accompanying the grain because it was animal feed. like i kinda beat the **** out of them... XD ill post pics of the raw unmalted grain.. it looks like husks are still mostly intact.
 

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polishfarmer

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from the pictures, it looks unmalted..and i wouldn't want o use it without drying and kilning....

the husk is, well i got some malt in my oven now at 170f for 12 hours, i'll take a snap...
View attachment 730595 View attachment 730596


i saw one of your kernel that did grow an acrospire, and if it had a husk it would have been growing underneth the husk and not visible till it poped out the end.....husks will look rough and fiborous....
yeah my oven only goes as low as 170 also.. with the door open the thermometer goes up to about 120F on the trays closest to the heating element. the upper trays dont seem to be getting much heat at all. you only keep it at 12 hrs on this temp ? i thought i read around 20 hrs for kilning pilsen malt?
 

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polishfarmer

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even if you had sprouts you need to dry it cold first with something like this, otherwise the enzymes you need in it will be to mobile and the heat will denature them...


View attachment 730599
damn its been in the oven already like 5 hrs.. the bottom rack is around 120F the top rack is barely getting heat the thermometer doesnt even register.

if i leave the oven door open the hottest the grains seem to get and only on the bottom rack is about 120F . The enzymes denature at 170F right? so i should be ok ? can you air dry malt like that by just putting it in the sun? or is it better to just fan it for a while? or does it even matter if your kilning temp is under the denature temp?

oh an by the way what is that little rack called? a malt dryer? where did you buy that at?

I think im gonna try steeping it with a cooler next time. that seems easier than a mesh bag and pot




these are the kilning instructions i was using as a kind of base line...




Malt for Bohemian Beer (Pilsner Malt)

Moisture 38-42%

Germination room temp. 50-54.5 F 10-12.5 C. 8 inch depth turned every 12 hours when roots develop turn every 6-8 hours and spread lower. Max temp. 68 F 20 C

Time of growth 9-10 days

Kilning 24-36 hours

The last 15 hours of a 30 hour kilning record is shown as an example but the temp. of the first 15 hours are not stated. As kilning would have been done in a two floor kiln we know that the temperature would have gradually increased up to 37.8 C or 100 F during the first 15 hours.

Last 15 hrs – Hours 1-12 Malt temperature raised from 37.8 C – 67.2 C or 100 F-153 F. Draft holes open.

Last 3 hours malt temperature at 81.1 C or 178 F Draft holes gradually closed.




and then the other set of instructions i was also referencing




Kiln with ventillation at 95-100 F for 22 hrs

Raise temp. to 122 F for 12 hrs

Cure malt at 176F- 203F F for 2-3 hrs to create pale malt

Cure at 158 F-176F 2-3 hrs to create pilsner malt.

Shake off rootlets with a screen or seive



heres a side by side comparison of the grains on the top shelf getting no heat and which are cool and moist to the touch after 6 hrs in the oven and the grains on the bottom shelf that are around 120F and starting to get darkened. they were only darkening on the bottom layer closet to the metal tray. I just mixed them around prior to taking the pic.

1st pic is of both trays. tray on the left is the upper shelf tray that is still cold to the touch after 6 hrs in the open oven and the tray on the right is the bottom tray that is registering 120F on the thermometer.

2nd pic is the left trray

3rd pic is the right tray
 

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polishfarmer

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i've sprouted wheat without a husk...but i think grian without husk they spray with crap, because my homemalt wheat although it sprouted fine, tastes like crap.....oats, and barley with a husk are fine.....feed store corn is gross too.....

i've even sprouted brown rice.....before i knew it wouldn't have the enzymes i needed....


husk isn't important to sprouting, i think he killed the grain by soaking too much......all the grain wants is a drink not to be waterboarded.....

hahahah did i mention im a spook.. bruh.. i waterboarded the **** out of those grains... XD
 

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Looks like dehulled barley (i.e. hulls removed) or maybe hulless barley (a barley where the hulls mostly fall off naturally when harvested . Here's a pic of what dehulled barley looks like (dry):
5pBE1fMrAj5EtLttqxZ-tdek8HkNyX_hiKRGp6evsTs5qOr944PZP9eLaB08ClU_40jZf8wQRoeIbsi5lNv1V5H0bOd-q3cLX1cqssEQcmolq-8d7KEfujatXicUvkaDBgmJZBAKg6VQ
 

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I am wondering if there is wheat mixed in with some barley. I know that the barely that I have grown is almost impossible to de-hull. Where as, wheat come out of its hull rather easily.
I agree with bracconiere, in that 8 hour soaks are way to long. Attached are notes that I have used for malting, kilning and roasting barely and wheat. I hope this is useful to others. I hope the txt format is ok. I am unable to save the file as a pdf on this machine.
 

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bracconiere

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yeah my oven only goes as low as 170 also..


i found my oven when set to 170f, actually is going to 200f...so it makes munich malt, and dark munich at that. it converts fine, but it's hard to make much besides make black beer with it...when it starts balck, can't really remove black....


my solution was a 200ohm resistor on the oven temp probe, and a toggle switch.

100_0468.JPG



so if i throw that switch to low mode, my oven will go all the way down to 95f if i want it to, and i set it to like 280f, and it's actually like 160f in the oven....
 

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oh, and a box fan blowing cool air over it will dry it plenty enough for kilning in a day or two.


just spread the malt out on 3 of them stacked, and let the fan blow over them. wait until the kernels are hard to the squeeze...

but i'm getting ahead of the game on that, we still need to work on your sprouting technique! ;) :mug:
 

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Polishfarmer, there is no question that is hulless barley. Still can brew with it, but it will be terrible underwhelming, thin beer. Need the tannins from the husk to give it a real beer flavor.

I don't understand why the home maltsters start off with bad ingredients. The very first line of this post says it is feed barley, ie meant for the cows to eat, not make malt out of. Many feed barley varieties need to freeze before they will ever start growing, they have a dormancy bread into them. Also, the DP of feed barley is very low, even malted out, it may not convert all the starches to sugar.

Next time, get a malting variety and use the product as they were meant to be used.
 

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Polishfarmer, there is no question that is hulless barley. Still can brew with it, but it will be terrible underwhelming, thin beer. Need the tannins from the husk to give it a real beer flavor.

I don't understand why the home maltsters start off with bad ingredients. The very first line of this post says it is feed barley, ie meant for the cows to eat, not make malt out of. Many feed barley varieties need to freeze before they will ever start growing, they have a dormancy bread into them. Also, the DP of feed barley is very low, even malted out, it may not convert all the starches to sugar.

Next time, get a malting variety and use the product as they were meant to be used.


it'd work fine, he drowned it....i can convert damn near 50% adjuncts with feed barley.....the huskless part might be a problem without "garden store" rice hulls though!!
 

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But your feed barley may not actually be a feed variety. There are some varieties that are from the start not meant to make malt from, most hulless varieties are in this group. A very high percentage of feed barley is made of varieties that did not make malt due to several quality factors, high protein, light weight, thin, etc. You make be lucky and are getting those. Without knowing the barley variety, it is often very difficult to tell if it an actual feed variety, a rejected malt variety, a variety that used to be accepted but has fallen out of fashion, etc.

And an 8 hour soak on a hulled variety is not uncommon, most commercial malt houses are closer to 12 hours on the soak, 13 hour air rest, do that 3 times. They are also professionals at it so they do have better control than home malting.
 
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