Wheat berry vs. wheat root?

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lanlanonearth

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Hello, I posted a question in the beginner's section, and it turned out that it is more advanced and complicated than I thought, and one of the forum members suggested that I move the thread here. Here's a link to the previous discussion: Wheat berry vs. wheat root?

Basically, I recently familiarized myself with a method of making wheat malt syrup that's popular in China, which I thought to be very similar to the beer malting process, EXCEPT that the malt syrup uses wheat sprouts grown to be wheat grass that's 4-5CM TALL and sometimes it's used by cutting off just the grass part DISCARDING the kernels (though in most cases it's used with the sprout in its entirety), and the end product is made with the addition of cooked sticky rice.

As I had understood it (and the others from the original thread), I thought that the enzymatic activity should've been max when the sprout just emerges from the kernel slightly and the longer sprouts would deplete the enzymes as well as starch storage. With a bit further research, I found one video for wheat malt syrup explaining that alpha-amylase is not produced until many days into germination, and although beta-amylase is available from the very beginning, it can not convert sugar until alpha-amylase does its job first, hence the necessity of well grown wheat grass. But this again becomes contradictory to the beer malting process. How are beer malts mashed if alpha-amylase is not even there?

If someone can come along and make this easier to understand, I would really appreciate it!
 

marc1

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Taking that graph from the other thread at face value, 3 or 4 days into germination may be when the wheat grain is used in malting.
How they use the grass to convert is the big question.
 

marc1

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Today is Friday. I started sprouting these on Tuesday.
20210430_112347.jpg


From my understanding, these are past the point of good malt becausethe acrospire is sticking out.
I let them go a few more days and feed them to the chickens
 
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lanlanonearth

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marc1, yes, I see that could be possible. The rate of sprouting could be slight different that the days described in the paper may not be equivalent to some areas of practice. I do see variations in the Chinese recipe for the days needed to sprout, 4-7 days are all possible and the main requirement is that the sprouts grow to 4-5cm tall.

My biggest puzzle is also the conversion. For the Chinese wheat malt syrup, it's evident that the wheat berries (being sprouted for so long) could no longer provide enough starch, so they add a lot of cooked sticky rice for that part. It's not entirely converted either because they will have to filter out the fibers and drain the liquid to reduce to sweet syrup.
 

marc1

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marc1, yes, I see that could be possible. The rate of sprouting could be slight different that the days described in the paper may not be equivalent to some areas of practice. I do see variations in the Chinese recipe for the days needed to sprout, 4-7 days are all possible and the main requirement is that the sprouts grow to 4-5cm tall.

My biggest puzzle is also the conversion. For the Chinese wheat malt syrup, it's evident that the wheat berries (being sprouted for so long) could no longer provide enough starch, so they add a lot of cooked sticky rice for that part. It's not entirely converted either because they will have to filter out the fibers and drain the liquid to reduce to sweet syrup.
So is the shorter sprouting time for brewing malt less enzyme related and more starch related?
 

bracconiere

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How they use the grass to convert is the big question.

maybe wheat grass powder will be the next 5.2 stabilizer. and i just measured my extra long barley, it is 2cm now, with the extra day....be brewing with it tomorrow...i usually get about 80% effec with homemalt. i'll weigh my dried and kilned normal malt and guess how much starch is left in the barley grass....
 
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lanlanonearth

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maybe wheat grass powder will be the next 5.2 stabilizer. and i just measured my extra long barley, it is 2cm now, with the extra day....be brewing with it tomorrow...i usually get about 80% effec with homemalt. i'll weigh my dried and kilned normal malt and guess how much starch is left in the barley grass....
Maybe you could try to brew two batches, one with the barley sprouts alone, and another one with some cooked smashed starch like the sticky rice that the Chinese use. Since that's what they do, I feel that there might not be enough starch in the sprouted kernel for conversion. But everything is just guesswork now... thank you for experimenting with it :)
 
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lanlanonearth

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I also found this very interesting video demonstrating amylase at work visually with iodine. The other ultimate test would be to do this test with the grass.
 

bracconiere

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Maybe you could try to brew two batches, one with the barley sprouts alone, and another one with some cooked smashed starch like the sticky rice that the Chinese use. Since that's what they do, I feel that there might not be enough starch in the sprouted kernel for conversion. But everything is just guesswork now... thank you for experimenting with it :)

well this batch is really to see if your question will help ME out. ;) :mug:

but sure i buy barley buy the bag, and it's no sweat to sprout some to grass and try to see if it will convert some rice.....i was thinking about cooking my 2lb bag of brown rice and tossing in, to add to the mash to see if it liquified....
 

bracconiere

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well i got my standard effec with the barley grass in the brew yesterday. so i'm not sold on the super powers of wheat grass.....
 

marc1

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i think the enzymes did their job in the mash. but possibly the grass was a good nutrient for the yeast?

not that that pertains to your question of making rice syrup, just thought it was worth noting.
The enzymes from the malt/sprouts would have been denatured in the boil, so they aren't functional during fermentation.
 
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