RSS

Hulled Barley Malt and Debittered Black Patent Malt

I’m often asked “How soon can I use my malt after kilning it or roasting it?” I’ve read a lot of literature that states the malt needs to rest before being used, but I haven’t found a really good answer as to why or what changes happen to the malt during this resting period.  In John Malletts book Malt he states that “Freshly kilned malt has poor performance in the brewhouse (most likely because of uneven moisture distribution throughout the batch)”. Apparently, milling and lautering are easier when moisture levels have “equalized”.  Jean  DeClerck in  A Textbook of Brewing describes claims that freshly kilned malt is said to saccharify less and give a turbid wort and may also give rise to a poor fermentation and colloidal haze in the beer. He goes on to state that there is not much scientific data to back this claim but theorizes that it might have something to do with the slight re-absorption of moisture. He also points out that there has been shown to be a rise in diastatic power during the storage period and suggests that this is due to the liberation of amylase enzymes from “some kind of combination.” Recently I came across this article from1979 by H. Rennie and K. Ball on the Influence of Malt Storage on Wort Seperation. By measuring the pressure of flow through the mash beds of new malt vs. aged malt they concluded that there is a significant difference in wort separation after three weeks of aging.  Personally I haven’t noticed any problems using malt soon after kilning but  I haven’t done any side by side comparisons so I can’t really say for sure if it makes a difference, this might be worth another blog post. But if you can wait  the three weeks, then why not it, won’t hurt.

However for roasted malts I can say with certainty that using freshly roasted malts will give you better flavour than anything you can buy in a store. I often use freshly roasted malt and barley and I think it has greatly improved my beers. The flavour of malt or barley right after it’s roasted is rich and bold. The flavour of most of the roasted stuff I’ve bought in comparison is cardboardy and stale. If you had the choice of drinking coffee made from freshly roasted beans or from a can of store bought coffee, I think most would agree, the freshly roasted stuff is going to be better.

In this video I make debittered black malt by using hulled barley. This is barley that has had it’s husk removed. Not the same as pearled barley, that’s processed even further.  It was hard to find, I had to drive 40 minutes to get it but it should make for a few experiments. The tea I made with it tasted really good, it’s an even better caffeine free coffee substitute than roasted barley because it’s smoother.

For the hulled barley malt:

  • Steeped to 42% at 10C 50F
  • Germinated 5 days at 13C 55F
  • 24 hours with fan at room temp 21C 70F
  • 2 hours at 175F  (79C)
  • 1 hour at 185F  (85C)
  • 2 hours at 190F  (88C)

Debittered Black Patent

  • Hulled barley malt roasted at 175F (79C) for 1 hour then 30 min at 450F (232C) for a Carafa II style roast 1 hour at 175F (79C) then 15 min at 450F (232C).

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Malting Spelt, Emmer and Khorasan (Kamut)

I picked up these ancient grains at a health food store. Unlike modern wheat, Spelt and Emmer retain their husks and need processing to have their husks removed. Khorasan is a free threshing variety.  There are differences when malting a hulless or hulled grain compared to barley. Firstly, they absorb water faster. 1- 8 hour steep and another 2 hour steep was all I needed for the Spelt and Emmer. The Khorasan required 1- 8 and 1-4 hour steep due to it’s larger size. The acrospires are exposed so you have to be careful not to break them off. Lastly, they dry much faster than barley.

The Spelt and Emmer were easy and malted without any problems. The Khorasan was a different matter. My first batch only had a 69% germination rate. Anything less than 90% is not worth using. The unmalted grains are susceptible to mould and rot and will affect the flavour of your malt. So I threw it out and bought some more from a different store. This batch had an 86% germination rate (close enough?).  Khorasan also seems to be a very slow growing grain. The problem with this is that the longer the grain spends growing the more chance you have of growing mould and this is what happened. On day 6 I noticed bright pink spots on a few grains. This is a type of fusarium fungus. A biproduct of Fusarium fungus is the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol, referred to as DON. At high levels this toxin can make you sick. It can also survive the brewing process and cause gushing or excessive foaming in your beer. Here’s an informative webpage about Fusarium I picked out all the pink kernals I could find. I thought about throwing out this batch as well but instead I’ve decided to risk it. if I get some gushers I’ll know why but if not, then I’ll know that I can tolerate a few mouldy grains. Even though it probably was not modified enough I decided to dry it out so the fungus wouldn’t spread. In the end the Khorasan also ended up being very hard and difficult to mill which could be because it wasn’t modified enough. So, as a malting grain Khorasan gets a big thumbs down, unless you’re growing your own or you have a source for a higher quality grain than what I had, I wouldn’t recommend it. Heck, after seeing all the rotted grains in the first batch I wouldn’t even eat the stuff.

Here are the times and kiln temperatures I used to malt these grains:

  • Emmer – 42% moisture content
  • 4 days germinating 13C (55F)
  • 24 hrs with fan 28C 82F
  • Moisture at or below 10%
  • Cured at 175F 2 hrs (79C)
  • 180F 1 hr. (82C)
  • 185F 2 hrs. (85C)

 

  • Spelt- 42% moisture content
  • 6 days germinating 13C (55F)
  • 24 hrs at 24C 75F with fan
  • Moisture below 10%
  • Cured 170F 1 hr. (77C)
  • 175F 1 hr. (79C)
  • 180F 1 hr. (82C)
  • 185F 2 hrs. (85C)
  • 190F 2 hrs.  (88C)

 

  • Khorasan 40% moisture content (recommend higher moisture like 45%)
  • 6 days germinating (Also recommend longer germination if possible)
  • 24 hrs at 21C 70F with fan
  • 4 hrs 35-40C 95-104F ventillated but no fan
  • 2 hrs 40-50C 104-122F
  • 3 hrs 50C  122F
  • Cured 1 hr 175F  (79C)
  • 1 hr. 180F (82C)
  • 1 hr. 185F  (85C)
  • 2 1/2 hrs. 190F  (88C)

 

  • Caramel Khorasan 40% moisture content (recommend higher moisture like 44%)
  • 6 days germinating (Also recommend longer germination if possible)
  • Covered with tin foil on baking tray
  • 2 hrs. 140-158F (60-70C) (malt temperature) expect kiln to be 160-175F (71-79C)
  • 2 hrs  158F (malt temp) still covered (70C)
  • 2 hrs. 175F (kiln temp) uncovered and on a screen for airflow (79C)
  • 1 hr. 225F  (107C)
  • 30 min 250F  (121C)

Update: Just brewed with these malts today and achieved conversion with a 30 min protein rest at 123F and 1 hour at 152F. O.G. was 1.058. It was an awesome brew day, except for when I spilled the malt all over the kitchen floor.

Update to the update: Did not end up with as much beer as I thought I would, not sure where it all went. I think these grains might hold on to more of the wort than barley, or I miscalculated somewhere, perhaps I should have sparged more. Unfortunately, this changes my efficiency quite a bit, down to around 70% instead of the 80% I was bragging about before.

 
 

John’s mower

 

Check out John’s mower in action! pretty cool. The crop looks great. You can read more about his operation in the Home Growers and Maltsters section. Meanwhile up here in Canada mine is nowhere near harvesting but take a look at the Einkorn. It’s way taller than I though it would be. Sorry about the big ugly mug in the shot but it gives you an idea of the height of it.

Einkorn

Einkorn

 
 

Feed Barley I.P.A.

DSC02593

Here’s what I’ve done with some of that feed barley I malted a little while ago. I know an I.P.A. is not the best beer to judge malt quality, the hops mask a lot of the malt character but I felt like drinking an I.P.A. so I made one, so don’t judge!

It’s super tasty, I’m loving these Galaxy hops. I also dry-hopped with Mosaic. There’s a dose of peach up front followed by some citrus and ending with a strong piney bitterness that reminds you you’re drinking beer, not sangria.

I used quite a bit of caramel malt and some honey as well so it may be too malty for the style but I think it’s balanced and for me the sweetness seems to accentuate the fruity character of the hops.The Mosaic hops were sent to me from John from his families hop farm in Washington “thanks John!”

It has a nicely rounded mouth feel and as you can see in the picture a creamy head that likes to linger. O.G. was 1.059  F.G. 1.013 According to Beer Tools my efficiency was 80% What was also surprising is that I had full conversion in one hour.  Being more patient than I used to be with the germination and waiting until it’s really well modified has obviously helped in developing the enzymes in the malt.

If there is a possible flaw it has to do with a faint hint of phenolic flavour that I detected in the last beer I had which would be pretty disappointing. I can barely taste it so I don’t really care but I’ve sent this one off to be judged at the local competition, so we’ll see what the judges say about it in a few weeks. The possible source may be my water. I tried using tap water treated with half a campden tablet overnight. This is the first time I’ve tried this. Has anybody else experienced an issue with this method?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2016 in Feed barley, The beers

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Garden Update

 

Black Einkorn Wheat

Black Einkorn Wheat

Looks a little sparse but at least it’s growing. This picture and the one of the barley was taken on April 10 so it’s a little bigger now. I’ve got one 4 ft. by 10 ft. bed of Einkorn wheat and about 500 sq. ft. of Maris Otter this year so double the square footage from last year.  Einkorn wheat is one of the oldest domesticated grain varieties dating back 10,000 years. It also keeps it’s hull like barley, so even though it must be a pain to process for food it should be great to brew with. Theoretically that is, I haven’t tried it yet. One potential problem is the amount of protein in this grain, a whopping 18% which is twice that of a good malting barley. That’s more protein than some ground beef! So I’m expecting something pretty hazy. According to this study it’s also high in beta carotene and Vitamin A, that’s kind of a bonus. Here’s a good description of Einkorn that also includes some recipes and here’s a description of some other ancient grains worth experimenting with if you can find them. Also check out this fantastic article all about hulled wheat 

This picture of the barley was taken on the same day

Maris Otter

Maris Otter

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Einkorn Wheat, Garden videos

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Brumalt, Honey malt, Melanoidin malt Part 2

Comparing some malts

Comparing some malts

This malt has been a real challenge. I’ve tried to make it 10 times varying the process each time. My goal has been to make a malt that tastes like Honey malt. So far I’ve come close but not close enough. I wanted to re-do this one as well because a few people had asked me and I was wondering myself, what the difference was between Brumalt and a dark Munich or Aromatic malt.  I don’t have much information on Brumalt in the textbooks that I have so I’ve been doing this mostly by trial and error. I’ve been measuring my results with store bought malts (Honey and melanoidin) comparing pH, colour,  extract and flavour.

As you may know Honey malt is made by the Gambrinus malting company right here in my home province of British Columbia Canada so I had to ask if they would give me any information on how it’s made. They wouldn’t of course, the recipe is a closely guarded secret but they were nice enough to give me a tour of the plant which you can see here. Like the name says it tastes like honey but it’s a dark honey flavour and has an almost wine-like fermented quality to it.

Barley recently emptied from the steep tank to a Saladin box at Gambrinus Malting Ltd.

Barley recently emptied from the steep tank to a Saladin box at Gambrinus Malting Ltd.

The first thing I noticed when comparing malts is that store bought melanoidin and Honey malt have a lower pH than Aromatic malt or a Munich of a similar Lovibond. So what causes this low pH if it’s not the colour?

According to the descriptions I’ve read, after a 6 day germination the green brumalt is piled up and covered with a tarpaulin or if it’s made in a box system all ventillation is cut off and the malt heats up to as much as 50C due to respiration, usually within 24 hours. (Munich is only allowed to reach 25 C). Once enough carbon dioxide builds up the malt stops growing and cools down but the enzymes continue to develop which create a malt with a lot of “low molecular weight sugars and amino acids” (Kunz 2004 p.180)  In Malts and Malting, Briggs states that this phase lasts 30-40 hours (Briggs 1998 p. 714) Kunz states 36 hours.

A few more details in Brewing and Malting include a moisture content of 48% and an increase in temperature during the last 36 hours of germination to 40-50C. Sometimes heat was added “…with a low flame”  Kunz also states “Melanoidin malt… contributes, by virtue of it’s low pH to flavour stability…” (Kunz 2004 p. 180)

In Jean DeClercks A Textbook of Brewing he describes the practice of “Thickening the Piece” “…used for the preparation of malts with a rich aroma. It simply consists of making the piece into a thick heap on the last two days of flooring. The temperature rises to 50C and enzymatic activity becomes very intense. Pre-formed sugars are formed in large amounts and there is considerable proteolysis.” (DeClerck 1957 p.177) Something else jumped out at me in the DeClerck text when he described an investigation carried out by Luers and Gottschneider on the effects of different proportions of CO2 on malting. With 20% CO2 in the air during germination the presence of ethanol was detected. (DeClerck 1957 p 175) Is this why I’m detecting a wine-like fermented flavour and aroma from Honey malt?

A while ago I made an acid malt by placing green malt into a sealed ziploc bag keeping it warm at 35-40C for 36 hours.  The ideal environment to promote the growth of Lactobacillus bacteria which is naturally present on the husks, is at 37C in an anaerobic environment.  So it makes sense that some amount of acidification is happening during this couching phase of the brumalt process.

In order to mimic these natural occurrences on a small scale I had to enclose the malt in a ziploc bag to seal out the oxygen. I then added some heat to keep the temperature at 37C This worked well and I was able to get a malt with the pH at the same level as Honey malt after 16 hours at 37C before raising the temperature to 50C to stew. But I wanted to see if I could make it in a way that was closer to the descriptions.  I tried it once in a small cooler loosely covered and the temperature rose to 42C due to respiration, but it took three days and I was concerned that the malt would overgrow. When this happens the malt will taste bitter and sprouty. I then bagged the grain for a period to acidify it just like before but this time it didn’t work. After kilning the pH was not lower, I thought that perhaps the hot couching may have killed off the  bacteria.

Honey malt left, my brumalt center, batch #7 on right. 18 hr stew at 50C vs 8 hr.

Honey malt left, my brumalt center, batch #7 on right. 18 hr stew at 50C vs 8 hr.

PH is also affected by colour of course, generally speaking the darker the malt the lower the pH, but a characteristic of Honey malt is that it lacks the roasted or toasty flavours you would get from a dark malt due to the lower curing temperature. The colour comes from the melanoidins developed during stewing.  When you add a stewing phase at  50C 122F proteolytic enzymes break down the proteins into sugars and amino acids which when combined with heat in a moist environment create melanoidins which give you malty flavours and colour. You can control the amount of colour by varying the time your malt spends at this stewing phase. After experimenting I found that 8 hours at 50C will give me a colour around 25-30 L, similar to Honey malt. Of course that will vary with the barley used and the amount of protein in the grain. Roasted malts on the other hand which are created when the malt is dry and at a higher temperature will give you more roasted flavours, sort of like the formation of toast vs. bread crust.

DSC02148

Comparing pH of my brumalt to Honey malt – just pure luck that they’re exactly the same, other batches are not.

DSC02150One test that I’ve been using to compare malts is meant to measure the soluble sugar and extract potential (sort of). It’s not a scientific test and not very consistent but since it’s just comparative it does give some insight as to how a malt is made. I’ve been using this test because it’s quick. A measured amount of grain (1.6 oz) is weighed and crushed and mixed with 250 mL of boiling water. The use of boiling water was meant to inactivate the enzymes but since the temperature of the water drops as it’s added to the sample some of the enzymes  survive and end up converting some of the starches.The sample is allowed to settle and cool and then is measured with a refractometer.

In a true cold water extract test the water is mixed with a solution of ammonia to inactivate the enzymes. Cold water extracts are used to measure the amount of soluble sugars or “pre-formed sugars” there are, which tells you how well modified a malt is, the higher the number the more thorough the modification.

The results that I’ve gotten just using boiling water are quite telling. Honey malt gets a very high brix number similar to a pale malt that I made. My Brumalt was a close second, Munich scored lower and caramel malt scores very low.  So since this test is actually showing us the diastatic power or even the extract potential it would lead me to believe that honey malt is kilned at lower temperature than Munich. Keeping the kilning temperature below 50C until the moisture content is below 10% will not destroy as many enzymes.

In a true hot water extract test the malt is mashed according to a very specific schedule and what you find out is the potential extract of a malt.  I tried my own version of this test as well with small 50g samples comparing Honey malt, Munich 30L, Aromatic, Melanoidin and my own. Although my test was crudely done Honey malt still came out on top with the highest brix reading, mine was still second. 

Here are some of the things I’ve tried with these these test batches:

Germination temperatures, 1. warm throughout, 2. warm during the last 3 days and 3. warm for the last day only.  Warm germination temperatures during the final phase of germination promote the development of proteolytic enzymes, the enzymes which act on proteins. From what I’ve read the longer the germination the more enzymes will develop and to have a long germination the temperature must be kept at 13C or 55F.  The warmer the germination the faster the grain grows. What seems to work best (for my barley) is 6 days at 13 then a day at 22C.

Couching, I’ve tried a few different lengths of time to get a lower pH and determined that with my barley, 16 hours at 37C with a shorter rest at 50C for 8 hrs, both in a sealed ziploc bag and low kilning temperatures  gives me the same pH and colour.

High kilning- raising the temperature to 60C while there is still 25-30% moisture. Usually done with Munich malt for maltier flavour and for colour, this will lower the diastatic power of the malt. I don’t seem to be having any problems achieving colour with kilning temperatures below 50C, the amount of colour is dependant of the length of time it spends stewing at 50C. This could be an indicator of a high level of protein in my barley. So I settled on using low kilning temperatures to maintain the enzymatic power as much as possible.  As well I’ve also tried different curing temperatures and I’ve found to minimize the roasty character the curing temperature must be kept below 200F. The biggest changes in colour and pH occur during the curing phase, a half hour can make a huge difference.

What I’ve achieved so far is a sweet malt, not roasty and with the same pH and colour as Honey malt. It’s very unique and I’ll be using it whenever a recipe calls for melanoidin malt but it has more of a tart flavour and is missing the deep honey-like and almost vinous flavour characteristic in Honey malt. I am not going to give up trying to figure out this malt but there are a lot of variables at every stage. Along with my procedure, the variety of barley and it’s protein content could be affecting my results as well as the scale at which it’s produced. As well since bacteria seem to be involved it’s flavour characteristics could be due to the local environment in which it is malted or where the barley was grown which is literally 1000 km away. Unfortunately I have to put this malt on hold since I’ve used almost all of the barley I grew last year. This is the schedule that comes closest so far:

This will give you a sweet yet sour malt (low pH) that’s around 30L and maintains it’s diastatic power.

Steep until 48%

Germinate at least 6 days at 13C, acrospires at 3/4  then 24 at room temp. 22C (acrospires on average are now the full length of grain)

Couch (lactic acidification phase) in a zip-loc bag sealed for 16 hours at 37C

ramp up temp to 50C (proteolysis phase) and hold for 8-10 hours for about a 30L colour, Add more time for more colour 16-18 hrs = around 60L

Kiln at 40-45C for 24 hours or until moisture is below 10%

Cure:

1 hour at 175F  79C

1 hour at 185F  85C

3 hours at 190C  88C

 

 

 

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Feed Barley

Update: I just brewed with 11lbs of this malt and achieved full conversion in one hour, with 80% efficiency, not bad! I brewed an IPA with Galaxy hops, I’ll let you know how it turns out.

I get a lot of questions about feed barley. Basically I wouldn’t recommend it, (see older post) but here I am malting 44lbs of the stuff all at once. 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2016 in Feed barley

 
 
|Brülosophy|

They Who Drink Beer Will Think Beer

Immaculate Brewery

Growing, malting and brewing beer

Creative Brewing

by Scott Ickes

A Brewer's Wife

Law librarian, brewer's wife and mom of three girls (not necessarily in that order)

From Plants to Beer

The real route of beer

My Own Home Brew

My record and experience in brewing

F Words I Love

Fresh. Frugal. Fermented. Free.

Romping & Nguyening

Romping around the world and Nguyening since March 2014.

Brewing Beer The Hard Way

Growing, malting and brewing beer

Five Blades Brewing

F' Everything, We're Doing Five Blades

The Jax Beer Guy

This Guy Knows Beer -- Also visit www.JaxBeerGuy.com

East Happyland Homebrew Garden Louisiana

Gardening hops, grains, vegetables, and brewing beer in South Louisiana. And they said it couldn't be done....

Bergfast bryggeri

Et lite kjellerbryggeri blir til

The Apartment Homebrewer

Brewing small batches of craft beer in a 650 sqft apartment

Redneck Brewing

Because good beer doesn't require sophistication.

Bishop's Beer Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

The Quest for Edelstoff

Making Liquid Bread

Home Bruin

The homebrewing adventures of a Boston sports fan

If Not Now, When?

Anthony N. Chandler Photography

Brew Train

Drinking good local beers on the American rails