This year I’ve decided to plant a bed of wheat for malting. I’d like to try making a caramel wheat malt as well as different roasted wheat malts. The bed is about 300 sq ft. so I’m hoping to get maybe 25 lbs of wheat. Two things I did right (there’s a first time for everything) were to germinate the seeds first before planting and to use a row cover to prevent the birds from getting at it. I should have done this with the barley as well. Here’s the video:
Monthly Archives: November 2011
For my chocolate malt I wanted to make it lighter than a normal chocolate malt and I think it worked out pretty well. It still has an earthy coffee flavour but it’s not as burnt or charred tasting as a regular chocolate malt. I’m not saying mine’s better I’m just trying to customize mine to suit my taste buds and to make something unique. Although when I was comparing my malt to a store bought malt I was shocked at how stale the store bought tasted. I’m sure it was fine when I bought it but now it tastes like a wet cigarette butt. I’ve stored this malt for 6 months in a paper bag in a cool dry place so I guess it’s reached the end of its shelf life. Had I not made my own chocolate malt I would have had nothing to compare it to so I probably would have kept on using the store bought malt. I can’t believe I would have put that in my beer! Now I’ll think I’ll toss it. Roasted malts are easy to make and you can achieve even better results with a rotisserie or a nut roaster. I just did mine in my oven between two cookie sheets. There’s a lot of info on roasting your own malts on the internet and there are some good books on the subject. Here’s the procedure I used:
Soaked 6-row pilsner malt for 30 min
Put it in the oven at 150-160 F for 2 hrs.
Raised temperature to 250 for 30 min to dry grains
300 F for 20
325 F for 15
Then 380 F for 1 hr. This is low for chocolate malt. 425-480 F is normal, also for 1-1 1/2 hr.
When I started this project I never thought that malting would be as interesting as it actually is. It really is a hobby in itself. If you can find a good source of barley I would definitely recommend trying it, at least for your own unique specialty malts.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to malting. Every factor in the process may change the final outcome of the malt. Some of these factors are 1: Temperature, from the germination temperature to the kilning and curing temperatures. 2: Humidity and moisture content, this includes the initial moisture content of the steeped grain to the amount of ventilation in your kiln. And 3: Time, how long you subject your barley to each step in the process.
This week I wanted to make more caramel malt but this time using my Harrington 2-row barley and a different procedure. What I came up with looks and smells very unique and I’m really excited to try brewing with it. It was a seriously happy accident because I don’t really know what I’m doing. I call it my Chocolate caramel malt. It is a sweet caramel malt but with the added bonus of having more chocolate aroma and colour.
Here’s the procedure I used:
Green two row with the acrospire at 75 to 100% the length of the grain stored in a bag with no oxygen for 24 hrs at 5-10 C ( I had to do this because I was kilning my pale malt during this time and there was no more room in the oven. Removing the oxygen and replacing it with CO2 if you can, will halt the growth of the barley. This is called couching.
Stewed it at 120-130 F in a dutch oven type pot with the lid on for 12 hrs. Also kept it damp by spraying water on it 3 times during the 12 hrs.
Raised the temperature to 150-160 F for 3 hrs. Still in the pot.
Dried it on a screen at 175 with a fan for 10 hrs. The temp. went up at the beginning to 200 F for 1 hour accidentally.
Cured it at 325 for 1 hour.