Accelerated malting

06 Jan

I’ve been focussing a lot lately on historical malting because I find it so interesting how malting has changed so drastically over the past 150 years. This has caused me to wonder what a malting schedule looks like today, what are the times and temperatures used in an industrial scale malting plant. I came across a great article investigating the optimal malting times and temperatures using modern barley varieties. An accelerated malting procedure – influences on malt quality and cost savings by reduced energy consumption and malting losses by Christian Muller and Frank-Jurgen Methner can be read for free. In this study they use 5 different barley cultivars to compare 5 different malting and kilning programs which include for reference, a standard laboratory program according to MEBAK [Mitteleuropäische Brautechnische Analysenkommission (Central European Commission for Brewing Analysis)] a program applied to an industrial malting plant and three accelerated schedules based on previous studies.

Here is the optimal accelerated program:


  • 1st steep 5.5 hours at 22°C
  • Dry rest 18 Hours at 21°C (which would also include CO2 extraction by fan)
  • 2nd steep 1 1/4 hours at 20°C

Note: water is absorbed much faster at warmer temperatures, it was also found that malt homogeneity was greater with warmer steep temperatures.


  • 8 hours at 20°C
  • 24 hours at 21°C
  • 42 hours at 20°C


  • 6.5 h 37.5°C
  • 4.5 h 40°C
  • 2.5 h 45°C
  • 2 h 50°C
  • 2 h 55°C
  • 1.5 h 60°C
  • 4 h 80°C
  • 1 h 82°C

Total time 123 hours! That’s just over 5 days start to finish.

Advantages: Aside from the obvious amount of time saved there were other advantages when compared with the standard laboratory and industrial programs.These were: reduced proteolytic modification, higher oxidative flavour stability, higher malt homogeneity (more consistent germination), improved cytolytic modification (degradation of beta-glucans) and the lautering performance was not negatively influenced. Neither was the DON content, surprisingly. Another advantage was less DMS-P which could mean less kilning and boiling time is needed to reduce the DMS-P content in the malt or wort.

Disadvantages were a slightly decreased extract value owing to a higher pH value and a slightly lower activity of the a and B- amylase enzymes.

I think I’ll try this, perhaps I’ll make it a Modern malt vs. Historical malt comparison, 5 days vs. 3 weeks! I was going to do that anyway but this will be the recipe I’m going to use for the modern malt. For the historical, I’ll probably combine the William Ellis 1736 method with what’s in the Scotch Bigg report (1806) and a 3-4 day kilning based on Levy’s Practique du Maltage “Malt Anglais”.




Posted by on January 6, 2018 in Modern malting


11 responses to “Accelerated malting

  1. Demy

    January 6, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    We resented …. I produced basic malt even with warmer temperatures, I confirm a very rapid absorption (I created a table containing hours of bath depending on the season and humidity that I tried to understand when I weighed the malt) but with warm temperatures the germination was always inhomogeneous, (some seeds with roots / changes along other short ones), sometimes they gave me problems of conversion amidi.Invece with more fresh steps things have gone better and better, the diastatic power is high, saccharification sometimes in 30 minutes. Regarding the drying of the basic malt, I have always finished in a maximum day (with the rotating drum) from 35 ° C to a maximum of 75 ° C (pilsener malt). I noticed an increase in diastatic power in general when I left the malt for a few weeks. I’m always open to new methods, but this is my little experience!

    • jfdyment

      January 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      I’ve had the same experience, I’ll add the other two methods which are 2 days longer and with cooler steeps. I’m biased because I’m a bit of a Luddite, I don’t always think bigger and faster is necessarily better.

      • Demy

        January 6, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        I basically agree, I think we have to find the best product we can do, we are not an industry, but I think we have to find a fair compromise on a national scale, focusing on what really makes the difference, for example it happened not respect exactly the hours of passage (8 + 8 hours) because I was not at home, maybe I’ll have done the 10 hours dive and 5 dry break, without noticing the difference.

  2. Demy

    January 7, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    I’m back with my questions .. I usually use the potential values of the malt that gives me the software I use (expressed in grams / liter, maybe you use pounds / gallon) and it coincides with my home-made malt … I I asked which procedure to use (simple) if I wanted to do a test on “Specific gravity” of my malts? I have read something but it is not very clear. Usually for sugar use dissolve 10 g of product reaching 100 ml with water but in the case of cereals I think there is a mini-mash in the middle …

  3. jfdyment

    January 8, 2018 at 3:06 am

    How about this:

    “Often brewers refer to a malt’s “extract potential.” This is typically expressed as specific gravity that can be achieved with 1.00 pound (455 g) of malt mashed in 1.00 gallon (3.78 L) of water.

    The following formula can be used to calculate extract potential:
    Extract potential (S.G.) = 1 + (DBFG / 100) * 0.04621

    The 0.4621 multiplier in the formula is the extract potential of sucrose (1.04621), against which all extract is measured. For example, a malt with a DBFG value of 80.5% results in a calculated extract potential of 1.0372.”

    • Demy

      January 8, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      What I was looking for. I do not understand well the value “DBFG”, from where it is extracted?

  4. Demy

    January 8, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    I have now found the article on “brew your own”, that value (DBFG) we can not have for our home-made malt so I think there is no way out.

  5. Arman

    June 4, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Hi Francois, interesting post. I was given some wheat ears a few weeks ago from which I finally decided to separate the wheat out a few days ago. Several hours, and some sore fingers later I had about 2 kilos of hull-less wheat.

    The temperatures where I live are about 27-32 C at the moment, and thought it would be a great time to malt some wheat!! I soaked at about 27 C, and managed to get the temperature down to about 24 C by putting the wheat into an icebox. I completed one 8 hour soak, and one 8 hour rest before it started chitting. Since it’s so warm I decided to do another short soak just in case – didn’t want it to dry out.

    Unfortunately, I read this article just now. The soak, rest cycle you mention above seems very reasonable for higher temperatures. Maybe I’ll try it for the next batch of wheat. I’d be interested to see the progress of your experiment though!

    • jfdyment

      June 4, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      Hi Arman, I did an accelerated malting and I reached my target moisture content but the problem was that it dried out too fast while germinating because of the temperature, so you have to keep the humidity high if the temperatures are high otherwise it will may end up undermodified. I’ll be trying this again soon.


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