Rye Malt

04 Sep

10 lbs Rye at 12.6% moisture steeped to 42%

Steeped 8 hrs + 8 hr air rest + another 4 hr steep  (target steep weight 15 lbs) 12° C (53.6°F).

Germinated at 16° C (60.8°F ) for 6 days 1 additional day at 21° C (69.8 ° F). Acrospires 1/2 length of grain.

Kilning for Pale:

24 hrs 37-43° C  (98.6-109.4° F) (malt temperature)

8 hrs. at 60° C (140° F)

1 hr. 175° F (79.4° C)

1 hr. 180° F (82.2° C)

2 hrs. 185° F (85° C)

Caramel :

1 lb. green malt stewed at 158° F (70° C) (malt temp) for 2 hr (recommend 3 hrs)

Cover removed 2 hrs. at 200° F (93.3° C) to dry.

30 min. at 250° F (121° C)

Chocolate: Pale malt roasted at 400° F (204.4° C) for 40 min.


1 hr at 109° F (42.8° C) pH adjusted with acid malt to 5.1 – Recommend 2 hrs.

45 min. at 150° F (65.6° C) pH adjusted to 5.3

Pre-boil grav. 1.037

O.G. 1.045

F.G. 1.0079

A.B.V. 4.78 %



Posted by on September 4, 2018 in Rye Malt


Tags: , , ,

17 responses to “Rye Malt

  1. Demy

    September 5, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Interesting. I have never malted rye, but I think that “opacity” is caused in part by oils in some cereals (as well as beta-glucans), but I could be wrong. Drying at working temperature (betaglucanase) is interesting. I have a question: I have rye flour, do you think you could put in mash in a small percentage? Is there a difference in taste between malt and rye and non-malted cereal? Of course in beer entirely of rye it should be 100% malt, but I would like to try a small percentage because I have never made a beer with rye. Thank you so much for your work!

  2. Jonathan Shockley

    September 7, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for the post Francois. I have had beer with rye, but never 100%. I actually hope to get some rye (and wheat) soon from a friend. I was going to try to malt some so your post is just in time. I don’t recall seeing rye malting mentioned in your book, but I gather it’s similar to wheat. In your book you mention that you need to be careful when turning wheat as the acrospire can easily break and if so the grain will dye. I malted some wheat recently and this was my experience as well. I found your suggestion of pouring the grain worked much better than turning by hand. Is this a similar issue with rye?
    I mentioned once that I was experimenting with popcorn malt. I finally brewed with some, and crazy as it may sound it tastes similar to beer brewed with pilsner malt, perhaps a little spice but nothing overwhelming. It’s a great grain to malt in the summer because it needs warmer temperatures for germination.
    Lastly, how did your garden turn out this year?

    • jfdyment

      September 7, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Hi Jonathan, you’re right it is similar to wheat in that regard but the initial kilning phase is really important with rye to break down the beta glucans. I’ve been meaning to post a garden video soon. My Maris Otter suffered from a hot spell in the spring and slowed the growth. A lot of weeds took over but the Chevallier was awesome, I think I’m growing that from now on. So what was your process with the corn? how have you avoided mould and how long do you let them grow?

      • Jonathan Shockley

        September 9, 2018 at 10:06 am

        For starters, I have found that yellow popcorn works much better than white. Not sure why, but the white doesn’t germinate as evenly. My process is as follows. Start with 4 pounds of yellow popcorn. The starting moisture content was around 13.5%. This seems to be a general characteristic of popcorn, because apparently it won’t pop unless the moisture content is above 13.5% and of course any higher and you would risk spoilage. Steeped in de-chlorinated water for 8 hours, with 8 hours rest in between. It took only 3 steeps to reach about 45% moisture. On previous batches I found that even after 5 steeps the corn would only take up so much. Don’t really understand why that is. The steeping was done at 73F for both steep and air rest. I also let the air rest take place in a colander so there would be airflow under and over, and any residual moisture would trickle out. Not sure if this was necessary, but I spray StarSan on everything during the steeping, and germination process, even the spoon I stir with. The germination took about 5 days. It’s hard to check corn the way you do other grains, as the rub test doesn’t really work. I find I have to cut the kernel with a knife, and dig out the starch. Anyway, I have decided to stop germination when the acrospires is just longer than the grain. This is slightly more modified than barley, but the total diastatic power of popcorn under the best of circumstances is only about 40 Lintner (based on what I’ve read online). I have never had problems with mold during germination. I dry out the popcorn for 2 days over a fan with about 90 degrees F (it’s summer in Virginia and very hot in my attic). After that, I took the popcorn and kilned it at about 140F for 8 hours. My goal was to preserve as much DP as possible. I’m pretty sure every batch of popcorn malt I’ve made has been ok. Where I mess up is on the mash, which I think I finally have figured out. As you mentioned to me in a previous email, you have to use a decantation. I use a 1 to 1 water to grain ratio. I start by milling the popcorn almost to flour. You have to use a fine mesh brew bag for this to work. I start the mash at 140F for 30 minutes. This gets the enzymes activated. I then decant off about ¾ of the liquid and set it aside. I add the same amount of water as liquid removed and bring it to a boil. FYI, it’s a little messy. After the corn has gelatinized, I let it cool some then add back the removed wort. I make sure the temperature is around 150 and then just let it sit for about 2 hours. After all that, I check the gravity and do an iodine test. My last attempt yielded a wort around 1030 and iodine test was negative. This next part may not be necessary, but after the mash, the wort looked horrible. I have a large refrigerator (and it was late) so I put the kettle in the refrigerator and left it overnight. The next morning all the sediment in the wort had settled and I had about 2 gallons of clear wort. The color of the wort was much darker than I had expected. I then decanted off just the clear liquid and proceeded with the boil.

  3. jfdyment

    September 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Wow this is a great description! Can I paste this just how it is as a blog post in which you will be the contributing author? One question do you spray a little starsan on the corn itself as well?

    • Jonathan Shockley

      September 10, 2018 at 9:21 am

      I did not spray StarSan on the corn, just on the trays and anything that would come in contact with the corn. However I did leave out that toward the end of germination I did have to spray some clean dechlorinated water on the corn as it was beginning to dry out. Feel free to share this info however you like.

      • jfdyment

        September 10, 2018 at 12:48 pm

        Fantastic, do you have any photos of the process?

      • jfdyment

        September 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

        Here’s my e-mail if you do have some photos

    • jfdyment

      September 13, 2018 at 5:08 pm

      Where did you get the coffee roaster?

  4. Peter

    September 11, 2018 at 10:17 am

    In another 1800s treatise on malting I also came across a mention of adding bisulfate to the water to prevent moldinging of the grains.

    • jfdyment

      September 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Interesting do you remember the title?

    • jfdyment

      September 11, 2018 at 2:20 pm

      Just got your other comments, unfortunately I can’t get the link to work

  5. Peter

    September 11, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I found numerous 1800s books on brewing which I downloaded as PDFs. I will get you a list.

    The whole subject is very interesting because around 1870 or so a lot of sience was being brought to the process of brewing. Patents were being filed and malting and brewing practices changed. For instance it was the practice to spread the wet germinated grain onto the floor and maintain it for 24 hours at 90 F. This stated to change because they found they were better off maintaining a temperature of around 130 to 135F to prevent any chance of mold forming. They found no loss in diastatic activity. After initial drying the temperature was raised to around 175 F to cure the malt. They advocated a minimum time of 12 hours before raising the temperature to get the finish color that they were looking for. This needs further clarification because it seems that the malting process took place over 4 days.

    Around this time they seemed to stop making diastatic brown malt because of several factors. A change in the recipes meant they could use roasted brown malt and also because producing diastatic brown malt was injurious to the health of the workers. I did come across a statement that said that the malted brown or blown malt was hardly diastatic if at all diastatic, but this seems somewhat at olds with the fact that in earlier times it is a big part of the grain bill. I’d be very interested in your experience producing brown malt? Also interesting is the fact the malted grain was not considered good for brewing until 4 weeks had passed and after 3 month should be re-kiln. There seems to have been the practice of re-kilning “slack” pale malt to produce amber malt. I guess if the major breweries had their own malting kilns this made sense. Oh they started storing the malt in CO2 filled bunkers. Who new!

    I also found a manual tiled home brewing dating to 1835, and I thought this all started in the 1970s.

    • jfdyment

      September 11, 2018 at 8:18 pm

      Check out my experiments on diastatic brown malt and for more reading take a look at the “Information on Malting” section where I’ve put a lot of links to historical texts.

  6. Peter

    September 11, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Here is another interesting bit of text from 1793, providing more insights into the creation of brown malt. There seems to have been two kilns involved, with the malt first passing through the pale malt kiln. They warn against getting the floor too hot else in does not work well to produce wort. If indeed they did this in a two step process I wonder what would happen if you soaked pal malt and went through the malting process again at a higher temperature?

    I had trouble viewing this book and had to download the google book app.

    • jfdyment

      September 13, 2018 at 4:49 pm

      Thanks for the links!


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