Thursday, March 29, 2007

Houston, We have Malt

Sorry for the lateness of my updates. I wanted to show you the malting process in more detail and I have some photos from the camera loaded. After a day or two of soaking, your barley will look like the left photo. This may happen sooner, even after 1 day depending on the age and general viability of the seed. After a day or two of germnination, your barley will look like the photo on the middle.
Basic Phases of Malting

Stop the seeping/air rests when you get little bud roots (called chits) protruding from the kernel. Start germinating: spread them out and turn them every few hours. Keep them moist with a spray bottle of water w/a few drops of bleach.

When they look like photo 2 or the roots are slightly longer, start drying. Dry in the sun at up to 50ºC. Direct sunlight around noon is going to be warm enough.

After the rootlets have shriveled and fall off, crank up the heat. I used my solar oven to get temperatures around 80ºC to 90ºC. A few hours in the oven and your are the proud owner of your own malt.

Try to dark roast some small amounts of the malt. Experiment with roasting, wetting, stewing at 50ºC, charring whatever turns your crank. Just make sure to use about 70% or more of the pale malt in your mash as it has the enzymes in tact. These enzymes will break down the starches into fermentable sugars (mainly maltose). Diastatic power is a grain's ability to break down starches.

Gotta go, work to do.


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