Saturday, March 24, 2007

More on Modification

After 24 hours of germinatingG'day mates!

Today is Hot and Slow
Yestday was a slow day and a hot one. I rinsed and stirred barley on and off for the whole day. I did manage to get some work done on the computer, but barley was the thing on my mind. I listened to Oz Craft Brewer Radio's 2 podcasts on malting at home and picked up a few tips. I like listening while I work. Programming is fun, but beer is funner.

The grain is starting to spout in heavier numbers now. I keep them under a fan in two big tubs. The depth of the barley is about 4 inches (100mm) and it's kept moist with a squirt bottle with water and a little bleach. So far nothing overly exciting to report, just more sprouting. It's in the 30's here in the daytime, so I am wondering what the higher temperatures do to the germination process. I popped the thermometer into the grain yesterday and measured a lovely 31ºC. I know that the grain itself is generating heat too.

When I get this germination phase over with, I am going to stew some and try to make a crystal malt. As far as I can tell, a crystal malt is taken from the germination bed 'green' and stewed at 50ºC for an hour to cause the amylase to kick into action. The amylase converts the starch in the endosperm into maltose. This is why crystal malt is so sweet and sugary. Once stewed, the crystal malt is dried. Because we're not overly worried about preserving the enzymes or its diastatic power, we can crank up the heat and make a variety of coloured crystal malts.

For leisure last night I studied all the different kinds of malt. There are dozens of varieties and even more variation from malthouse to malthouse. I don't have a giant rotating drum roaster, but I can improvise.

Our friend is coming back from Cebu today and we're going to pick her up at the airport soon.

Stay tuned!

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