Barley Grain

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Beer In Here
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Hi, I was just wondering what is the differance between standard Barley Grain
and the base grain/malt we use in beer?

Could standard Barley Grain be used for beer or is it s special variety of some sort or is something done to it before hand?
Barley used in brewing is malted first with the exception of some specialties like roasted barley. This basically modifies the grain so it can yield more complex sugars and carbs than raw barley (I am far from an expert on malting). There are many strains of barley with differing properties (protien, starch etc) which make them better or worse for using to brew with.

If you use raw barley for a base malt you would get a big pot of glue.

Hope that is what you were after. Do a google for "malting process" for a bunch of reading.
Yeah jasonY, this is what I was after, thanks (can get cheap normal barley.. was worth a try ha ha)
Malting is actually sprouting the barley, and this makes the enzymes available for mashing. It is the enzymes that convert the long chain starches into shorter chain sugars during the mash.

To malt the barley, it is washed, steeped in water, allowed to germinate uniformly by keeping it damp and turning the piles of grain, and then before the tiny sprout emegres from under the husk, the germinating process is halted by drying the barley out. The grain is then gently dried. As the amount of moisture decreases, the temperature is increased. When finally dried, the grain is tumbled to remove the rootlets.

If the barley is allowed to sprout too much, all of the seed energy reserves (starch) are used up and there is nothing left to mash. If the barley is not sprouted enough, there are not enough enzymes to perform the mash.

Malting is one step of the marvelous procedure of making beer. Once again, I am amazed at the technology that has developed and evolved around brewing.
Standard barley would have a lot more protein than brewing barley

Jovial Monk
Great info there pint of lager, thank you.

Now the next question, with the ale and pilsner malts, is this a different type of grain or is it just malted differently?
In Oz I bet both the pils and trad ale malt are the same grain, one just kilned a bit longer/hotter.

When you consider Maris Otter and German Pilsener these are different grain. Used to be, the continental malts were undermodified, requiring step mashes & decoctions etc to extract the sugars

My supplier has just emailed me saying they have 'malting barley'.. fingers crossed it is what I need...
I would assume that "malting Barley" would be high quality barley that has the right characteristics for malting, and fetches a fair greater price for the farmer than feed grade barley but it would still need to go through the malting process.

so would I mothballs, I have asked for some more information so I should find out tomorrow...

They did say that you can use it ot make beer so we will see when they find all the details on it, only spoke to the receptionist.
As I used to work for one the big grain purchasers,
I am sure you are getting malting grade barley,
not malted barley. It can be fun to malt your own though.
bradmcm said:
As I used to work for one the big grain purchasers,
I am sure you are getting malting grade barley,
not malted barley. It can be fun to malt your own though.
Yeh. Malting barley is barley good enough for malting. Not barley that has been malted.

Yes, you can make beer out of it, after you've malted it.
Barley is classified at the grain receival sites as either feed barley or malting barley. Barley can be down graded to feed barley for, among many other things, excessive protein or small grain size.

Excessive protein would ruin the barley for malting for obvious reasons (Chill haze etc etc...)

Excessive levels of small (shrunk) grain alters the ratio of protein to starches in the grain. Protein is generally laid down first when the seed is developing and if there is a hot, dry finish to the season then the plant may not be able to manufacture sufficient starches to properly fill the rest of the grain. Hence, the grain is smaller than usual.

Both of these will lead to grain being binned as feed.


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