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- West Coast, Tasmania
Thanks Mark, that's exactly the type of feedback I need.That one looks ready to kiln. Another day and the first of your Hussars will be showing.
My interest in malting is mostly academic, have studied it and been through a couple of maltings as part of studying brewing, so treat this as observation not criticism.
Everything I can see says you may not have got quite enough moisture into the grain at the start and that its been way too warm.
Looking at yesterdays picks, there is some there that is starting to branch (ty rootlets) and some that is just starting to chitt. There is also a fair fraction that have done diddly.
When barley is classes as malting grade Protein content is one of the main criterion, one of the others is evenness of sprouting, the varieties chosen for malting are selectively breed for this trait. If you can get your hands on malting barley you might get better results.
Uneven hydration will result in uneven sprouting, too warm tends to promote rootlet growth, normally by the time the rootlet is the length of the corn it should have forked and the acrospires should be about 3/4 of the corn length and the goods ready for kilning.
There will be a significant loss of potential from overgrowth.
Anything you can do to measure your moisture uptake (100 corn weight, imbedding some perforated containers with a known mass of grain in the bed...) and being able to control the temperature better should help.
Most malt is cooled has the CO2 content and has the moisture of the bed controlled by forcing air through it, probably need a bit more than a fan.
If you were making malt for another hobby it wouldn't matter but brewing malt, especially if you intend to do isothermal mashing, needs to be very well and evenly modified. What you have there will be inconsistent and I would strongly recommend you either do decoction mashes (the traditional way to cope with under/inconsistently modified malt) or step mashes, should improve your yields and the quality of the wort.
Well simply it would help make better tasting beer - and for me that's the nuts.
Am still following with interest.
Temperature control is definitely on my to-do list. I just need to figure out how to get air moving through the grain without drying it out. This malting is also the first time I have done it when the weather has been warmer. Temp control and oxygenation of the steeping water is also something I plan on looking at. My understanding is that oxygenated water kept to cold temperatures will slow any growth but not drown the grain? Biggest issue I have at the moment is no cooling capacity for anything but cold crashing. My wife won't let me modify our current fridge to use, so I'm on the lookout for something else.
Yeah, the grain I have is far from ideal. Mashing efficiency has been pretty consistent at around 70%, but having mashed commercially malted grains I know I can comfortably hit 85% with my mashing process. The brew in my other thread is to determine what this malt makes. It's currently in the fridge cold crashing and will be bottled tomorrow, but from a sample of the wort, it actually tastes pretty good, and I imagine it would only get better with carbonation and conditioning.
With this malting, I think I'll give a step mash a go, at least on half the malt with the other half mashed as normal to compare.