Unmalted V Flaked Barley

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Trough Lolly

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Grain gurus!

I have been reading into the uses of unmalted barley and other adjuncts in the mash and I'm not sure if flaked barley is malted or not? I have a bag of unmalted whole barley grains that I intend to crack and use to contribute a particular flavour profile to my dark ales as well as improve head retention. Is cracked unmalted barley the same thing as flaked barley before gelatinization??? :blink:

Does unmalted barley need to be cereal mashed / gelatinized before I can add it to the malted barley mash? I see HBS with gelatinized flaked barley that can be added directly to the mash - I assume that the barley flakes were cooked before packaging - like quick oats, they can be tossed into the mashtun because they are already gelatinized and ready to go.

Is it wise to give unmalted barley a rest at around 40C for 20 mins to break down the glucan hemi-celluloses that contribute gumminess before moving on to the protein rest and then the starch conversion? John Palmer recommends this step in his online book. Jeff Renner talks about cereal mashes for his Classic American Pilsner where he adds 30% malted barley to help alleviate against gummed up cereal mashes - perhaps this is the way to go when I cook the barley - it's almost as though I'm doing a decoction mash with unmalted adjuncts!

Any clarification on the differences, or not, of unmalted v flaked barley would be appreciated! If anybody has used unmalted barley in their brews I'd really like to read how you used it.

My brain hurts so I'm gonna have a beer! :chug:
Cheers,
TL
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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have a beer, what a great idea!

Flaked and torrefied (puffed) adjuncts have been pregelatinised during the flaking/puffing. Unmalted and cracked grains have not: pearl barley, cracked rye and the like. Off fthe top of my head I don't know what the gelatinisation temperature of barley is.

Try boiling it for a few minutes--the gelatinisation temperature of wheat is roughly mash temperature, barley wouldn't be a hundred miles away from that. A cereal mash is definitely a possibility

Jovial Monk
 

wessmith

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Several years back I investigated why some brands of rolled (flaked) oats tasted sweeter than others in my favourite weekend porridge. We quickly established that none of the Australian mills producing this product were interested in preserving some of the diastatic enzyme activity. They were primarily focussed on horse feed and muesli bars. Yet clearly, some modification of the starches was occuring.

Locally produced flaked barley presented a similar picture. No indices of gelatinisation and some highly variable results. We were heartened by the offering of Thomas Fawcett a couple of years back that indicated a more controlled production process and a more "brewable" beer. You see the people that produce the TF Flaked Barley do so for the brewing industry.

The traditional method for flaking oats and barley involved a steeping to a moisture content of some 20% and then held for 24 hours. Some sprouting would then occur before the grains were cooked with steam and then rolled and dried.

Today the modern process replaces the steam cooking with a conveyerised micronizing oven. Using IR radiation the steeped grain is progressivly brought to the gelatinisation temp under a very controlled process.

Net result either way is a partially modified - probably a chit malt - product with full gelatinisation.

So just like oils, "flaked barley aint flaked barley" - well not always...

Wes.
 

Trough Lolly

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Hmmm, they tasted good too!

Ok, according to a data sheet from Oregon State Uni here... Barley gelatinizes between 54 and 68C. So, in theory, it is possible to gelatanize the barley at saccharification rest temps - but the downside is the presence of Beta-Glucans which are responsible for gumming up the wort and potentially stuffing up the stability of the beer. Hence I've read of a suggested beta-glucans rest at between 45 to 50C before gelatinization at 54 to 68C. The beta-glucans rest temp is right in the zone of an acid rest, so it would not only assist beta-glucans but we would get some proteolytic enzyme activity as well...

Perhaps an alternative to the beta-glucans / protein rest is to crack and then mash the unmalted barley with a small amount of malted barley? Jeff Renner recommends this proceedure when cereals such as corn or rice are used in his Classic American Pilsner recipe. He says "...Boiling the cereal gelatinizes the starch, but then you have cooked rice or cornmeal mush, and those are hard to handle in a brewery, and when they cool, they become really stiff and hard to move or incorporate into the mash. The secret turned out to be malt. By adding a small amount of malt to the cereal and mashing a short time before cooking, the cereals become quite thin and stay that way." The bit that I don't have an answer for here is the potential for the extraction of tannins from the barley if we cook the cereal mash to boiling point - surely there would be some tannin extraction from the husks? Apparently you can actually observe the cereal mash thinning out when the enzymes from the malted barley get to work on the unmalted adjuncts...

Turning the beer wankometer down from stratospheric levels, I guess the thing here is to relax, and have a beer - then try unmalted barley in a basic mash with the rest of the grist and give the mash plenty of time to do its thing - maybe give the unmalted barley (with some malted barley added) a 20 minute head start on the main mash and add it in after gelatinisation is well and truly underway...

JM / Wes - Thanks for the info. It's not surprising that the rolled oats we get, especially the quick or one minute varieties of oats, are quite different from one brand to another. A few in the gob and a bit of a chew will soon tell me which box is better - the only problem is having to buy a variety of boxes before I find the one/s that I want to add to the brew!

Cheers,
TL
 

Trough Lolly

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Further to my last thread....I've found a really great article on cereal mashing by Marc Sedam on the Homebrew Digest (HBD Org) - here. It covers gelatinization, using malt in the cereal mash and why. It's a fairly long thread so here are the key paragraphs in it:

All starches created in cereal grains are contained in microscopic packets called "starch granules." Think of a starch granule as a tightly packed collection of long starch molecules balled up. In order to access the starch inside the granule, you have to provide three things: heat, water, and shear (stirring). Providing a combination of these three things will rupture/burst the starch granule and allow the starch molecules inside to be available for whatever you have in store for them. An analogy would be a water balloon, where the starch is the water. The balloon (granule) explodes and the water (starch) goes everywhere. Same same.

<snip>Different starches have different "gelatinization temperatures."...Corn is in the mid-70s (Celsius), wheat is in the 50s (why you don't need to do a cereal mash with wheat, even if it's unmalted), and rice is in the 70-80s. Barley starches are already broken down during the malting process and are available without having to do a cereal mash. Unmalted barley should be treated just like any other adjunct. Do a cereal mash unless it's in the flaked, rolled, or puffed form. ((Because that stuff is already gelatinized! - TL))

<snip>I use yellow corn grits as I live in the South and they are very readily available. But the explanation will hold true if you use polenta or even corn flour (if you had to). Add your grits to the cold water (I use a 1:5 ratio) and start heating. As you heat the grits/water mixture it will start to thicken. This is because the starch granules are starting to swell up as they take on water. The mixture will get thicker and thicker. If you do not stir the grits mixture it will turn into some kind of corn cement and burn like mad. This would be bad. Again, without shear (stirring) the granules won't break. So at some point with regular stirring (usually around 70C) the mixture will all the sudden get thinner. This is the point when the starch granules have started to break down. They release the water they took up and the starches, reducing the thickness (viscosity) of the mixture. After this happens, the mixture will stay a reasonable thickness UNTIL you remove it from the heat.

Once you remove the mix from heat, the starch molecules will automatically start to "retrograde," or curl up on themselves. Starch is a long-chain polysaccharide, meaning that it's made up of hundreds of sugar molecules connected to each other. When starch in solution starts to cool, the long chains start to crystallize (last I knew they actually formed helices). They bind water and the mixture will be
akin to a corn brick. An interesting side note is that some of the starch will crystallize so well that it is no longer available for fermentation or digestion.
Sorry it's such a long quote but I thought I'd share this with you if you want to know more about the use of adjuncts in all grain and part mash brewing...
Cheers,
TL :chug:
 

Doc

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Was making my sons breakfast this morning and the smell of the weetbix with warm milk really smelt like a mash. That got me thinking, can you mash weetbix ?
A weetbix stout ?
Wes ?

Doc
 

wessmith

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Doc, have a look at the contents panel on the packet - how much added sugar and salt....

Wes.
 

Doc

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According to the box, 97% whole grain wheat, then the other 3% is made up of in decreasing order raw sugar, salt, barley malt extract, vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folate) and mineral (iron).

Might as well just used the 50kg of grain in the shed :D

Doc
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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If you do a cereal mash you are doing a mash so the pH drops and you can safely boil the mash.

The horrid Weetbix are held together with malt extract, then they say "no added sugar" on the packet!

A lot of brewers seem to be afraid of doing a cereal mash. Don't worry about it, just do it. 500g oats/polenta or whatever and 1Kg pale malt seems a good ratio.

There is a lot of talk about to the effect there is no need to decoct Pilsner etc grains. That may be true from the standpoint of all grains now being fully modified low protein (apart for wheat) but a decoction improves extract increases melanoidins and adds a nice grainy flavor to the beer. They don't even need to lengthen the brewday too much if you decoct to mash out (i.e. just boil the grains w/o holding at sach rest)

Jovial Monk
 

Trough Lolly

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Thanks JM for the info...I will do a cereal mash - if for nothing other than to broaden my mashing techniques!
Cheers,
TL
 

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