Home-made malt

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SarahB

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Home-made malt
« on: April 30, 2010, 15:51 »
Has anyone else tried making their own malt (i.e. sprouting their own barley and then toasting it)?  Or is it just me?  I've been looking around for non-crushed barley for ages, then realised pearl barley might sprout - and it does!  :)  Only know the very basic theory of the rest of the process though...

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jonewer

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Re: Home-made malt
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 18:59 »
You want to brew with it?

I dont think theres much point. You can get a 25kg sack of top-grade pale malt for just over £1 per kilo. This equates to around £5 for 40 pints of 4.5%ish beer.

Malting is a major operation, the wetted barley has to be turned continuously for several days and keep at correct temperatures, then roasted for the right time and temp.

Its just not worth it. Its of note that theres virtually zero breweries who produce their own malt.

You can grow your own hops though, specially if you're in Kent! ;)  Major savings there as hops are quite dear at the moment.

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SarahB

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Re: Home-made malt
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2010, 14:51 »
Ew, hops!  :tongue2:   :lol:  Although I did think of growing some to disguise the polytunnel (and to make hop pillows).

I did want to brew with it, but some background first: I used to do (and am looking at doing again) dark age re-enactment.  Time was when every village had their ale-wife, and most households would've brewed their own beer.  People were still doing their own brewing up to about 1800, although I don't know at what point malting was developed, and malt production became a separate part of the brewing process.  Need to do a bit more research on that.

So it was more of an experimental thing than a regular make-at-home-and-save-money thing.  :)   I suspect pearl barley isn't the best product to use either, because the grains just germinated and then went manky, unlike the rice.  (Another experiment!)

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johnnyboy

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Re: Home-made malt
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 01:37 »
This post really interests me. First of all, its pointless malting your own barley. Secondly, all beers contain hops. There is no exception. If you dont believe me, then make some porridge with water, throw in  a shot of vodka, strain, and drink. That is exactly what you`ve made.

Water + Grain + Hops + Yeast = Beer.

HTH Johnnyboy
Confucuos said... "Youve spelt my name wrong"

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SarahB

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Re: Home-made malt
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 02:56 »
First of all, its pointless malting your own barley.

Why?  Just because it's difficult to do doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done...

Quote
Secondly, all beers contain hops. There is no exception.

Now, yes; I believe that's a definition of beer.  I'm more interested in ale, from a historical point of view.  Hops as a flavouring and preservative didn't get to England until well after the Viking period, so they either had to use something else (e.g. herbs) or nothing at all.  Don't know about the malt though; they may just have fermented grain.

Incidentally, Brew Your Own magazine ran an article on making your own malt in their August '97 issue, though they admit there are issues with home production of pale malt.

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AnnieB

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Re: Home-made malt
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 16:30 »
Suppose at some time someone added a small quantity of malt to a batch of beer and found it improved the flavor. And that someone and the people that took up the idea must have made it in small amounts.

Sometime afterwards the production of malt will have come around, probably to get more uniformity and then breweries started to buy from them rather then make it themselves. Also the production is a bit labourous.

Could look round for a malthouse which holds visits and go along and enquire. Explain you are from a historical group and you are interested in how malt would have been produced on a small scale, in modern terms a single micro brewery that produced everything itself.



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