Knut Erik's Homebrew pages

1 - My brewing eq. 2 - Malting
3 - My Maltmill
4 - The Brewing Process
5 - Recipes
6 - Beer serving
7 - Brew log


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Norsk tekst Page no: 2   

Malting  (preliminary issue)

[Picture of equipment]

I make malt from 16 kg barley. This equals about 25 l. From this I get approx. 12-14 kg of malt. Depending of the efficiency when brewing and the beer strength this gives about 40 - 60 l of beer. It is important to check that the barley is untreated, it must not be seed barley. The best barley is especially grown for brewing. It can be stored in a dry and cool place in paper sacks not plastic. In this way the barley can be stored for several years. The finished malt can in the same way be stored for years if you don't want to brew all at once.

[Picture of grain-washing]

Washing of the grain
Washing is done to remove debris such as dirt, straw, dead grains etc. I use a 60 l plastic vessel with water outlet at the top. The vessel is filled with cold water via an ordinary garden hose from the bottom of the vessel. The garden hose is connected via a qiuck connection to the bucket Thereafter the vessel is filled with the grain. The mix is stirred in some minutes, and then the grain will soak to the bottom. Mostly of what is to be removed will float at top. The spout with a strainer directs the water to a sink, while the strainer catches the debris. The stirring is repeated until the water is clear.

When the grain has been cleaned it must be steeped in cold water.While the grain is laying in the vessel, the water is emptied via the intake hose. It is important that the intake to the vessel has a strainer to prevent the grain to run into the sink. The vessel is filled with new fresh cold water. The grain needs oxygen so the mix is stirred. The water has to be changed at least 3 times a day. After about 3 days the grain is ready for couching. The grain contains about 35 % moisture and the volume has increased with about 50 %. It is now ready to be moved to the coaching trays.

I have to trays in perforated stainless steel which I use for coaching. The size is 550 mm x 650 mm each and the holes are 3mm in dia. The trays is mounted inside a wooden frame. The frame has an opening for a two step airheater of 2000 W. The grain is laid on the trays in a hight of 8-10 cm thickness. The temperature in the room should be 14 C - 16 C. At the start a clean cloth is laid over the grain. The grain has to be turned gently by hand 3 times a day to prevent rootless growing together and to allow air to mix into the grain. The chitting occurs in five to seven days and then a little white dot at the bottom of the grain is seen. Then shims up two of the corners of the frame to allow air to circulate. [Picture of my malt] If the grain become to dray spray some water over it. The coaching is stopped to different time depending of what type malt one will make, normally it takes 6 - 10 days. The coaching is finished when the agrospire reaches the end of the grain. The agrospire shall not penetrate through the shell. The grain now takes 30 - 40 % more space than at the start of coaching. The volume has increased to about the double of the barley one started with. One have got the so called "green-malt". Another way to see when the germination is finished is when the roots are about the same length as the grain

[Picture of my grain]

Pilsener (lager): The agrospire is halflength of the grain (fig. 4)

Ale: The agrospire is full-length of the grain (full modified). (fig. 5)

Overmodified malt.(fig. 6)

[Picture of my malting equipment]

Kilning and curing
The greenmalt is dried by turning on the oven to 1000 W. It will be dried by hot air. The correct drying temperature is about 45 - 50 C. The drying process is done for about 24 hour. After that the oven is turned on to 2000 W for curing in 4 hours with a temperature of 70 - 90 C. The malt shall have about 3 % moisture content after curing. If you want a darker beer one part of the malt ( 10 % - 15 %) can be cured at higher temperature 100 - 150 C in an oven.

Cleaning the malt
After curing the dry rootlets must be removed. I do this by shaking the malt several times in a bucked with a lid. The rootlets are then loosened from the malt. Thereafter I pour the malt and rootlets back to the trays and the malt is separated by sighting the trays.

Before the malt can be used for brewing beer it must be chrushed. This should be done short time before brewing to keep most of the taste. For chrushing a maltmill can be used.

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Page no: 2