How much malt and do i need to grind?

Production methods from starch to sugars.

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How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sat Feb 02, 2013 3:30 pm

Hi I am going to do an all grain mash.
I have corn and a 50 lb bag of 2 row malted barley.

I have been reading and and reading recipes and they are so wildly different as far as amounts of malted grain.

Some recipes say to use as little as 2 Lbs of malt for 8 lbs of corn... that is a huge contrast to other recipes that I have read.
I tried to do this research on my own here on the forums and elsewhere but now I am stuck!

I am going to do 10 gallon batches

What i have found is about
17 lbs of corn malted with 3-5 lbs of malted barley (two row)
Does that seem a reasonable amount of malt to chew that corn up in a mashing??

Also how fine do I have to mill the malted barley ???

As always thanks in advance.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:04 pm

Also do I just mash it in the whole ten gallons?
I have seen people suggest saving a couple gallons out to rinse out the grain(s)?
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:11 pm

it goes by DP.and you need at least a average of 30DP
if your using malted corn then you dont need to add other malt if you dont want to.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:31 pm

i am using unmalted corn for starch and flavor and barely malt for chewing up the starches
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:30 pm

2 row base malt has a DP of 140, ,,you need at least 30 per lb. so if using a total of10 lb of grain..
10x 30=300< 140=2.14 or 3 lbs will do it.

6 row is about 160DP. again take the 300 needed ,,300<160=1.875lb/2 lb would do this
as malt varies i can tell you the exact amount to use.you can always use more but not less.
this goes by DP and the amount of grain used.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:15 pm

Thanks man I think that I got it more or less.

I got an old family recipe that says

10 gallons of water
17 lbs of rough ground corn (not flour)
5 lbs barley on the root.
cook light and let set open one day.
let rest 10 days.

So that makes some sense to your formula

What I dont have any idea of is how to grind this malted barley.
Some things that I have read indicated just cracked.
As I do not own a mill and only need 5 lbs should I just rolling pin it?
Or should I toss it in a food processor?

I have a small coffee grinder and could turn it into dust a half cup at a time if that is best???

Thank you very VERY much for your help.


I have made real real bad whiskey.... I am now trying to take the next step
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:23 pm

thats not going to do much unless you cook the corn first.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:32 pm

i assumed to cook the corn up as usual to start with
so 5 lbs isnt really shy for 17 lbs of corn?

thanks again my friend
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:51 pm

just by looking id say its marginal.Id use more.
the right way is to go by the DP of malt.
say your using 2row with a DP of 120, and a total of 20 lb of grain..
20x30 =600<120=5lb the lest amount of malt needed .
so you see its right on the edge .
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:40 am

Ok so I will up the bill to 8 lbs and give it a try.
I guess if its real low potential I can add sugar.

I really wanted to go all grain but I really dont want to waste 40 gallons of wash without good results.

Does anyone have an opinion as too how fine the barley malt needs to be?
I have a coffee grinder but it will turn it direct into powder.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby bellybuster » Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:17 am

If you have a local beer brewing club there will be someone willing to mill for you. For a small fee the local brewing supplies place should do it too.
I wouldn't use a coffee mill, but that's me.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby MitchyBourbon » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:21 am

I have used a rolling pin to grind malted 2 row for beer. I does a nice job and you can control the crack size. The only down sides are it's slow and messy. The barley has a tendency to fly all over the place. If I had to do it over I'd try my local brew shop. +1 bellybuster

Crack it to 4 to 6 bits. It doesn't have to be perfect.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Jimbo » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:42 am

Xnerd wrote:17 lbs of rough ground corn (not flour)
5 lbs barley on the root.
cook light and let set open one day.


Dont cook the barley with the corn or you'll kill the enzymes on the barley that do the convertin. Ive had good luck doing 10 gallon batches of bourbon wth 23% barley/77% corn, my recipe is a spin off of NCHOOCH's bourbon, sized up for 10 gal and goes like this....

16.6 lbs cracked corn (1/3 bag)
12 gallons water
5 lbs 2 row
2 tsp gypsum
2 quarts backset. I have ziplocks with 2 quarts backset each frozen now for doing these AG mashes (to lower the pH).

* Bring 12 gallons water, gypsum and backset to a boil.
* Add the corn and stir constantly until it returns to a boil. Then shut off the heat. Done for now, went upstairs to watch TV and have a beer, going downstairs every 30 min or so to stir the goo.
* After 3 hours I used a wort chiller to finish dropping the thick gelatinized corn to 149. Damn it smells good, like corn bread. Then I slowly added the 5 lbs malt, stirring constantly to avoid clumping.
*wrapped it up tight with a quilt blanket, and let it sit. It settled at 148. Done for tonight. Ill stir a couple times but then going to bed. Tomorrow morning Ill pitch the yeast.

The corn will scorch easily if youre cookin it and not stirring. Thats why I chose to just boil th water alone, then add the corn and stir for 10 min or so until it came back to boil. It works out fine, I get a 1.048 SG from it. Not the best conversion in the world, but at $11 a bag for corn Im not losing sleep over it, and seems to be what others get with other methods on here as well.

+1 to finding a brewing friend or brewshop to mill your malt. Or you can buy a maltmill for $100 if you think you'll be doing this for a while. Agree with dunders comments elsewhere tho that you dont buy a 22' boat to see if you like fishing haha ;-) Wisdom.

Cheers, good luck. Dont get frustrated with badbatches, its all part of the learning. Once you get the hang of it you'll see theres nothing to it, if you just follow the right steps carefully.

Edit: One of those 'right steps' is to aerate the wash after its cooled and before you pitch the yeast. Very important!, yeast needs oxygen for its first step in your wash. Use a large spoon and froth it up until your arm is about to fall off. Dont skip this step.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:11 am

Well everything is like corn meal as I used a coffee grinder.

Hope this will be good.

The malt is slightly more coarse
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:08 am

Ok so here is what I ended up doing.

I ended up doing 10 gallons with 15 lbs corn and 10 lbs malted 2 row.

Cooked the corn at 73 c stirring constantly for about 7 minutes and every few minutes there after until the temp dropped to 65c at witch time I added the 10 lbs of crushed malt. I stirred it in real good and then let it set stirring it up every 15 minutes. SO far its be setting one hour and I tasted a bit and its already VERY sweet.

I have read some people leave this set all night before racking it into a a carboy for fermenting? Its all in my basement which is only 65F.
I sort of wanted to do another ten gallons.

Should I simply let it sit until its yeast pitching temp then rack it, or is it best to leave it sit longer (the better)
I will test with iodine in a couple of hours either way but I dont want to rush it.
AM I better off trying to get rid of the solids or leave them in wash as I ferment it?

Thank you everyone for your help.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby MitchyBourbon » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:24 am

I like to let mine sit over night, helps in getting a full conversion and it breaks up the work a bit. This does however increase the danger of infections so keep everything clean.

If you do another batch and plan to rack the liquid off the first batch, try putting your spent grain in oa bucket and rinsing them good with warm water and strain off for use in your next batch. When cooking the corn for your next batch bring the temp up slowly and this will help thin of out.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:31 am

I can do this but I guess I dont understand why you rinse the old grain. Is there some undesirable leftovers after mashing?

I just dont know if I should ferment filtered clean wash by racking and straining or just not worry about the grain in the carboys?

Does it even matter?
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:32 am

This is amazing, the mash is almost sickening sweet! I did not expect that at all.
Once it sits a while Ill get a hydrometer reading and post it.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby MitchyBourbon » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:38 am

Lots of people like to ferment on the grain. I do not, so rinsing helps to get some of the last bits of converted mash and helps to get better conversion on the next batch.

But if you are fermenting on the grain these steps would not be helpful. I was just under the impression you were planning to rack after mashing.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:47 am

I guess what I was I was asking is if I should really worry about filtering every bit of the old mash out when racking to carboys.
I dont really plan on intentionally leaving every bit in the fermenters

I actully held a gallon of water back so that I could start some yeast. Ill rinse the grains and then pitch the yeast in that in a pot.

this really isnt any worse then sugar washes.. or UJSM. Its actually enjoyable if anything.

Ill wait at least 5 or 6 hours before racking this off. Maybe ill just wait until morning.

Thanks for all the info!!!
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:19 pm

what i do,,rack off what you have into fermenter,,,add yeast etc...
now add water to old grain (some do it in steps like 1/4 water at a time.)
now stir old grain,rack this in to pot and use it to make the next mash.
(this "sparg" water will have 2-3%? sugars.) so using it in next mash will
save the sugars.with out boiling it down as its done with beer.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:41 pm

So what would be the minimum time that I just leave this mash set before racking it and pitching the yeast?

It has sit for the initial 90 minutes where I stirred it every 15. Plus another hour and a half now.
The reason for my particular confusion here is that I have seen where some people simply wait ONLY until the temperature is down under 100F and rack it and pitch there yeast into carboys.
I have seem MORE people say just walk away and wait till morning.

There are so many different opinions :P
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:42 pm

Oh and it is already in the only pot that I have so would I just add a new ten gallons of water? and leave everything in?
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:53 pm

i will take you one step at a time.......
1)rack the clear into fermenter...add yeast etc..
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:18 pm

Rack it now?

Shouldnt it sit for a while?
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:27 pm

you can ,yes..after that come back....

this does not have to be perfectly clear as we will be using what is not.
we just dont want "big chunks"
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:35 pm

Its still 41C so I racked some into two carboys to help cool.
I got the yeast started with lots of O2.

It shouldnt be that much longer and I can cap them off
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Xnerd » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:37 pm

Also the hydrometer says 1065
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Fastill » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:39 pm

Xnerd wrote:Rack it now?

Shouldnt it sit for a while?

Maybe your use of terminology is confused. I hope this helps....
Racking it is pulling off the liquid and leaving the grain behind in your cooking pot ... Fermenting OFF the grain.
Then sparging is what you do to the used grain bed after racking to get out the sugars that stayed behind after racking. Soak the leftover grain in enough 150-170 degree water to cover it for 10-15 minutes and drain this water into another container and use it to cook your next batch of new grain, or boil it down to decrease the water, resulting in higher sugar concentration and more potential ABV per volume. I usually pull close to 3% on my unboiled sparge water from beer brewing, but that is cooking 4 pounds of grain per gallon of water. You will most likely get less, but still don't want to waste it.
Instead of sparging, you can also do a sugarhead on the cooked grains, and keep it seperate from your allgrain runs. I do this alot.
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Re: How much malt and do i need to grind?

Postby Dnderhead » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:43 pm

when you have it all racked off come back..
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