Malting your own rye

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Postby Uncle Remus » Fri Nov 24, 2006 12:04 pm

I believe beano has alpha amylase.

I ordered some enzymes from mile hi distilling in the states. It was a pain in the ass. It took a long time to get it cause it got held up in customs. The assholes had to open up the bags and check them, even though they were clearly marked what they were. Then the pricks never sealed them back up properly and just stuffed them back in the envelope. :evil: So it gets to the post office here and is leaking white power, so they were kinda concerned, till I told them what it was. NEVER AGAIN. ...too much BS
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Postby Big J » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:01 am

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Malting your own rye

Postby birdwatcher » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:31 am

Uncle Remus wrote:
Then the pricks never sealed them back up properly and just stuffed them back in the envelope. :evil: So it gets to the post office here and is leaking white power, so they were kinda concerned, till I told them what it was. NEVER AGAIN. ...too much BS



Assholes. Did you notice they probably charged you a $5.00 service charge to inspect the parcel.

This is the crap we have to go through, when we buy from the States.

I'm talking about Canadian customs BTW.

G
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Postby Uncle Remus » Mon Nov 27, 2006 12:43 pm

No they never charged anything, not even duty or gst for that matter. Mile Hi sent it in heavy vacuum sealed bags which were clearly marked.

I can sort of understand checking it and all, being a white powder coming across an international border, but they could have at least taken the time to seal em back up properly. But no, they just put a tag on the bags saying they were opened by customs and tossed them back in the envelope. They managed to scare some postal workers, thinking it could be anthrax or something else equally as nasty. :roll: friggin' bozos!
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:01 am

Fortunately I have a mailbox in the US which is about 90 mins from me. I have to use it for my business anyways, so I pickup from there once a week.

Basically I'm convinced though that if you look hard enough, you can probably find whatever you need without having to order outside the country.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just 10x easier to malt your own stuff and forget about ordering the amylase.

I have 4 more lbs of rye thats about 2 days away from being done the malting process, and it really hasn't taken much time at all to do this second time around.
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Postby possum » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:24 am

Sorry the customs guys are giving you a hard time UncleRemus.


Speedfreaksteve, Congrats on geting the rye to malt nicely.
I hope the rye mash makes a nice product.
Did you det your rye from a farmer, or in the mail?
Did it have husk on it, or was it naked?
I might just have to try the malting if I can do it in a big tupperware.
I think roasting the malt could be tricky, as too much heat can deactivate the starch converting enzymes.

You could possibly use 6-row or 2-row barleymalt tea added to an un-malted rye mash, but you seem to desire an all rye product.

Bootleg Rye whiskey was pretty traditional in this ares (Southern PA), and was being made untill the early 70's. I haven't heard of anyone makin it lately, other than a couple bottles I drank (from rye flour).
I'd be intrested to find out how spicey the hootch made from the malted rye tastes, as my flour made rye was milder than I expected,it was nice and smooth, but I'm looking for a bolder taste.
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Postby Tater » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:34 am

Ive made rye wiskey with all malted rye and 50 50 mix of rye and malted rye.And other mixes . To my taste anyway more rye used thats not malted peppery the taste is.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Tue Nov 28, 2006 8:38 am

I live in a big city with about 100 health food stores, some of which carry rye sold in bulk and ready to malt as is.

I just used cookie sheets with paper towels on top and bottom. Each sheet I have 1 and 1/3rd lbs of rye. I have all 3 cookie sheets stacked on top of each other and in a garbage bag to hold the moisture in. I keep it in my furnace room to ensure its nice and warm.

For malting, I have an oven in my kitchen that is digital. It goes down to 160 F so thats what I set it at. Took about 8 hours to do the last batch, with me stirring the grains around to make sure it dries evenly.

The reason I simply didn't use malted barley is that ALL of the homebrew shops in my city have disappeared. It was a thriving hobby here years ago, but everyone (including myself) seems to have switched over to winemaking instead. Probably due to the same reason that I did, winemaking is cheaper, faster, easier, and wine is less fattening.

The closest place for me to get malted barley is over an hour drive away, so I'm not going to bother with that. If I'm in that area sometime maybe I'll get 20 lbs to use later.

I'll see how it goes, rye grains are quite cheap here and if this works, then it seems that making rye would be cheaper for me to make than anything else, except vodka. My favorite part about malting is that it literally costs pennies to do for having my oven going on the lowest setting all day.
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hmm

Postby Uncle Jesse » Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:54 pm

i'm not sure about sterile malting conditions. clean, perhaps, but in scotland at least they have huge malting floors and guys walk around in them stirring the grain every so often.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Tue Nov 28, 2006 1:32 pm

I'm pretty sure that my conditions are just as clean as at least some smaller scale malting operations that I've seen on TV.

I'm really only concerned with ergot and I'm keeping my eyes out for that and also doing testing of many samples of malted rye just to make certain.

Of course I'm malting rye for almost immediate use anyways so that definately is safer in my mind than malted rye that has been stored and transported over a period of time.
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Postby AllanD » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:46 am

"sterile malting"? that one made me laugh so hard I spilled my coffee....
The grain certainly isn't sterile, if it were it couldn't be malted.
It's like safe Sex, if someone gets pregnant it obviously wasn't safe...
and THAT is the heart of the issue.

Ergot is easily tested for. Rye grain doesn't float, ergot infected kernels do. if you see anything floating discard the ENTIRE batch of rye.
(If in doubt, throw it out)

Ergot is rare in the US, primarily because ergot is more of a threat when Rye is grown in climates that are more humid than is usually the case in areas of the US where rye is typically grown, but it's still a source of concern because of the potential effects....

With oats there is another issue, Oats have another fungus, the name of which escapes me at the moment, which is more or less endemic to oats and it is only activated by the damp malting process, but unlike ergot the toxin produced by that fungus has no effects other than simply being deadly... I've malted my own Rye, I leave oats alone....


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Postby Uncle Remus » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:39 am

"sterile malting"? that one made me laugh so hard I spilled my coffee....
The grain certainly isn't sterile, if it were it couldn't be malted.
It's like safe Sex, if someone gets pregnant it obviously wasn't safe...
and THAT is the heart of the issue.


Not sterile as in shooting blanks. Sterile as in bacteria free conditions, sterile as in clean, the way your fermenter should be before putting down a mash to ferment.
Last edited by Uncle Remus on Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:08 pm

Yes I've been doing this under clean conditions and as sterile conditions that I can have while still being practical about it considering I'm doing it in my kitchen and basement..

I've found that in this second batch I've improved my methods slightly and I'm getting a more consistent batch of malted rye. Just stirring it more than once everyday as I did the first time and keeping the moisture at a higher level has improved things noticably.

I just wish I had the capacity to malt alot more rye at a time. Maybe I'll try and build something one day if the rye and bourbon that I end up making is any good.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:42 pm

I was thinking a guy could build a tray with window screen on the bottom something like this:
Image

If you found a pan or something big enough to set it inside, you could cover the grain with water and lift it out to change the water and rinse the grain daily.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:48 am

That's a pretty decent idea. The ony problem that I can see is if the grains overgerminate they'll get intertwined in the screen. But I guess the window screening is pretty tough though and it shouldn't be too hard to clean the shoots off of.

You would still need a pretty big reservoir to put that in though if you wanted to malt a decent amount at a time.
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Postby Tater » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:24 am

Looks like malting on sheets of cardboard would work. cardboard would hold dampness could cover with another pice if doing outside or in cooler temps.
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Postby level Joe » Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:54 am

Wouldnt that make it smell bad (wet cardboard)?
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Postby Uncle Remus » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:10 am

Cardboard might be a breeding ground for bacteria too.
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Postby Tater » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:53 am

Now how could it be worse then puttin soaked grain in a sack and burying in leaves like its been done here for long as shines been made?
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Postby Uncle Remus » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:07 pm

Probably wouldn't be...but now I'm paranoid about the ergot thing.
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Postby level Joe » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:48 pm

I think Ill pass on both methods.
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Postby Tater » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:03 pm

Uncle Remus wrote:Probably wouldn't be...but now I'm paranoid about the ergot thing.
Wonder when last reported case of anyone getting poisioned by it was.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:16 pm

If you could make a large metal tray that was enclosed and control the humidity and heat, thats all you would need. Just stir it up every once in awhile and then dry it out in a food dehydrator or oven when you're done.

For now I'm just sticking with my small scale operation here and just going to malt 3-4 lbs a week for now until I have enough stock to make a crapload of rye, which means I have many more weeks of malting to go.

Uncle Remus wrote:Probably wouldn't be...but now I'm paranoid about the ergot thing.


Well I haven't hallocinated or died since last night. So I'm guessing mine is safe. ;)

I did my 1st run whiskey that included malted rye in it last night. Recipe was 7 lbs corn, 1 lb malted rye, 1 lb unmalted rye and 8 lbs of sugar. For the mash I just used all of the rye and 1 lb of the corn. I disilled with most of the grains removed.

I was abit worried at first, I always take a small taste of the wash before I distill just in case I learn something based on that. This time the wash didn't taste too good. The spiciness of the rye I suspect did that.

Anyways, it was the best tasting whiskey that I've made so far. Not that it's saying much based on my other ones. But I can tell that with one more run this stuff will be pretty good.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:46 pm

Wonder when last reported case of anyone getting poisioned by it was.


Your right Tater. There probably hasn't been a case of ergotism in the last hundred years.

God hates a coward! So here we go my first attempt at malting. My partner built me a wood tray to put under my screen. I lined it with poly to hold the water, put 5 lbs of rye on the screen and wet it down. I got it sitting by my wood stove in the basement....we shall see what happens.

Image[/quote]
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Postby muckanic » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:14 pm

="tater". Now how could it be worse then puttin soaked grain in a sack and burying in leaves like its been done here for long as shines been made?


Coz at least the sack won't disintegrate, unlike cardboard? :)

I suspect the most practical way to go for humidity control would be some sort of plastic container with numerous small holes punched in the lid to allow the grain to breathe, but not so large that the moisture escapes too fast. A shallow and wide container would be better than deep, eg, a toy box rather than a rubbish bin. For the obsessive tinkerers, some sort of false bottom could be rigged up to keep all the grain out of the water. Even a bit of foam would be better than nothing. Maybe experiment with holes in cling-wrap before sacrificing the original lid. Or maybe a fabric covering could be the way to go, as with the sack idea.
Last edited by muckanic on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:08 pm

Looks like I got to be the guinea pig on this one, but I got to enjoy a nice liter of whiskey this weekend so I don't mind.

Uncle Remus, did you steep that rye first? I've found that if I take a full 24 hours to steep mine but draining and refilling the water once or twice in the middle, that I end up with alot of grains already sprouting.

I can't wait to hear how that setup works out though. Right now I'm just using a whole bunch of cookie sheets wrapped in a garbage bag. Seems to work pretty good so far, but your setup is alot more practical in the long term for decent quantities if it works.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:35 am

No I never steeped it. I just put it on the screen and then covered it with warm water. I've been changing the water once a day. There are no funky smells or any signs of mold. This morning the first rootlets are starting to appear. I'll see how much they've grown by tonight and maybe start drying them.

Steve what kinda rye mash did you end up making ? All rye? or did you use some corn with it?
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Mon Dec 04, 2006 10:05 am

Well I'm now on my 4th batch of malting since I've been doing a continuous cycle. Even steeping the next batch when I know I'm one day away from stopping the germination and putting the previous batch in the oven.

First one was the 2 lbs of rye (one malted one unmalted) and the rest corn.

Second one is 2 lbs malted rye, 1/2 lb malted barley and the rest corn (about 6 lbs). Still fermenting.

Third one I have the fermenter half filled with corn and table sugar already fermenting. I have 4 and a half lbs of rye that I just finished malting last night and I'm going to mash that and add that in tonight.

No matter what I would recommend steeping next time to see if you get a different result. The first batch I did, I didn't steep much and on the next ones when I steeped for 24 hours I got abit higher percentage of sprouting (probably 97% instead of 90%), but that's just a meaningless guess.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Mon Dec 04, 2006 11:31 am

What do you call steeping Steve? When I think of steeping I think of making tea. Also how long did you let the rootlets grow? The ones in my batch now are about 1/2 the length of the grain kernel and at a glance it appears nearly all of them are sprouted.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:18 pm

Steeping is what some of the malters refer to as just letting the grains soak for a long time. You basically drain the water and then let it sit for a few minutes and then refill. They usually do this a few times over a 24 hour period. Almost all of them were sprouting before I even put them on the trays. I definately liked that fact.

I just found that method worked better for me in my setup, but if yours are all rooting just fine then nothing for you to worry about. I think I might have to try your method out too, seems like the best way for doing 5 lbs at a time.

Are you stirring things up abit? Just asking, not sure if you need to, just can't tell how high you have your tray filled to.
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