Malting your own rye

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Postby Uncle Remus » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:25 pm

Yeah I've been stirring it with my hand once or twice a day. It's probably a cm or so deep. Actually I just took it out of the bottom try and have the screen suspended between two chairs. I figure the grain is plenty saturated enough to continue sprouting. Did you let your's go till the sprout was the length of the kernel more or less?

I'm not sure how I'm gonna dry it. My oven only goes down to 170 deg F. I think thats a bit warm... I don't want to kill the enzyme. Maybe I'll just keep it by the woodstove for a day or two after I figure it's sprouted enough. Or I guess I could dry it in my smokehouse without using any smoke.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:36 pm

I tried to have mine sprout to the length of the grain on average. On my first batch it was chaos. Some grains were sprouted abit and other ones were half on their way to being a length of rye grass they had sprouted so much. Stirring them more fixed that problem.

My last batch I got them to sprout alot more uniformly. On average they were between the length of a rye grain and 3/4's. Although there were some that had sprouted way more and some that barely sprouted.

This 4th one, the one I steeped for almost 24 hours, I can tell is going better than any of them.
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Postby junkyard dawg » Tue Dec 05, 2006 2:57 am

depending on the humidity, just blowing air across it will remove a lot of moisture. A fan in a low humidity environment will dry it out...
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Postby muckanic » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:24 pm

="speedfreaksteve". 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.


For some reason, the water changes seem to encourage germination (as well as being recommended to reduce infection). Maybe something to do with dissolved oxygen. Stubborn old or immature grains can require a two-day soak.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:42 pm

Well it looks like malting the first 5 lbs was a success. I used an old car warmer heater to dry it. I blows about as hot as a hairdryer on low. I've had it blowing on it for about 12 hours now, it's just about dry enough. It looks like 95% of the grain sprouted, no mold, no funky smells. On Steve's suggestion I've had 5lbs steeping now for 24 hours, I'm gonna lay it out on the screen and malt it too. Then one day soon I'm gonna make an all rye mash with 10lbs malted and 10lbs unmalted with a bit of enzymes.
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:50 pm

Excellent to hear! I also found steeping for 24 hours actually took about 2 days off my total germination time. I'm doing the steeping everytime now.

I'll have to come up with a drying method similar to yours, what I've be doing is taking my oven up to 150F and then shutting it off, and then doing that over and over again throughout the day. Not a great solution, but it's all I have right now. I think my food dehydrator should be a good solution as soon as I get it back from someone I lent it to.

That's going to be a nice sized batch. I love the taste of my current mostly malted rye and abit of cracked corn wash that I have fermenting. I can just tell that it's going to turn out into something good.

My next one is going to be almost similar for a 21L wash, 8lbs malted rye and a pound or two of corn, and a bunch of table sugar with maybe a little backset from the batch I have fermenting now once I do a strip run. I'm currently just doing a constant cycle of 3-4 lbs of malted rye every 4 days. It's amazing how easy it is once you've done it a few times, and the quality of my malted rye is getting abit better each time.

Let me know what kind of SG you get with that all grain mash. On one of my earlier mashes where the malting was far from perfect I was getting a bout 2 gallons of temperature corrected 1.030-1.035 with 4 lbs of malted rye, I'm sure I can do better than that next time.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:21 pm

Steve your 100% correct about the steeping part. I steeped 5 lbs for the 24 hours or so it took to dry the first batch. I dumped the steeped rye out on the screen, set it in the tray, and once a day I packed the screen over to my laundry sink and rinsed it with warm water. This morning the sprouts were all the length of the grain. If I pick up a handfull i'm really pressed to find any grain that's not sprouted. I have it drying now. Thanks for the tip Steve. :D
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Postby speedfreaksteve » Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:18 am

Great to hear that it's working good for you too. I did some additional research and found that some malting companies pretty much just do a day or two of steeping and then one day of setting in a tray before they're ready to dry it all out.

I'm now on a 4 day cycle of malting 3-5lbs of rye and I'm shocked that I can actually make a rye whiskey faster and cheaper than I can make vodka. It's also quite amazing how much a couple lbs of rye can really smooth out the taste of a corn whiskey.
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Postby Uncle Remus » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:39 am

I can't wait to build a mash and give it a go. This batch really malted well. Very consistant, like you said, all the sprouts are about the same length. The smell of it drying reminds me of fresh cut hay.
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Postby muckanic » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:20 pm

="junkyard dawg". depending on the humidity, just blowing air across it will remove a lot of moisture. A fan in a low humidity environment will dry it out...


I have heard of brewers placing their malt in a sack and then into a tumble dryer. Come to think of it, an old top-loading washing machine could also be adapted as a steeping/germination device (prolly with the rotation bit disabled). And bottles can be sanitised in the dishwasher. Aren't modern appliances wonderful? :)
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Postby Uncle Remus » Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:58 pm

That would probably work really well muckanic. You could put in in a pillow case and tie it. The only thing I would have reservations about is picking up the smell of bounce sheets. Every load of clothes that goes through my dryer is usually accompanied by a bounce sheet.

The car warmer blowing up under the screen worked well. I just had to give it a stir with my hand a couple times a day.
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Postby Bujapat » Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:45 pm

I have heard of brewers placing their malt in a sack and then into a tumble dryer. Come to think of it, an old top-loading washing machine could also be adapted as a steeping/germination device (prolly with the rotation bit disabled). And bottles can be sanitised in the dishwasher. Aren't modern appliances wonderful? :)


I made some barley malt with success, and I dried it into a tumble dryer. It works very well... sprouts are detached from grain during drying.

The only one problem is my wife : the dryer has to be cleaned from a lot of dust and grain particles! She appreciates whiskey, but not dust in her dryer!
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Postby triggernum5 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:28 am

In regards to ergot mould, regions tend to have good and bad years for it.. I saw it all over the place in Northern Ontario (Canada) a couple years ago.. In a bad year, even if your crop doesn't visibly show the black little rices that it typically forms into when it really attaches to grains, its likely that spores are still all over the place ready to grow.. Cattle farmers are usually in tune with the local trends (You don't wanna see a cow after its dropped a few hundred tabs of LSA..:) <JK>, but its pretty toxic crap..
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Postby masonjar » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:32 am

Yeah, of course the spores are everywhere. But, as I understood it, the spores are not harmful to humans. They can only infect the rye flower - which would grow into a black-rice grain - which IS harmful to humans. The spore can not directly grow into the black-rice mold all by itself. It is a separate stage of life cycle for the fungus. But even when this black-rice junk happens, it's easy to prevent those grains from being sold in food since they float in water and are extremely easy to separate from healthy grains.

When you spoke of recent Canadian ergot - were you speaking of human infection? I can understand how a cow might become infected since they wander grass fields eating grain indiscriminately.
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Postby shadylane » Sat Nov 17, 2007 4:40 am

I've heard of using a "garbage disposal" to grind up green malt.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby MountedGoat » Wed Apr 23, 2008 11:13 am

So I am trying to malt my own rye right now and just to make sure that I am on the same page as the rest, the unmalted rye that you are mashing in is just the seed that I am malting? I am going to just try out a small batch to see how it comes out and then build up a little screen to do a larger amount. Thanks to you guys for trying this out in such detail and letting us know the process.

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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby big worm » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:19 am

UR how did the rye turn out in a mash? and finished product? and by what means did you git rid of the sprouts after drying? you do have to remove as much as you can right?
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Re:

Postby big worm » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:22 am

shadylane wrote:I've heard of using a "garbage disposal" to grind up green malt.

wonders how a big sausage grinder would work for green malt
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Uncle Remus » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:06 pm

I never removed all the sprouts and the distillate had an earthy kinda grassy flavor, not unpleasant but not what I was after either. I still got a few lbs of that malt left, when I go to use it I will try to get rid of the sprouts... not really sure how I will go about it yet.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Dnderhead » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:16 pm

If the grain is dyed, sack in dryer works good, or place in sack and beat against a post. then winnow.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Hack » Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:41 pm

To elaborate some on what dnderhead said. With malted corn, I've dried it then dumped it in an old pillow case and beat it against concrete steps. That knocked off the sprouts and roots. To separate them I put a house fan on a kitchen chair and put a catch bucket in front of the chair. I dumped the corn through the airstream of the fan. The heavier corn landed in the bucket while the roots and stems blew away. Should work with other grains as well.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Dnderhead » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:04 pm

good on you hack, do not mined at all, I know what I know,, but cant always put down on this light box,,
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby big worm » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:28 pm

same here dnder. i got 5# of corn soaking if i can malt it i'll do larger amount at a time.once the malt is dry and clean, do you use it in a cracked form or can it be ground into a powder whats best?
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Dnderhead » Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:45 pm

I like cracked some ware be tween "feed" and "corn meal". too corse takes to long to cook to fine and have hard time gitting off lees.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Fourway » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:17 am

Ergot does not infect dry rye in the bag, or cracked rye, or rye flour or soaked rye grains that you are germinating or rye sprouts or dry rye malt.
Ergot wont even grow in wet cracked rye that you intentionally leave out to mold and rot.
Ergot spores are transmitted between outcrossing flowering grasses (like rye) by pollinating insects and only when the plants are in bloom. It is essentially a sexually transmitted disease for grain.
If your grain isn't getting busy having grain sex it cannot catch or grow ergot.

Nobody needs to worry about this.

There are presumably ugly bacteria that can infect oats and rye during sprouting, but absolutely every mention of these nasties seems to lead back to a single unsubstantiated claim in a book about gardening for home brewing. That warning uses the apparently fictitious word "butrifying"... the fact is rotted grain can be poisonous... or not... depends on what it's infected with. Rule of thumb, don't use it if it's rotting.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby st00ge » Tue Mar 10, 2009 4:43 am

Just got a 25kg sack of whole barley and was thinking i might try malting a lil,
curious if anyone has tried a higher temp when kilning to go for a more "crystal malt"?
This method is attractive to me for the faster kilning time but it does kill the enzymes (this doesnt matter coz wont be using to convert unmalted grains? i think).
This is a snip from another forum i was reading:
Green malt is converted into pale malt or crystal (caramel) malt by drying it at different temperatures.

To make pale malt place the large baking pan of green malt over a heat source of 100¡ to 125¡ F for 24 hours or until the malt contains 12 percent moisture (18 ounces for the original test pound). The heat source can be an oven with only the pilot light on or the top of a gas refrigerator. Final drying takes place in your oven at a temperature of 140¡ to 160¡ F. To maintain this temperature range use your floating thermometer and turn on the oven for brief periods until the moisture content is reduced near 2 percent to 6 percent. The malt will weigh the original amount (16 ounces in the case of the test pound). The weight of the moisture in the malt is compensated by the absence of debris such as husk dirt that was washed off the grains during soaking. Turn the malt every half hour, and dry the malt slowly, raising the temperature over time to protect the starch-converting enzymes.

Malted wheat and corn should be dried entirely at the lower temperature of 100¡ to 125¡ F. The finished barley malt should be crunchy to the bite and taste slightly sweet. If it is rock hard and the interior glassy in appearance, don't use it because something went wrong in the germination. Try another batch and be more careful the second time around.

To make crystal malt place green malt on a cookie sheet in a 212¡ F oven for one hour or until the grains turn golden brown. Crystal malt imparts sweetness and brown color to homebrew without the burnt flavor characteristic of roasted malts.

will a hot, fast kiln be ok?
hope im on the right track and thanks for any opinions.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby Dnderhead » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:44 am

http://howtobrew.com/section4/chapter20-4.html
snoop around that site it is on beer but it has good explanation and direction.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby st00ge » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:41 pm

Thanks for the link dunder, ill check it out
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby muckanic » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:02 pm

st00ge wrote:Just got a 25kg sack of whole barley and was thinking i might try malting a lil,
curious if anyone has tried a higher temp when kilning to go for a more "crystal malt"?will a hot, fast kiln be ok?


Wouldn't have thought so. The general idea with crystal malt is that you take some moisture-saturated malt, hold it in the kiln at mashing temperatures for a while to develop some sugars, then torch it for the caramel. Without the sugars, you just get a dark malt.
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Re: Malting your own rye

Postby olddog » Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:12 pm

I have a bag of toasted malt barley, does anyone have a recipe I can use to produce a nice whisky?
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