How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiskey)

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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:29 am

Kareltje wrote:And it got slimey and developed en strong smell.

I'm wondering how closely you followed my method, Kareltje, because I'm about 95% sure that you soaked the first batch of grains too long and drowned them?

In that scenario, few, if any, grains will sprout, and they will tend to go sour -- undergo a lactic acid fermentation -- more than anything. I know that's what happened with me, anyway, until I started doing it the way that I do it now.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Kareltje » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:36 am

Buccaneer Bob wrote:
Kareltje wrote:And it got slimey and developed en strong smell.

I'm wondering how closely you followed my method, Kareltje, because I'm about 95% sure that you soaked the first batch of grains too long and drowned them?

In that scenario, few, if any, grains will sprout, and they will tend to go sour -- undergo a lactic acid fermentation -- more than anything. I know that's what happened with me, anyway, until I started doing it the way that I do it now.

Do not wonder, be sure I didn't. :mrgreen:
I did it at first with wheat to prevent it from drying out and it seemed a succes: the wheat sprouted very well.
But then the sheet was fresh and I suspect it got filled with whatever stuff there grows. Even thought I washed it between batches.
Reading your method and seeing my own result I guessed I had suffocated the poor grain.
Next batch I made more according your way: open to air and less wet and it sprouted beautifully. And much faster too.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:04 pm

Ah, okay, very good.

Well, I guess let us know how the green malt works out, going forward. :thumbup:
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Jimy Dee » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:15 am

Folks, may I ask this question please. I have no difficulty sprouting and drying the malted barley. My goal is an all malted barley white dog. I have a grain mill, and I was thinking of thoroughly drying the malted grains but skipping the phase of knocking the roots off (I don't have the machinery for it), after that I will simply mill the dried malted grains AND attached roots, and then ferment the whole lot. I have no doubt it can be done but what flavour / cock up will the roots add to the end product. To clarify I will not mill until the malted grains are fully dry (I understand green malt is mushy and I am not going to go with mush, I will wait until grains are fully dry and hard). Jimy D.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Fri Jun 01, 2018 6:56 am

Jimy Dee wrote:Folks, may I ask this question please. I have no difficulty sprouting and drying the malted barley. My goal is an all malted barley white dog. I have a grain mill, and I was thinking of thoroughly drying the malted grains but skipping the phase of knocking the roots off (I don't have the machinery for it), after that I will simply mill the dried malted grains AND attached roots, and then ferment the whole lot. I have no doubt it can be done but what flavour / cock up will the roots add to the end product. To clarify I will not mill until the malted grains are fully dry (I understand green malt is mushy and I am not going to go with mush, I will wait until grains are fully dry and hard). Jimy D.

Are you after a nicely flavored liquor or just grain alcohol?

If you're after flavor, I'd highly recommend removing the roots (it's really super easy) and curing/kilning the grain, per my instructions. Believe me, you will gain so much flavor profile for the amount of work you put into it.

But if you're only after neutral grain alcohol, then sure, skip as much as you want after the germination procedure and go straight to milling and mashing if you like.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Jimy Dee » Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:52 am

B Bob
I am after a top class whiskey, not just spirit.

I have commercially purchased distillers malted barley, but it is expensive. Agricultural 2 row is easily available and I wanted to get this matled.

I am going on the basis that an ALL malted will be nicer that partly (say 25%) malted - am Icorrect in this?

On the basis that I am on the correct track (all malted grain whiskey better than partly malted grains) I was thinking of either
A. Using 50% commercial distillers malted barley PLUS 50% milled unmalted barley grains
OR
B. Using 50% commercial distillers malted barley PLUS 50% home malted barley

(If I got good at the malting I would go 100% home malted grains)

I appreciate I only need around 25% malted barley for its diastetic power, but I am after as good a drop as I can make without the real high expense of using ALL commercial purchased malted barley. That is why I was after a way of malting barley without the roots having to be removed. But as I am after quality, and if roots gone is a requirement, then roots gone is a must.

I will follow your procedure and see how I get on. Thanks again.

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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Jimy Dee » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:08 am

B Bob - fast question please, at para 6.2 you state = 6.2 Sift the grain through a cross-breeze to blow rootlets away from grain.
I presume a "cross-breeze" is not a specific item you have in your country, but instead just a breeze that blows across the grains being sifted? JD
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Fart Vader » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Also, an extremely simple and effective way of breaking off the rootlets is to put your malt in a 5 gallon pail then use a drill with a drywall paddle attached. Works amazingly well. Then use the fan or breeze “filter” method.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:00 pm

Jimy Dee wrote:B Bob
I am after a top class whiskey, not just spirit.

I have commercially purchased distillers malted barley, but it is expensive. Agricultural 2 row is easily available and I wanted to get this matled.

I am going on the basis that an ALL malted will be nicer that partly (say 25%) malted - am Icorrect in this?

On the basis that I am on the correct track (all malted grain whiskey better than partly malted grains) I was thinking of either
A. Using 50% commercial distillers malted barley PLUS 50% milled unmalted barley grains
OR
B. Using 50% commercial distillers malted barley PLUS 50% home malted barley

(If I got good at the malting I would go 100% home malted grains)

I appreciate I only need around 25% malted barley for its diastetic power, but I am after as good a drop as I can make without the real high expense of using ALL commercial purchased malted barley. That is why I was after a way of malting barley without the roots having to be removed. But as I am after quality, and if roots gone is a requirement, then roots gone is a must.

I will follow your procedure and see how I get on. Thanks again.

Jimy Dee

If I were you, I'd pursue malting your own and shoot for 100% self-malted grain.

And I'd really explore the kilning/roasting options.

Have you ever brewed beer? There are just incredible, incredible flavor variables that a brewer can play with when making beer.

So now, think about making use of those flavor variables for making a quality whisky/whiskey.

I mean, it really boggles the mind when you think about it.

If you wanna distinguish your whisky/whiskey from everybody else's, that is prime territory to start with.

Jimy Dee wrote:B Bob - fast question please, at para 6.2 you state = 6.2 Sift the grain through a cross-breeze to blow rootlets away from grain.
I presume a "cross-breeze" is not a specific item you have in your country, but instead just a breeze that blows across the grains being sifted? JD

That is correct.

The deal is that the roots are more susceptible than the grain is to being blown sideways with the wind.

Basically, the grain falls pretty much straight down from where you sprinkle it while the roots will blow, say, two feet to the side of where the grain falls.

So if you put a collection bin of some sort under the grain, it falls into the bin and the roots fall to the side of it.

Does that make sense?
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Jimy Dee » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:02 am

Thanks Buccaneer, that makes full sense. I never made beer. I will start with simply drying the grains and move from there. If I nailed a nice white dog, let roasting of grains follow. Great information and thank u. Jimy Dee.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:25 am

I consider kiln drying the malt an important part of the malting process.
It will also take care of your rootlet problem. I kiln my malts at about 200F and the roots become very dry and brittle, falling off the grains with minimal effort.

“Roasted” malts is something different, done at higher temps.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:55 pm

Glad to help, Jimy Dee.

And thanks for the input, Fart Vader and MichiganCornhusker. After all my time on other social media, I keep looking for the "Like" button to like people's post, but there aren't any here, so I'll just say, "Thanks". :thumbup:
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:30 am

You know, Jimy Dee, there is one super, super important benefit to the kilning process that I almost forgot to mention here: it kills bugs and bug eggs that survive all the way through the germination and drying process.

If left alive/viable, those bugs -- or the bugs that hatch from viable eggs -- will turn every single gram of your malted-but-unkilned grain into bug poop in a matter of months. You will see this first-hand if you attempt to store your malted-but-unkilned grain for any period of time.

But if you kiln your malted grain as I advise -- at least up to say, 80-100 °C -- you should be able to store your malted grain for years, so long as you go straight from kilning to an airtight storage container like a 5-gallon bucket with a good rubber seal or one of those heavy, clear plastic bags that's tied tightly.

If you do it right, it's not unlike the "canning" process, except instead of preserving fruits and vegetables, you are preserving your malted grain for an extended period of time.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Shine0n » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:14 am

It's almost wheat season here and I've talked to a farmer who will gladly sell me a bunch for the cheap. I know I can get the stuff to germinate but I'm running into the kiln process and just don't have the resources or time right now.
I read where people used a clothes dryer to dry the wheat and had worked just fine, they just put it in a pillowcase inside it up so that May be the route I go if I can find the time
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:51 am

Shine0n wrote:It's almost wheat season here and I've talked to a farmer who will gladly sell me a bunch for the cheap. I know I can get the stuff to germinate but I'm running into the kiln process and just don't have the resources or time right now.
I read where people used a clothes dryer to dry the wheat and had worked just fine, they just put it in a pillowcase inside it up so that May be the route I go if I can find the time

You could use a clothes dryer, but I would sun-dry first down to the crispy stage, per my instructions.

Otherwise you will destroy your enzymes if your grain is still damp when you cross the 100 °C threshold.

Non-enzymatic malt might be okay if you're getting your enzymes from someplace else, but it seems a shame to miss out on the opportunity to make enzymatic malt that is capable of converting itself -- and a whole lot more -- into sugar.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:41 am

Okay, I did a little tweak under the advice of hefezelle and incorporated the information from my post regarding the diastatic power of my malt.

Basically I put the "Diastatic Power", expressed in °Lintner, next to the "Color", expressed in °Lovibond, on my table for Curing/Kilning temperatures. I don't know why I hadn't thought to do that before.

So thanks, hefezelle for that advice.

You can download the revised document at:

How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiskey)

Also, I decided to make a second document with an addendum that includes the photos and whatnot from my original post. That way, a person can have everything together in one document. That one is here:

How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiskey)
(With Addendum of Photos and More)
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby EziTasting » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:25 pm

Thank you for your work, BB., as a newbie to AllGrain work, this will most certainly be one of my next steps after I master the mashing process!

I thought it would easy... lol, but while it is, it isn’t!
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:00 pm

Sure thing, EziTasting. Let me know how it works out for you.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Jimy Dee » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:41 pm

Buccaneer Bob,
Outstanding work. Thanks. The PDF should be a sticky or something like that. JD
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:32 pm

Jimy Dee wrote:Buccaneer Bob,
Outstanding work. Thanks. The PDF should be a sticky or something like that. JD

Thanks so much, Jimy Dee.

Yeah, I have thought the same thing.

Obviously, there are some other good stickies already, but I think I documented some stuff that a lot of guys still haven't figured out, like a steeping regimen that's virtually guaranteed not to drown your grain, how to dry your malt down to the crispy stage before curing/kilning to preserve your enzymes and create a malt with diastatic power to spare, etc.

Heck, I've seen a lot of these videos where there's no way these guys are getting their enzymes from their malt. They have to be getting them from other sources, because they are destroying their enzymes when they heat their malt to the 100 °C threshold before it's good and dry.

I know my malt has enzymes out the wazoo because I use my own malts exclusively with no added enzymes. I have pushed them to their theoretical limits, and they have performed beyond expectations every time. My malts work flawlessly, every time.

So yeah, I guess we'll see if the documentation I did on my process catches anybody's eye, eh?
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby panikry83 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:36 pm

How's the rum/beer biz comin along BB?
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby zapata » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:14 pm

I vote for stickydom, this is too good to get lost for another few years!
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:47 am

panikry83 wrote:How's the rum/beer biz comin along BB?

Well, it's a whole long story, so I'll try to give you some of the highlights.

1) My guy had a "big fish" type investor who was going to bankroll things, but the two of them had a falling-out, and my guy had to look for alternative funding.
2) I tried to convince my guy to start the beer project using a big HDPE homebrewing-type setup with HDPE fermenters, to start small and build things up, but he had his mind set on a huge stainless HERMS system and a dozen stainless fermenters, except that he didn't have the money to buy the equipment he wanted.
3) After about two years of waiting, my family and I decided to move down to the coast to a bigger city for a variety of reasons: a) so my daughter could attend a particular university; b) to go someplace with more work opportunities; c) to get closer to a sugar refinery where we might be able to find somebody in the sugar business interested in the rum project; c) etc.
4) A year after we moved here, my guy finally came up with the money for his HERMS system, and he wanted me to move back to the highlands to pursue the beer project, but he wasn't really talking "pay-grade" for me, just a "let's see" kind of deal. However, my Wife and I already had jobs where we are, and our daughter was enrolled in the university here, so we decided to stay where we are until our daughter finishes school.
5) After our daughter graduates, though, we are going to move back up to the highlands, where I can ferment beer year-round without refrigeration and there are already several established craft beer breweries up-and-running.
6) Once there, I will check into either a) a brewing or malting position at an established craft brewery; b) setting up my own brewery or malting operation, starting small and building it up over time; c) looking for an established/legal distillery and piggybacking my rum project onto their license; d) etc. To this end, I have already set up a linkedin profile with all my malting/brewing/distilling knowledge and experience listed to see if I can line up something before I get there.

zapata wrote:I vote for stickydom, this is too good to get lost for another few years!

Thanks, man. :thumbup:
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby cariboux » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:34 am

I'm pretty new into the distilling, but have been having some great success turning out some distillate I'm really proud to share with my whisky appreciative friends. I've searched for the answer to my question, but if it has already been discussed, please forgive me as I'm really just learning to maneuver the site.
I'm interested in malting my own grain and my question is: After sprouting, is it necessary to dry and mill for best results? If I'm immediately starting a mash, can I simply cook and mash the soft grain without drying and milling it? I know it would have to be dried and milled if not used immediately, otherwise it would spoil. I'm guessing that the malt enzymes would be present and mash successfully, but if anyone has experience or even educated opinions about this, please let me know.
I really do enjoy this forum and have gleaned some really good stuff from ya'll's experiences.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby badflash » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:49 am

The normal methods of malting is too much work and there is no need to do it that way. I use a bucket system. I have 3 sets of nested 7 gallon brew buckets. The top bucket in each set is screened so it can be lifted and drained easily. I do 1/4 bag of grain 2X a day. I have a separate aquarium air pump and weighted air stone for each bucket.

Here is my morning or evening work:
Cover bucket 2 grain with water for 1 hour then proceed.
Dump the contents of bucket 3 into an empty bucket and let it sit for 12 hours.
Rinse bucket 3 upper/lower and set aside.
Lift and drain buket 2 (that has been soaking for an hour) and move it to position 3.
Lift and drain and rinse bucket 1 and move it to bucket 2.
Put the old bucket 3 in bucket 1. Fill with dry grain. Cover it with luke warm water mixed with 1/3 cup of bleach. There should be 4" of water over the grain. Use a fish net to take off anything that floats. (this goes to the chickens).
12 hours later the process repeats.

Now for the bucket that has been sitting for 12 hours (old bucket 3). Put an air tight lid on it and let it sit for 24 hours. This kills the grain and allows the enzymes to mature.

I have a stand alone sink with a 3/4 horse Badger brand disposal outside. The grain makes 2 trips through it with just enough water to make it work. You now have mash ready to heat. I use a wort chiller in a tun but run boiling water through it using a pump and a hot water temperature control valve so I can set the water temperature in the coil. I have one pan for boiling water and it just re-circulates through the temperature control valve, the chiller (heater) coil and back. I can set it to any temperature I want, but 155 if what seems to work best. It heat slowly, so you don't really need any rests. I don't sparge, I run off the 1st batch, then add more hot water, mix it in, let it set for 30 minutes and let it run out. As soon as the spent grain is cool enough, it goes to my pigs.

You don't need to remove the roots. The reason they do it in dried malt is that it makes a mess, it is just cosmetic.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby The Baker » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:51 pm

Badflash said, ' The top bucket in each set is screened so it can be lifted and drained easily. ....'

Suppose you had two buckets. Drill a lot of tiny holes in one and sit it in the other. When ready raise the inner bucket and the liquid will drain into the other....

Geoff

P. S. Or is that what you meant? G.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby badflash » Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:01 pm

You could do that, but what I do is drill a bunch of 1" holes in the bottom and then cover it in plastic canvas. Tiny holes are a pain and plug up easily.

The Baker wrote:Badflash said, ' The top bucket in each set is screened so it can be lifted and drained easily. ....'

Suppose you had two buckets. Drill a lot of tiny holes in one and sit it in the other. When ready raise the inner bucket and the liquid will drain into the other....

Geoff

P. S. Or is that what you meant? G.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Buccaneer Bob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:41 am

cariboux wrote:I'm pretty new into the distilling, but have been having some great success turning out some distillate I'm really proud to share with my whisky appreciative friends. I've searched for the answer to my question, but if it has already been discussed, please forgive me as I'm really just learning to maneuver the site.
I'm interested in malting my own grain and my question is: After sprouting, is it necessary to dry and mill for best results? If I'm immediately starting a mash, can I simply cook and mash the soft grain without drying and milling it? I know it would have to be dried and milled if not used immediately, otherwise it would spoil. I'm guessing that the malt enzymes would be present and mash successfully, but if anyone has experience or even educated opinions about this, please let me know.
I really do enjoy this forum and have gleaned some really good stuff from ya'll's experiences.

Um, I think I pretty well answered this exact same question about 20 posts back, eh?

badflash wrote:The normal methods of malting is too much work and there is no need to do it that way. I use a bucket system. I have 3 sets of nested 7 gallon brew buckets. The top bucket in each set is screened so it can be lifted and drained easily. I do 1/4 bag of grain 2X a day. I have a separate aquarium air pump and weighted air stone for each bucket.

Here is my morning or evening work:
Cover bucket 2 grain with water for 1 hour then proceed.
Dump the contents of bucket 3 into an empty bucket and let it sit for 12 hours.
Rinse bucket 3 upper/lower and set aside.
Lift and drain buket 2 (that has been soaking for an hour) and move it to position 3.
Lift and drain and rinse bucket 1 and move it to bucket 2.
Put the old bucket 3 in bucket 1. Fill with dry grain. Cover it with luke warm water mixed with 1/3 cup of bleach. There should be 4" of water over the grain. Use a fish net to take off anything that floats. (this goes to the chickens).
12 hours later the process repeats.

Now for the bucket that has been sitting for 12 hours (old bucket 3). Put an air tight lid on it and let it sit for 24 hours. This kills the grain and allows the enzymes to mature.

I have a stand alone sink with a 3/4 horse Badger brand disposal outside. The grain makes 2 trips through it with just enough water to make it work. You now have mash ready to heat. I use a wort chiller in a tun but run boiling water through it using a pump and a hot water temperature control valve so I can set the water temperature in the coil. I have one pan for boiling water and it just re-circulates through the temperature control valve, the chiller (heater) coil and back. I can set it to any temperature I want, but 155 if what seems to work best. It heat slowly, so you don't really need any rests. I don't sparge, I run off the 1st batch, then add more hot water, mix it in, let it set for 30 minutes and let it run out. As soon as the spent grain is cool enough, it goes to my pigs.

You don't need to remove the roots. The reason they do it in dried malt is that it makes a mess, it is just cosmetic.

If you're only after neutral grain alcohol through a column still, you could probably do it this way.

Or if you like that grassy taste that you would get from running mash from "green" malt through a pot still, you could do it your way, too.

It's just that some of us are here because we are chasing the finest liquor on earth, and that's kindof what this thread is about.
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:10 pm

Buccaneer Bob wrote:...It's just that some of us are here because we are chasing the finest liquor on earth, and that's kindof what this thread is about.

:lol: :thumbup:
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Re: How to Malt Barley (or Wheat) for Beer (or Whisky/Whiske

Postby Twisted Brick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:09 pm

cariboux wrote:I'm interested in malting my own grain and my question is: After sprouting, is it necessary to dry and mill for best results?


Yes. The malt needs to be carefully dried and the roots removed to eliminate any grassy notes in your spirit. If you'd rather not, just know that there are others here who have mashed green malt and learned to like the taste. Also, you won't get as high DP as you would from a kilned malt.
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