From Raw barley to Whiskey

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From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:11 am

Hello! I have been looking to try at it and couldn't work up the effort to do so, so I'll start this thread to give me reason to do it.

In this thread I'll put up my process of making a AG spirit and look for criticism's where I should have done better so I can do better later. To elaborate on what I plan with this thread is I want to share what I do because I'm not happy with what I make and I want to do better (it's very hard to say that). This thread will be updated through the malting, drying, kilning, brewing, fermenting and stilling method maybe even further.

I'm going to start my malting practices Sunday night explain what I'm doing in necessary detail. I'm really looking to improve my craft and its time I reach out for help
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Mar 30, 2019 6:33 am

Sounds like the beginning of a great adventure.

Are you looking to do a single malt, 100% barley?
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby bilgriss » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:20 am

I'll be watching this one. Sounds like an adventure to me!
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:06 am

I'm thinking of a wheated bourbon, but it will have a higher malt content then normal. I should have some time to think on it I've got alot of malt to process and it has to be in stages, all of this will be in stages.
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby 6 Row Joe » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:04 pm

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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby dukethebeagle120 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:38 pm

Fiddleford wrote:I'm thinking of a wheated bourbon, but it will have a higher malt content then normal. I should have some time to think on it I've got alot of malt to process and it has to be in stages, all of this will be in stages.

Me too
You got your malting process down packed
Ii find the drying the hardest
Built myself a rack and can dry 10 lbs at a time
Takes 2 days
I malted a total of 180 lbs of grain over the winter
Getting ready for summer
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:04 pm

Couple of thoughts:

I think your malting will go ok. The drying can be tricky, and kilning even more so.
The temps you kiln at could dramatically affect the flavors.

If you're using barley from a local field, and it wasn't grown for malt, your conversions might be lower than those posted for store bought malts.
Not because of your malting techniques, but because the barley might not be as robust as grains grown for malts.
No worries, just add more grains and don't be disappointed.

Are you planning to malt all of the grains? There will be a difference if you use non-malted, raw grains.

Barley malt is reasonably cheap and available, you might want to do at least a small run with store bought grains to kinda set a benchmark.

Good luck with all!
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby dukethebeagle120 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:38 pm

MichiganCornhusker wrote:Couple of thoughts:

I think your malting will go ok. The drying can be tricky, and kilning even more so.
The temps you kiln at could dramatically affect the flavors.

If you're using barley from a local field, and it wasn't grown for malt, your conversions might be lower than those posted for store bought malts.
Not because of your malting techniques, but because the barley might not be as robust as grains grown for malts.
No worries, just add more grains and don't be disappointed.

Are you planning to malt all of the grains? There will be a difference if you use non-malted, raw grains.

Barley malt is reasonably cheap and available, you might want to do at least a small run with store bought grains to kinda set a benchmark.

Good luck with all!

If all he wants is distillers malt,you can really skip the kilning
I do and i get good results
Just dry till its hard
In the mash the barley is more for dp anyway
Your taste will come from the other grains
Somewhat anyway.
I would try anyway
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:09 pm

dukethebeagle120 wrote:In the mash the barley is more for dp anyway...

?
In a single malt, barley is all!

Dried malt works, but I’ve become a fan of oven.

I, personally, like oven dried malts better, whether barley, rye, or corn.
The kilning reduces the grassy flavors and adds a little “brown” to the whiskey.

Two cents.
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:33 pm

I live in the same town as another well known member their name will remain anon out of respect
Its mostly 6row that I get, I plan on malting most of my bill since I don't trust dp all that well. Another thing I plan on doing is making a kiln, my drying method involves putting the grain on a screen on top of a large fan till it's hard then kilning it

With the kiln I hope to keep it around 120-130 and maybe get some roasting going on

Ill include photos and possibly short videos on youtube so you guys get a better ideal
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby dukethebeagle120 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:07 am

MichiganCornhusker wrote:
dukethebeagle120 wrote:In the mash the barley is more for dp anyway...

?
In a single malt, barley is all!

Dried malt works, but I’ve become a fan of oven.

I, personally, like oven dried malts better, whether barley, rye, or corn.
The kilning reduces the grassy flavors and adds a little “brown” to the whiskey.

Two cents.

True
I think if home malting for dp dried is ok
But if needing large quantitys for a single malt
Go with store bought
The kilning is a pia
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:33 pm

the kiln should be made soon, I have a surplus of comp fans
Last edited by Fiddleford on Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
Here's some fiddle music
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:39 pm

I'm just now starting to winnow the grain to try and remove most of the chaff and dirt then I'll start soaking it

10 hours later I'm adding more onto this post: I winnowed it to the point where dust stopped clouding out of the tubs, there was a heaver particulate on the grain as well which I rinsed off with cold water and removed what floats. I will soak it for 7 hours and lay it out on a tray for 5 then soak for another 7 and continue doing that until I see at least a quarter of the grain starting to chit.

For thous of you who wounder why I don't just soak it till it chits the grain breathe's just as we do while sprouting and would till it grows greens so this promotes a more uniform malt. I also find that some grains adsorb more water then others and waterlogged grains are not a malters friend.

I can only do up to 10 pounds of malt at a time but I'm thinking of buying some lumber to make a much larger malting try and maybe enlarge my drying tray to I don't know I will keep things updated
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:17 pm

I am considering using cracked corn for my grain bill and I'm wondering how much of a difference there is in flavour and conversion compared to whole corn, I actually don't know if parts of the corn contain more starch then other parts but it seems to be mostly starch anyway
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby StillerBoy » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:47 pm

Fiddleford wrote:considering using cracked corn for my grain bill and I'm wondering how much of a difference there is in flavour and conversion compared to whole corn

From my experience, none flavor or conversion wise, other than the whole corn is cleaner and somewhat harder to mill, and will store longer.. so I use whole corn now..

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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:27 pm

I have around 40 pounds of cracked corn untouched by weevils, I just gotta pick through it to remove residual corn stalks and grain it, I like a more uniform and fine mash bill. I also don't mind the workout. I still have alot of grain from 2017 so I plan on doing some serious brewing this s why I'm malting so much of it age is affecting my brews I believe. I want to stock up on new grain
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:52 pm

I popped into t&t and found that Jimbo's bourbon Matches what I have on hand for the first few run's, I will have to look for grain bills in t&t for barley and wheat exclusive recipes. In any case I need to clean the rest of my gallon jugs so I can store all this spirit... Maybe even get a few 5 gallon glass carboys to store the spirit like the reckless individual I am :lol: . Barrels :ewink:
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:53 am

Dunno if this is exciting for the most of ya but I'm starting to get my first chits right on the start a breathing cycle, the grain is also retaining heat telling me something is going on and when I peel back the husk on few of the grains I can see the grains are preparing to start chitting as well.

I may have lied I might start the actual malting now, that may have been my last soak. I expect a good portion should start chitting in 5 or 6 hours just going off memory.

What I mean when I say retaining heat is the house temp is 15 C and the grain is sitting at 17 C while on a cold floor

https://brewingbeerthehardway.wordpress ... oney-malt/ I posted This a while ago on the thread I put up with study's for malting. I'm tempted to try this out with a few pound of my lower quality grains, if you read all the way through it down to the bottom of the page you get to see a video the guy posted
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:54 pm

First 10 pounds is malted and dried, now I need to kiln it for good measure.
I'm tempted to make a malting tray out of some old untreated lumber so I can malt more at a time
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Yummyrum » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:14 am

Sounds like you’re having a ball fiddle :thumbup:
Hey any chance of some pics . I’m totally green to all this malting and chitting and stuff ...... guess’n lot of others are too .
If you don’t mind posting up some pics of what and how you’re doing stuff . Might get others having a crack a it .

Know I’d be keen to see what your doing . Grain scares me a bit . Need some encouragement
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:05 am

Yea I've been planning on putting up pics but I don't have a camera. I'll get some up here soon
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
Here's some fiddle music
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:33 pm

Something I like to do is winnow the grain before I soak it which is just pouring the grain slowly form bucket to bucket on a windy day or in front of a powerful fan to get rid of dirt and chaff, some of the stalks will stay in with the grain you can just leave them in there for now.

The next thing I'll do is submerge the grain in water about a foot covering it and and stir vigorously anything that floats you pour out with the water its likely it will be dirty water from finer dirt stuck on the grain rinse it a few times anything that floats discard.
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
Here's some fiddle music
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:03 am

You will know when to stop soaking the grain when it get's little white nubs like this on it like in the photo. For thous who don't know this is when the grain is chitting.
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:31 am

I would like to add I don't claim to be a pro with malting I'm just sharing what I know so others can learn from it if anyone feels like adding more to it feel free even if this post goes a little off-topic I won't I'll still continue to post what I'm doing and where I am with this process.
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Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby kiwi Bruce » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:30 pm

For anyone interested in malting your own grains, here are plans for a malting closet that waters the grain automatically...when you're ready to dry, the catch bucket can be replaced with 3 or 4 100 watt light bulbs and a fan to dry your grains. Home malted grains are awesome and give you a wider range of flavor potential for your whiskeys...Hope this helps
Malting closet.jpg
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fart Vader » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:26 pm

I dunno about that closet plan guys.
I've been malting my own grain for almost 2years now.
Seems to me that that thing would only produce a moldy knatted mess at best.
Anybody ever try it?
My double walled boiler build: The Mashimizer. https://homedistiller.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=64980
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby kiwi Bruce » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:32 pm

Fart Vader wrote:I dunno about that closet plan guys.
I've been malting my own grain for almost 2years now.
Seems to me that that thing would only produce a moldy knatted mess at best.
Anybody ever try it?


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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fart Vader » Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:40 pm

Well then, I stand corrected.
Kewl.
You don't have to stir up the malt so it doesn't create a solid mat while sprouting?
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby MichiganCornhusker » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:02 pm

I have gone to leaving the malt alone after soaking.
I don’t have a fancy hutch, just screens, but I do got more consistent sprouting if I don’t stir it up or fuss with it.
I soak the grains enough, with resting periods to breathe, that they don’t require any more water to get them through the malting process once they are spread out on my screens, about 1-1/2” deep.
Yes, it makes a dense mat, but I just break it up before air drying.

Enjoying this thread, makes me want to get a big batch of corn going.
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Re: From Raw barley to Whiskey

Postby Fiddleford » Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:09 am

I have had a very different experience MCH, if I don't stir it once or twice a day the top of the top layer wont sprout properly and it gets mouldy on me. I don't mind it clumping up, the last day I wont touch it to let it do its thing then I put it on a window screen tacked to a wooden frame on top of a 21" box fan

I like the ideal of the malting closet kiwi, though I would be tempted to make it into a grain smoker. how much can you expect to process through it at a time? Almost looks like something from the bootleggers bible, I checked it was a different thing
Rye whisky rye whisky oh dont let me down
Gunna have me a drink then gamble around
Here's some fiddle music
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