2-row, 6-row, wheat, rye: every grain that is farmed requires a steadfast approach to quality. The evidence of this meticulous care can be seen, felt, and ultimately tasted from field to pint.
One of the first crops to be domesticated by humans, barley remains one of the most challenging to produce with the level of quality and consistency suitable for world class #craftbeer and #craftspirits .
Wrapped up with the potential for heartache, however, is the possibility of success in producing superior malts. And that possibility keeps us malting.
Prepping for a brewday x5 with @alund85 tomorrow—SMaSH Kölsch experiment with @meccagrade @admiralmaltings @troubadourmaltings @skagitvalleymalting, @weyermann_specialty_malts Pilsner malts & @imperialyeast Dieter. Stay tuned for a full write up of the results @fhsteinbart blog!
What do I do on 90 degree days? Cycle 37 miles and cool down by making granola, of course!
50% rolled oats, 20% malted soft red wheat, 15% malted barley, 10% hulled hemp seeds, and 5% cacao nibs make up the dry mix. Coconut oil, wildflower honey, and an egg white are bringing the granola magic!
And of course, I coarse ground the wheat and barley malt on the Mockmill 100!!
I often get the question if it is possible to use rootlets somehow or are they just a waste to throw away.
Lets have a look at the composition of rootlets:
raw gluten 8,6%,
extractive substances not containing nitrogen 44,6%
So if you keep animals (pigs, cows) or if there is somebody around keeping animals – rootlets can be successfully used (and sold) as animal food. Check if your pigs are not participating in ”gluten free” company.
In the 17th century, before the Saladin boxes or any other "modern" malting technology, floor malting was the most efficient method of processing volume. Reliant on heat accumulating the piles of grain and the handful of cold months a year, maltsters used wooden shovels, metal rakes, and their long-developed human feel for temperature and moisture to craft viable malt.
It sounds a bit like navigating a ship by stars and harnessing the wind with sails, and yet, it worked.
It still does. And our deepest admiration belongs to the men and women who still practice this intense exercise of skill and labor of love.
So germinative capacity is the percentage of kernels that are alive and potentially are able to germinate. This analysis is used for evaluating quality of barley during dormancy period, which lasts 45 days after harvesting.
While high value of germinative energy indicates that the barley can be successfully malted. This analysis is used for evaluating quality of barley after dormancy period.
It is possible to check germinative energy also during dormancy. If you get high value of germinative energy during dormancy - you will also get high value after dormancy (if the barley is stored correctly). But if the value is low – this DOES NOT mean that barley is of bad quality and not suitable for malting. Just let it sleep longer and check later.
Standard dormancy period is 45 days, but for the majority of modern varieties it takes much shorter to become ready for germination.
Last Day of the Great Cycle Challenge USA!! I've tripled my original goal of 200 miles, but I'm still $175 short of meeting my fundraising goal.
If just ten people are able to donate under $20 each, we can finish the month on an awesome note for a great cause!! Don't worry, I'll be biking all day until the goal is met and the link to donate is on my profile page! #gccusa
Today's ride was about as good as it gets!
Also, there are only two days left raise the remaining $180 to meet my fundraising goal in the @greatcyclechallengeusa. If you're interested in donating, or in learning more, follow the link in my bio! #gccusa
Its obvious that it is wise to check before malting how barley actually grows. But which test to choose? Germinative capacity or germinative energy? And which method?... Lets have a look.
Germinative capacity is the percentage of alive kernels in a sample of barley, independent of whether they are still dormant or not.
A couple of methods to check germinative capacity. ✅Rapid staining method (Vitascope). Parts of kernels are soaked in a special solution. This solution colors the living embryos in the kernels. Then its just counting the live kernels by using of special equipment (Vitascope or Vivatherm).This method is quite fast, the longest part is cutting 100 kernels. ✅Hydrogen peroxide method. Influence of oxygen wakes barley kernels up from dormancy, and the germination starts. The results is the percentage of germinated kernels, This method requires 3 days and is therefore not suitable for barley purchasing with tight time limits. But – very suitable for follow-up testing
To be continued tomorrow…
Love our local maltsters @doubleeaglemalting They take our grain and make malt from the ground up. In all of our ales we are looking for character along with terroir. Working with small scale craft malsters is great because they do it in smaller batches and feature grain varieties that add complexity to beer. #craftmalt#craftmaltsters#pamalt#farmtoglass#localcraftbeer#smallbatchbrewing
Now on tap at @whitewallbrewing is Hop the Castle Wall, a west coast style IPA. brewed in collaboration with friends at Another Castle: Arcade Edition in Marysville and made with 100% Skagit Valley Malting grain including triticale. This is a wheat/rye hybrid grain. Provides a bit of spiciness to the beer. Hopped with traditional IPA "C" hops, this beer has notes of pine resin, orange zest, and tropical fruit.
Sometimes necessity herself is the great epiphany.
For our friends in North Carolina that meant hearing Debbie Hamrick from the Department of Agriculture reveal that a local malting facility was the missing link for breweries and distilleries looking to craft place-based beverages. That was in 2013. Since then, the team at @epiphanycraftmalt have made it their mission to fulfill the local demand by sourcing quality grains from the regions farmers and malting them into terroir rich ingredients for craft beer and spirits.
Cheers to answering the call, friends!
Some shots from the KBS Malting Barley Field Day this past Wednesday. We had an awesome turnout with visitors from Indiana, Ohio, and even Wisconsin! Next up... the Thumb Area Field Day in Kawkawlin tomorrow!!
The sunset has faded, there's but a tinge,
Saffron pale, where a star of white
Has tangled itself in the trailing fringe
Of the pearl-gray robe of the summer night.
O the green of the barley fields grows deep,
The breath of the barley fields grows rare;
There is rustle and glimmer, sway and sweep-
The wind is holding high revel there,
Singing the song it has often sung-
Hark to the troubadour glad and bold:
'Sweet is the earth when the summer is young
And the barley fields are green and gold!'
-Jean Blewett 🌾
So I'm doing this thing... wherein I ride 500 miles this month on my bike, to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Please consider donating, the link is in my profile, and YES... I'm gonna crush those 500 miles!
For every job, there is a tool. When floor malting, the tool of choice is always the rake. Used with skill, this humble piece of equipment can help transform something as simple as barley into the most true taste of origination. Slow and methodical passes are constantly made to ensure each grain is treated the same. This rake is not worn out. It's seasoned.
Squaring the past with progress is like walking a slack line. Watching our friends at @riverbendmalt grow from a small floor-malting operation to an industrial, state-of-the-art system has been the ultimate picture of balance and tension. But therein lies the beauty: if you can keep the old traditions taut at one end and find a level line leading towards the future at the other, balance can be struck.
Who's excited for Active Commute Week? #ACWGR is an effort to raise awareness and promote commuting methods like cycling (my favorite), busses, carpooling, walking, rideshare, etc. For more info, visit ACWGR.org!
June has arrived and with it an abundance of field days, symposiums, and webinars designed to help us revel in the greenest fields, dive deep into malt flavor and aroma, and learn about every topic from winter malting barley to heirloom and terroir barley and malt. Click the profile link to sign up, get out there, and make your summer one to remember.
Fourth generation field farmers, the Buck family became the first craft Malt House in Maine in 2015.
Since then they have been delivering quality floor malted grains from field to pint and recently, they had the opportunity to collaborate with our friends from @burialbeer and @oxbowbrewingcompany on Burial's ongoing Ambient Terrain series.
Cheers to always learning from our brothers and sisters in craft, @mainemalthouse!
"With the support of local breweries like @industrialartsbrewing and beers like this landscape beer we at Hudson Valley Malt are able to go back to our farmers and contract with them to grow more and more acreage of malting barley. In a state where 5 years ago you couldn’t source NY malting grains to a state that now has 400 breweries headed swiftly to 500 we now have a legitimate brewing economy.... this is great news for NY farmers who can benefit from growing premium malting grains as well as hops. Local Brewer supports local Maltster....local Maltster supports local farmer." - Dennis Nesel, Hudson Valley Malt @hudsonvalleymalt •
For more on the Industrial Arts Brewing Landscapes Lager Series, how to support their endeavor, further the growth of NYS agriculture and economy, and drink delicious Lagers click the link in the profile.
And if you’re in the Hudson Valley region snag some Summer Landscape for your Memorial Day celebrations.
As our industry grows, so do the choices and grain options available to brewers and distillers. At Grouse Malt House millet, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, and maize are specifically designed for gluten-free beer. Certified organic, the folks at @grouse_malting craft these ancient grains to provide a crucial alternative to crafting beverages for the enjoyment of all. Their belief that that all people deserve access to high—quality food and beverages regardless of an allergy or intolerance, reminds us constantly that the more we grow the more inclusive we become and that's a beautiful thing.
Mr. Chris Schmidt, seed producer extraordinaire, sent me this pic today along with the following message: "Morning Ryan - this is a pic of my farming buddy, Don Shelagowski, walking through the MSU winter malting barley field plot on his farm. Not sure which variety is headed out on his left but there are multiple varieties headed or in the boot.
Field day will be on his farm June 25th." Who else is excited for The Thumb Field Day?? Click on the link in our bio to learn more!
The fields have all been planted and with anticipation we watch the roots give way to verdant little shoots that will give way to tall emerald blades and then yield golden florets ready for harvest.
Harvest will come soon enough, but today we revel in these tiny signs that the work of our hands has sown good seed.
Malt Flavor can be difficult to talk about or described in detail for those who don't eat (pun intended), sleep, and breathe malt. Enter the Hot Steep Method. This accessible form of malt sensory (originally developed by scientists Cassie Liscomb, @brewingwithbriess,and Lindsay Barr from @newbelgium ) allows brewers, distillers, maltsters, growers to use color, scent, sweetness, and flavor for a more immersive experience with base malts.
It’s truly incredible and always reinvigorates our passion for tasting malt.
For information on how to create your own Hot Steep or to learn more about our growing Malt Sensory Ambassador program click the profile link.
Pretzels and buns this time! I added some soft red wheat malt from Mushroom Head Malt Co. and small amounts of Macon Creek Malt's Munich, Vienna, and malted peas this time. All freshly milled on the Mockmill 100, of course!
A surprise care package from Mushroom Head Malt Co!! Thank you so much for the kind words and awesome gifts! A portion of that fresh soft red wheat malt will be going into the batch of pretzels I make this weekend!
When I get a chance, I try to prep lunches on Monday for the rest of the week. This week it's pastured beef arm roast, courtesy of Dr. Brook Wilke, with copious amounts of mushrooms, onions, and... BARLEY!!
It does not get any more innovative than what is happening at @meccagrade in Madras, OR. With a family history that is responsible for the wealth of fruit in the Willamette Valley, the Klanns are still pushing the envelope. The amazing piece of machinery they have created must be seen to be believed. Call it hyperbole. Call it over-the-top. But you must find your way out to Central Oregon and see what Seth, Brad, Travis, Sally, and the Klann family are up to. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Malte de aveia? Temos também! Vai muito bem em Oatmeal Stouts, em NE IPAs (e variações, como a Milk Shake IPA), Witbiers, American Stouts e Saisons. Aumenta o corpo da cerveja e a retenção de colarinho. Malted oats? We have it! Used on Oatmeal Stouts, NE IPAs (and variations, such as Milk Shakes IPA), Witbiers, American Stouts, and Saisons. Enhances mouthfeel and head retention. #craftmalting#craftmaltsters#floormalt#maltsters#malteartesanal#aveia#oats#proudtobelocal