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Growing your own ingredients

My fiance has quite the green thumb and I have quite the mind to get cheaper ingredients for beer.

We’ve always talked about starting a garden and then me having my own where I can grow grains and hops. Has anyone given this a shot and has been successful? I imagine homegrown ingredients are like vegetables where the quality is just so much better… can anyone confirm?

:disappointed: Too much work… Buy in bulk… You may want to read about how to malt barley… Sneezles61

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Bahaha, I agree on the work but I think it would be a cool side project to make a gallon test here and there. Especially with all grain brewing, you’d have a hell of a compost pile.

Way ahead of you on the malt barley research…it won’t be any time soon where I can actually give it a shot but I’m willing to be the guinea pig taster.

Hops are easy. Four plants give me quite a few. You can’t get all the varieties, and alpha acid percentages are unknown, but they are fun. You’ll need to dry them and vacuum pack late summer, and store them in the freezer.

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Talk to your local farmers and ask about the wheat they grow. Every year I get 25lb of summer and winter wheat to brew with. Yes it’s unmalted and little more work to use. But it’s a lot easier than growing your own.

I looked into growing some barley just ornamentally. Never ordered the seed.

As @uberculture said growing hops CAN be easy. I travel a lot on weekends and couldn’t keep up with the watering needs. I would nurture them back during the week, only to have them shrivel up during the weekend. If you decide to grow hops make sure you have plenty of height/room and go with aroma varieties. Unless you pay decent money to analyze them you’ll never know the AA%.

Malt is gonna be way to much work. Plus, it does require quiet a bit of skill. And, I don’t think the costs savings are there, especially if you value your time!

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Growing your own ingredients is awesome. You can use raw wheat, barley, oats, spelt, etc. just fine as long as you keep it to less than 50% of your grist. Watch your diastatic power and you’ll be fine.

Best thing before you begin growing malt. Read the malt book. From the brewers serie. Here on island they got. A special type of grain. The owner of the brewery did ask me if i can create a recipy including this kind of grain. Well did give it a thought. But after reading the book. Conculsion to much work. Stick to buying to bulk 25 kg. Bags

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I think you could use those local grains without malting them you would just need to combine them with mostly malted grain.

I agree on barley, too much work to malt it. If you want to do it for fun then why not? I would think you would have to have a lot of land to have any real amount though.

Hops are like weeds in my experience. I had a couple of vines at our old house and there wasn’t much to do with them. They just grew. Use them as finishing or experiment with them for bittering because you will not have a way to predetermine how bitter they are.

If you do decide to grow your own forget malting it your self. Here is how to use raw grains that have not already been malted, flaked or torrified require a cereal mash step to gelatinize the starches before they can be broken down in the conversion step. Therefore a cereal mash uses at least two phases – one for “gelatinizing” the unmalted grains (called the cereal mash) and one for conversion of the sugars (i.e. the regular mash).Add about 20% of your total malted barley grains (i.e. Pale or Pilsner malt) to the cereal adjuncts. This malted barley will provide the enzymes needed to aid in converting and breaking down the sugars, as many cereal adjuncts don’t have sufficient enzymes by themselves.

Here are some common gelainization temperature ranges: 20 minute rest at the tempture below for what ever grain your using

Unmalted Barley: 140-150 F (60-65C)Wheat: 136-147 F (58-64 C)Rye: 135-158 F (57-70 C)Oats: 127-138 F (53-59 C)Corn (Maize): 143-165 F (62-74 C)Rice: 154-172 F (68-78 C)

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