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Malting Your Own Barley

Greetings all! I’ve been doing all-grain for a while and wanted to experiment with malting my own barley. However, here in Indiana it’s virtually impossible to find any kind of barley locally. The best I can do is a Stark variety “non-malting” barley. So the answer may seem obvious and the question rather stupid, but, is there any reason I could not malt this non-malting barley. If so, why? Thanks!

I have heard, but not verified personally that you can sometimes order malted barley from feed stores. Keep in mind that if they are able to it would most likely be only base malt. Also if any breweries or brewpubs are close you may be able to buy a sack from them. Plus there are a few online suppliers that are somewhat reasonable. Either way good luck. As for malting your own, its an animal all its own and if you try it please post the results.

Chris Colby from BYO magazine grew and malted some barley and posted the results in a few articles a year ago etc… It is a possibility but for real,real minimal gain especially if your using some ho-hum animal feed variety of barley that may make for horrible base malt anyway. I dont think the effort is warranted. It seems interesting and all, I have read the mad processes of steps, science and optimal equipment needed to malt grain plus ensure its quality/ consistency in the brewhouse and that is the exact reason I will leave it to the malt house. We have way too many fantastic base malts available in the US now.

I’ve never done it myself but have read up on it. Here’s a couple sites I’ve bookmarked:

http://www.bodensatz.com/upage/index.php?page=kiwibrewer_malting

A good video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC2HqcQR ... I56vyUk%3D

Malt your own barley for the experience, not to expect it to make great beer. Making malt is easy, but making good malt is difficult and requires very tight control of moisture and temp. To see what you’re up against, check out…

http://brewery.org/library/Malt_AK0996.html

Non-malting barley may have a mold infection that precludes its use in brewing, not sure I’d go that route. Barley for malting is usually low protein, so you really want to find an appropriate strain. Or try to find some wheat and malt that. They sell unmalted wheat at lots of places.

I would try to find a book called The Alaskan Bootleggers Bible, talks about how to make your own malt, great book, for learning how to brew also, a lot of good recipes.

Jonny’s Selected Seeds in Maine sells 2-row malting barley, variety Conlon, although it is listed as backordered until May. This is growing your own, I don’t know if seed companies coat seeds with fungicides or other stuff to protect the seeds.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-7783-barley-conlon.aspx

In a perfect world I would love to grow my own barley and malt it but that seems like a lot of time and work for what probably will be a poor return aside from how cool it would make me feel.

That said though, my gf’s family do live in the middle of nowhere and at least two of them do farm work…

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