hist-brewing: to Malt or Not To Malt..

bjm10 at cornell.edu bjm10 at cornell.edu
Thu Sep 3 11:34:39 PDT 1998

On Thu, 3 Sep 1998, Badger wrote:

> the barley is malted, yes.  but the wheat, and oats?

Most sources really don't specify.  I believe it is "Description of 
England" (but I'm going from memory) wherein the author says that he uses 
wheat meal as a cost-saving measure.  From this, one might infer that 
wheat could be malted, but penny-pinchers might very well use un-malted, 
coarsely-ground wheat.

> and can anyone give me pointers for using the right type of malted grain
> to simulate a period or close to period malt?

A mixture of pale ale and brown malt might do this, but it's again hard to
say.  There are complete descriptions of malting from at least as far back
as the 16th century, continuing through the 17th, 18th, and 19th, but no
commercial source malts those ways, anymore.  An English company (Crisp,
is it?) still floor malts, but they use the Maris Otter cultivar--a most
excellent cultivar, but one developed in the 19th or early 20th 
century.  But even Crisp uses modern kilning.  Wood/straw-fired kilning 
was disappearing by the 18th century.

However, if you're doing an 18th-19th century brew, then gas-fired 
kilning is not too far off, although it was coal that actually ran things 
back then.

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