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

Jeff Renner nerenner at umich.edu
Fri Sep 4 07:46:30 PDT 1998

>From: Owenbrau1 at aol.com
>Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 22:59:24 EDT
>Subject: Re: hist-brewing: to Malt or Not To Malt..
>malting oats is tough; also, it would not change the mash times experienced,
>as oats simply don't have the diastatic enzymes neccesary to convert large
>quantities of grain, malted or not. malting only converts non-soluble starch
>into soluble form. using rolled oats, or cooking cut oats, would give similer
>results, starch wise.

Indeed it is - as I can attest.  Last February on these pages I initiated a
discussion of the "Domesday Ale" recipe, "The monks of St Paul's Cathedral
brewed 67,814 gallons of ale using 175 quarters of barley, 175 quarters of
wheat and 708 quarters of oats," which is probably the same as Badger
referred to.  At that time we discussed whether or not the high percentage
of oats was accurate and pretty much concluded that since oats are far less
dense than barley and especially wheat, it was not.  None-the-less, it's a
high percentage of oats.

I subsequently (June) malted ~15 lbs. of ordinary feed oats and got an
extremely variable sprouting rate.  When I dried (in the garage attic @
110F) and kilned these (in my commercial electric pizza oven), some had not
chitted at all, and the acrospire of others was 2X the corn length.  On
average, it was very undermodified, judging by the length of the acrospire
(avg. ~1/2 corn).  I stopped the malting because our cool spell was over
and the typical June temperatures would have spoiled the malt.
Undermodified or not, I got a pale, very malty smelly result.

I will be brewing an unhopped (we discussed this aspect, too) strong ale
(target OG 1100) in the next month with perhaps as much as 50% home malted
oats and will report back.  I will probably include a historically
inaccurate (but who knows what the brewers at St. Paul's really did) beta
glucan rest of ~110F and a protein rest of ~122F to try to avoid a stuck
sparge from hell.  If I get decent runoff, I will probably make a braggot
from the second runnings and some wonderful honey from my brother-in-law's

Stay tuned...


Jeff Renner in Ann Arbor, Michigan c/o nerenner at umich.edu
"One never knows, do one?"  Fats Waller, American Musician, 1904-1943. 

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