hist-brewing: Re: Brown Malt...hist-brewing-digest V1 #730

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Wed Nov 29 20:22:44 PST 2000

Owenbrau at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 11/29/2000 2:49:16 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> euphonic at flash.net writes:
>>    I say this because no one really knows how the economic advantage
>> of
>> the various malts brakes down in terms of actual points of
>> extraction
>> per pound per shilling.  Rather i think that drum malting is more
>> cost
>> effective as it is less labor intensive then floor malting and as a
>> result wood smoked malts became a rarity.
> Floor vs. drum malting has nothing to do with the wood-smoke issues.
> Floor
> malt is still commercially available, and isn't much more expensive
> than
> drum. It also has no affect on malt color. Coke-fired kilns made it
> easier
> and cheaper to make pale malts.

    Well if you look into how old style malts were made you will quickly
discover that hard wood fires were used during the kilning process.
Such processes are much more labor intensive then coke fired kilns.
Unfortunately, the unique character some malts had that were made
possible with the older production methods simply ceased to be
commercially viable with the introduction of  new processes.  Along with
the changes that allowed ale production to become a large scale
industrial enterprise malt products that were not well suited to mass
production disappeared.  Hence, several old styles of ale disappeared.
    It is true that a few floor malsters exist, off hand i can only
think of three in England and none else where, they are however more
expensive then their drum competitors.  I think that the few floor
malsters left have survived because they have mechanized their
operations and are not labor intensive.  In any case, i doubt that they
will survive due to EU agricultural policy.

> Owen
> "Beer is living proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy" B.
> Franklin
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