hist-brewing: rye malting

Charley Atchley Charley at lcc.net
Wed Dec 12 17:59:37 PST 2001

>How did you go about the rye malting?  I'm interested in trying it myself.

First thing you have to do is get some QUALITY rye. I bought mine in a fifty
pound bag from the feed and seed company in Abilene Texas. They had rye that
was labeled "organic grown" I know that doesn't mean anything but I thought
that the kernels looked more uniform than the other kind, they sold it for
making organic rye flour. DO NOT BUY GRASS SEEDS!!! I waited until they had
some fresh bags, then I bought one. I lack the chemistry set or know how to
test grain for protein content, so I picked it out by taste. (I bought a bag
that tasted good.) It said on the label that it came from Colorado.

I malt in ten pound batches.

Step 1: Raise the moisture of the grain to about 45-50%
I put all of the grain in my 5 gallon Gott can with a Phil's Phalse bottom.
I then Fill the can with water (Our tap water is about 60 degrees in the
fall. This is supposed to be the ideal temperature.) and try to sync a hose
dripping into the top of the can with a drip coming from the spigot.  At the
end of 48 hours I pour all of the grain into a big stainless steel colander.
The grain should now weigh about 14 and a half pounds. If it is too light,
then you need to return it to the Gott can.

Step 2: Germinate the grain. Place the big colander in a cool dark place. It
should be kept at 60 degrees until it germinates. It takes rye about ten
days to germinate. You should turn the rye over and soak it well every
morning and evening. You want to look for the white worm looking thingy
stemming out from the end of the kernels and up the back of the grain. This
thing is called the "acrospire". When the acrospire is roughly the same
length as the kernel, the malt is fully modified.

Step 3: Drying the grain.
Put the grain in a pillow case, tie it up tightly and go to a laundry mat
and put the case in a dryer on LOW heat. This makes a hell of a loud
thumping noise, so you probably want to go to some place that does not have
an attendant. This will get the outside of the grain dried off, so that it
will spread out nicely on trays. Place the trays in the oven at 110 degrees.
This will tie up the oven for a couple of days. You need to stir the grain
regularly (about every 4 hours) and make sure it is drying out evenly. The
weight should drop to a little below ten pounds when it is dried out all of
the way.

Step 4: Curing the malt.
Raise the temperature to 190 degrees and let it sit for another day and a
half. Stir the trays often.

Told you it was a massive pain in the butt, but it makes a great tasting

Charley Atchley

You got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you
might not get there. --Yogi Berra

>How did you go about the rye malting?  I'm interested in trying it myself.

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