How to make barley malt at home
You can talk as much as you like about the dangers of alcohol, but it is difficult to imagine a festive table in our country without such drinks. Doctors do not deny that alcohol in small doses is even useful. However, it is problematic to purchase high-quality products: even expensive drinks with bright labels from well-known brands are often fake.
Therefore, many admirers of alcoholic beverages prefer to prepare them on their own, at home. The law does not prohibit making alcohol for self-use, and you can cook not only strong moonshine or whiskey, but also homemade beer. When preparing it, the question of where to get the malt will inevitably arise. Barley malt can be made at home.
The content of the article
What is malt
For the preparation of any alcohol, a fermentation process is used, which occurs when yeast is combined with sugar. It has long been used in the preparation of mash, from which the well-known moonshine is obtained by distillation.
The use of pure sugar makes this process prohibitively expensive. It is much cheaper to use starch contained in cereals, which also contains sugar components. However, these are complex polysaccharides that do not cause the fermentation process. Malt enthusiasts joke that yeast can't chew starch. That is, the sugar enzymes are blocked by other constituents.
It becomes necessary to isolate pure sugar from grain starch in order to make it a fermentable monosaccharide. For this, cereal grains are boiled directly with malt. This is how whiskey is prepared at home and industrially.
Malt is essential for brewing beer. In addition to participating in the chemical process, it gives the drinks a peculiar taste that distinguishes varieties depending on the type of raw materials.
Important! Malt is a powder made from artificially germinated cereals of various types. It contains enzymes capable of breaking down polysaccharides into monosaccharides, that is, extracting sugar from grain starch. Sprouted cereals are also called malt.
Sprout seeds wheat, rye, oats and even corn, but spirits prepared with barley malt are considered to be of the highest quality. They have a peculiar taste and color.
Malt is widely used in the production of bread and kvass. Wheat white bread is prepared with light malt, and dark one is used for baking rye and black.
Barley malt advantages and disadvantages
Barley malt is called pale or white. Its use in the fermentation process has a number of advantages:
- availability of raw materials - grain or malt itself can be freely purchased in any region of Russia;
- the relative cheapness of malt compared to sugar;
- ease of storage;
- barley malt gives the beer its characteristic flavor and aroma;
- an essential component in the production of various varieties of whiskey, especially strong ones, obtained from a mixture of dark and light malt (from wheat and barley);
- according to the rules, malt must be sieved - thanks to its fine consistency, barley malt is sieved much faster and better than dark malt.
Barley malt also has disadvantages:
- when using low-quality grain in powder, mold develops, significantly impairing the taste and smell of products prepared on its basis;
- during storage, malt requires periodic ventilation; if this condition is not observed, the grains acquire a characteristic cucumber smell.
Algorithm of actions during cooking
The quality of the malt directly depends on the quality of the grain and the time of its germination. Barley takes 9-10 days to germinate, and rye takes 5-6 days.
Pay attention to the following characteristics of the grain:
- freshly harvested seeds should not be used, they have poor germination;
- the ideal age for malt grains is 2 months to a year;
- grains must be fully ripe, indicators of such maturity are light yellow in color and characteristic severity;
- inside healthy barley seeds are white and loose;
- when immersed in water, full-fledged cereals drown.
Selected grains are checked for germination. To do this, wrap 100 pieces with a soft damp cloth. and put on a saucer. After 3 days, they should sprout. The germination rate of 90% is considered to be the reference and suitable for production, that is, 90-92 grains should germinate.
To begin with, the grain is cleaned:
- seeds are sifted through a coarse sieve to remove stones, debris, remnants of dry soil and clay;
- magnets are used to remove possible metallic impurities;
- the grains are washed in hot water several times;
- complete cleaning in the absence of characteristic turbidity in the drained water.
The grains are poured with water and left for 6-8 hours. A more complex method is also used: the grains are left in water for a day, and the water is changed every 6 hours.
The grains obtained in this way already have a sprout outline, their skin is easily separated from the pulp. Additionally, it is recommended to disinfect the grains in a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
- grains, after soaking in a wet state, are laid out on the bottom of a tray or box, the layer thickness should not exceed 5 cm;
- the container is covered with a cotton cloth to prevent rapid evaporation of moisture;
- the temperature is maintained at about + 15 ° С;
- the grain is periodically thoroughly mixed.
In such conditions, the grain is left for about a week. During this time, the sprouted barley sprout should exceed the grain size by 1.5-2 times.
Necessary conditions for malting
The no-water malting method has been described above. But there is another method called pouring:
- the grain is immersed in a container with holes, for example, a metal double-sided sieve in a box;
- periodically water the barley with water from different sides of the sieve - from 2 to 5 times a day;
- for quick malting use warm heated water, for natural - normal temperature.
The procedure is recommended to be performed more often, not only to accelerate germination, but also to flush out harmful microbes that may appear on wet grain.
Barley, watered with heated water, can sprout full-sized in 5 days. Under normal conditions, the process can take about a week.
Decontamination and aging of finished malt
Disinfection is carried out by sprinkling the finished seedlings with a solution of vodka or vinegar. You can use a weak solution of potassium permanganate.
Then the grains are dried. You can do this in the attic or with a fan heater. This must be done carefully. If moisture persists even in small amounts, mold damage is possible.
Important! If you find mold, you need to select and remove the affected grains, the rest will be usable.
If left in the raw material, the sprouts will give the malt an unpleasant aftertaste. Therefore, after drying, they are removed. This can be done in 2 ways:
- Scroll the grains in the mixer - the dried sprouts will fly off first, then sift.
- Place the prepared beans in a bag and shake it vigorously - the effect will be the same.
The grain is kept to a moisture content of 2-5%, then ground into powder in a coffee grinder or blender.
Malt application and storage
If you have made green malt without thoroughly drying it, you need to grind it and use it as a raw material for making a drink.
Green malt is poured with water to produce wort, which is then added to ordinary wheat or barley, as well as yeast for fermentation. To give the drinks a varied taste and color, malt obtained from different cereals is mixed. A mixture of barley and rye grains makes the color of the beer especially rich.
Whiskey can be single malt or double malt. The latter is stronger, but the former is faster.
The refined malt is dried again to extend its shelf life.
Important! Drying temperature should not exceed 40 ° C, otherwise beneficial malt enzymes will be destroyed.
Dried cereals are more difficult to grind and can ruin the grinder. Therefore, the use of a grain grinder is recommended.
The resulting powder is placed in glass jars, they are tightly closed and placed in a cool, dry place, free from direct sunlight.
Tips & Tricks
When making malt at home, consider these important guidelines:
- the pale color of drinks is corrected by mixing varieties and adding rye malt;
- the taste of green malt drinks differs from the taste of dried malt;
- the higher the grade and quality of the barley, the better and richer the taste of the beer;
- germination of grains, some amateurs successfully produce in the refrigerator;
- if the grain emits a whitish liquid, this means that it was overexposed during germination, it is useless to use it;
- husk on grains is a sign of poor-quality cleaning;
- to disinfect the grains, it is permissible to use mouthwash.
Making malt with your own hands from barley is not as complicated as it seems at first. If you have the desire and care, it will be possible to germinate the grains simply and quickly. And then an exciting, creative action begins - making drinks at home, where you can give free rein to your imagination.