From the HBD Archive
From: bickham@msc2.msc.cornell.edu (Scott Bickham)
Subject: MALTING
Date: 1992-04-27 18:31:38 GMT

Richard Foulk asks,

> * Is the main purpose of kilning, for light malts, simply to add color
> and a slightly different flavor to the brew? Or does it play some
> other important role? I've heard it said that it stops the malting
> process, but drying seems to do that quite well.

> * Is there something that I can safely mix with the steep water that
> will retard bacteria growth (keep the grain from going sour)
> without adversely affecting the malt? (I currently do a lot of
> rinsing after the steep, every few hours or so, but this seems to
> speed up the sprouting process more than is preferrable.)

> * Is there an easy way to remove the roots from the grain? Is it really
> necessary to bother?

1. Kilning is important because it begins the destruction of the enzymes,
which is continued into the mash process. Ordinary drying will not do
this. Kilning the malts also changes the color of malts by producing
melanoidins via the Maillard reaction. DMS is also destroyed in the
strong kilning that pale ale malts undergo.

2. Alkaline steep waters can check microbial growth and steep phenolic
materials from the grain. Non-Reinheitsgebot maltsters sometimes use
gibberic acid or potassium bromate to reduce malting losses. A
decent reference on this is "Malting and Brewing Science", ed. by
D.E. Briggs et.al., London; New York: Chapman and Hall (1981-82). I
don't know if you can find this book, but it is kept on reserve here
at one of the Cornell libraries.

3. I remember reading that if the malt is dried correctly, then the roots
fall off very easily. They actually have a high nutritional value for
livestock, so maltsters go through great efforts to recover and sell
the roots.

Keep us posted - this is something I'm interested in trying someday.

Scott

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