Bitburg had some strong beer. Loved their wines though.
Bitburg had some strong beer. Loved their wines though.
The people that write about malting as a "sprouting" procedure are really not quite right.
It is more of a germination process that is cut off very early. If you have real sprouts you don't have malt.
You do watch for signs of sprouting all the time once you know what you are doing with a particular batch of grain. Usually do a small test of a few grains to see how long it takes for them to sprout.
When you get to the point of what would be done on the "floor" (if you are home brewing you don't do it in that sort of quantity) you have to watch the stuff really closely so that you catch the first tiny sprouts so that you can start the roasting process to stop that and convert the starch to sugar more by heating it. Stuff gets way to advanced in sprouting in less than an hour or two to make good malt.
Takes very little heat to stop the entire sugar creation process. Light beers are the sweetest. Dark beers have a bitter taste. Amber beers are between. This is caused by the amount of roast you put them through. Like bread being toasted the malt becomes darker the longer it is roasted. You get less ferment-able sugars the darker it gets and also more intense flavor and also more solids in the final product.
I have only roasted in small batches in home kitchen type ovens. Have always wondered about the smoking/roasting. Can see why they would use Beech. Low heat output so easier to control the temp of the roast over time. But it is kind of nasty smoke.
Oak would be challenging to set up because of the high heat output. I have always wondered how some fruit tree woods would work. Be the same problem as with Oak as far as heat goes but you could get some interesting flavors.
I suspect that most of us would prefer a mix of non smoked and smoked malt as far as the flavors go. More of a hint from small amounts of smoked malt added to non smoked malt when making the mash.
Be fun experimenting with it. Would need to make several small (5 gal) batches to find the level of roast you wanted and to fine tune the roasting process. Then make several more batches of mixed to find the real point where you like the results the best.
Making beer is a lot of fun. Experimenting is simply required. It is also a great excuse to make a lot of batches of beer.
As unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about making beer;
Do it with some other people
Make sure those people keep damned quiet about making beer
Keep really good records of your recipes and the process you use for each and every batch including good notes on what you thought of the batch
If you have people like that you can sample and compare recipes and so forth and make some really good beers quite quickly.
But - BIG BUT - if every one finds out you are making beer you will never have enough for yourself. Buggers show up and drink it all for you.
It is really easy to make a pretty good beer. Compared to what you ask. Compared to just about any commercially, mass produced beer anywhere in the world. Low damned bar. So you can get beer pretty easily on your first try that is at least that good. You get picky quite early in the process or simply give up on it. So it gets better with every batch.
With good records you can reproduce batches that were, in your opinion and maybe in some of your beer making friends opinions, really good.
As an example I am partial to amber beers (light beer is NOT related in the least to calorie content it is all about color - no matter what commercial beer makers claim) but really like getting that amber by making my mash from light and dark malt mixed. You get a bit sweeter beer but also more flavor and it is just really what I like.
You just have to keep good records and do it from the start. You can go back and try some early ones when you have more experience, make according to the record and probably get a better result, then modify that. You never, ever should get to the point you are not learning something new - just too many options.
Has become quite a fad now. So there are a lot of suppliers out there. The sell some really expensive equipment that would be great to have. But all you need is a good hydrometer, thermometer, some good stainless, large pot (like a large stock pot) and a couple plastic buckets (food grade) and a bottling wand (hard tube with a needle valve in the end - handy for racking too - but great for putting the brew in to bottles because the valve is activated by pushing it to the bottom of the bottle and cuts off when you lift it - no waste - and also designed to leave the right amount of head space in the bottle).
Buckets can be gotten from all sorts of food places. Fast food outfits through out a lot of them. Pickle buckets work great and really do clean up fine (I was dubious). They have tight lids and all you need is a airlock on the lid (3/8 inch hole drilled in lid or what ever size your airlock is).
You need 2 buckets so you can do the ferment in one and then "rack" to the second one (siphon the stuff from one to the other leaving the sediment mostly behind).
That is really all you ever need. But it is definitely all you need to learn to make beer with (or wine) and you can then get what you actually need or want when you know more about what you are doing.
Fun stuff to do.
Now I have been reminded of smoked malt!!! Thanks.
Well, fuck that. I'm making Vodka!
Can see why they would use Beech. Low heat output so easier to control the temp of the roast over time. But it is kind of nasty smoke.
On top of that, around Banberg beech is also just common. Forests there are likely to be beech, or larch or spruce, and larch and spruce are a bit too valuable as building material to be used as fire-wood for making malt. 😉
W? You'll still need big pots.
I don't mind the space taken. The complexity is what's so off putting. I'm definitely going with Vodka! and perhaps whiskey.
Without the redneck shit.
Oh, I am, without a doubt, a redneck. Have you forgotten that I coined the term Linux redneck?
My memory doesn't serve me well. Sorry about that Warf Face Billy Jean.