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Mashing raw barley

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So @Silk City Distillers got me wondering about taste differences between raw and malted barley.  So think, "self, just make ten gallons of beer from both malted & raw, run them through a simple pot and see if you can tell them apart".  Then I realized I have no idea how to mash raw barley. I guess I'd start like I do a cereal mash with corn except at 150 not 190.  Adjust pH, add alpha and gluco? I'm stumped on this. 

 

 

 

 

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 a simple test is to cook a small amount grist say couple pounds , cook it with no enzymes till the starch is gelatinous like a bowl of thick glue . keep track of your temp and how long it took . then when you do a real batch replicate the temp and time but add your high temp enzyme on the heat up to keep it loose . the unmalted barley we use may not be same as yours but , 160 f held for 30 min seems to work for us . as temp drops add low temp enzyme at 150 . different varieties of barley may be different 

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We've done some whiskey from 100% unmalted barley flour, we just mashed it the same as how we deal with other unmalted grains using a high temp alpha and gluco. So far the unmalted barley spirit has gotten pretty poor marks for flavor, and we'll ultimately probably need to blend the barrels with something else down the road. We've tried out a lot of different grains (rice, oats, rye, wheat, corn, millet, sorghum, barley) and unmalted barley is the least appealing to my palate.  

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Our Rye is 100% unmalted, and our Oat Bourbon is 100% unmalted oat and corn (no malt) - both get overwhelmingly positive reviews.

The big question I raised is can you really do a comparison unless you can source grain grown in a similar manner, this applies to the end distillate being better or worse.

A typical enzyme mash for us is to add grain around 120, adjust ph to 5.2-5.4, add Beta Glucanase and half of the high temp amylase.  Raise to the upper end of the gelatinization temperate range from the grain, hold for 1.5-2 hours, start dropping temperature.  Add the second half of the amylase.  Recheck pH and adjust to 5.2 if necessary, add glucoamylase at 140 - hold for 1.5 hours, cool, pitch.

You absolutely need to add nutrient when using unmalted grain, especially so if you are not using backset.  Unmalted grain will be too low in FAN for a healthy fermentation.

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1 hour ago, Silk City Distillers said:

The big question I raised is can you really do a comparison unless you can source grain grown in a similar manner, this applies to the end distillate being better or worse.

That's exactly what we're doing.  The farmer from whom we get our corn plants both rye and barley as cover crops. We're getting samples of both this week.  Alternatively there is a local maltster we may work with. Exploring all options.   

That's the first I've heard about adding nutes to unmalted barley.  Similiar to a nutrient regimen we'd use for molasses?

 

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we have done tests on different varieties of barley and harrington 2 row is always the winner . anything we have tried with 6 row barley has ended up less than impressive.  we found 6 row to have way higher protein and less starch ,,,,great feed barley but not so great for mashing .   the type of soil its grown on and the weather conditions have a large influence on the grain . a good year seems to grow good barley that has 10 percent or hopefully less small starch granules in the kernel thus dropping the gel temp significantly .

 silk city as far as nutrients go we have never tried that you may be onto some thing , possibly the yeast trub from the previous batch would work . guess we need to do an experiment . 

tim   

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3 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

A typical enzyme mash for us is to add grain around 120, adjust ph to 5.2-5.4, add Beta Glucanase and half of the high temp amylase.

Exactly what we do for rye

3 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Raise to the upper end of the gelatinization temperate range from the grain, hold for 1.5-2 hours, start dropping temperature

144° - 146° F ?

4 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

hold for 1.5-2 hours, start dropping temperature Add the second half of the amylase.

Couldn't you simply add all of the HTA at the upper end of the gel range and start cooling upon negative starch test?  

4 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Recheck pH and adjust to 5.2 if necessary, add glucoamylase at 140 - hold for 1.5 hours, cool, pitch.

This sounds reasonable. So I ask this..  suppose we're doing a gristbill of 80 corn / 20 barley.  Could we conduct a cereal mash all at the same time? Add all grain,  b-glucan at 125, raise to 190 add HTA, hold until negative starch, cool to 150 and add g-am?  

 

 

 

 

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