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Hey folks, I've been gearing up to produce some whiskey from unmalted barley. I've done a few very small test mashes so far and the results have been a little disappointing. My efficiency is traditionally good with corn and rye but these have been really reluctant to give me what I'm looking for. Some details: - I'm trying for a ~28 gallon beer (5 lbs grain w/ 2.2 gallons water up front for a final volume of 2.5 gallons wash) - I'm gelating above 190 for nearly an hour - have tried both 10% & 30% malt additions - have tried to reduce viscosity with "rests" at ~105 and 130 (tho given mash thickness, I probably didn't wait long enough) I eventually saw conversion pick up when I finally bumped my saccharification temp up to ~150, but in the end I still got much lower extraction than I do on corn and rye. I have not done a starch test yet, though the wort does look turbid throughout the mash. I've assumed this cloudiness is from a protein-rich batch of grain. I have stirred these mashes as I normally do, which is every 20 or so mins. I'm curious if an abundance of protein/glucan can congest the wort to a point where conversion is compromised? Are the enzymes likely to just get bogged down like that? At this point, I might try using the 30% malt in three additions: 3% premalt, 13.5% at start of mash schedule, then another 13.5% after 145 deg saccharification. I'm thinking with this last addition I can extend conversion into the high 150s w/o worrying about denaturing things too quickly. I'm running out of ideas on this and would like to figure it out without hightempase or such. Are there any particular tricks to mashing unmalted barley (and other protein-rich grains)? Clearly the Irish make it work, and I'm guessing they don't use enzymes either. Cheers!