Friday, February 1, 2008

Micro-malting

One of the reasons that I decided to study at VLB over some of the other major brewing schools (U.C. Davis, Siebel, Heriot-Watt, Doemens, etc.) is because the VLB curriculum gives malting a lot of attention. As we progress through our training, I am realizing more and more just how important that is.

VLB has a micro-maltery and we're using it to malt some winter barley. We began steeping on Saturday and this is what our barley kernels looked like on Wednesday (still a little shy of our desired steeping degree). Using winter barley is especially interesting because it is high in protein, and is therefore not normally used for brewing beer (difficult in the brewhouse, lower extract, etc.). But with a global shortage of malting grade spring barley, it is becoming a more attractive option. We'll just have to wait and see how the beer we brew with this malt tastes...

Here are some more pictures of John and I in the micro-maltery, as well as a shot of some Brettanomyces, which some brewers use to make Belgian style beers (yuck). It will be considered a contaminant in my brewery.

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