Friday, February 8, 2008

Malting Barley

Cebada malteado
In my search for brewing ingredients and equipment I have been unsucessful at finding malted barley. In the Mexican dialect it would be called 'cebada malteado' although all the locals expressed complete confusion on thier faces when I asked if they knew where to get some. Recently while shopping in the 'Bonanza' supermercado (the Trader Joe's of San Miquel) I came across 1 Kilo size bags of cebado. This particular barley is the small, thin husk type that I believe is refered to as 'Pearl'. I decided I would experiment and attempt to malt this puney grain. I have to admit I was a little excited about the prospect of success and a possible source for beers main ingredient. I went to work immediately soaking the barley in water, rinsing, and finally spreding it out to sprout. Surprise, it did sprout and had grown enough to stop the process in 6 days. I tried to dry it out in the oven set on a low temperature (120.f.) but our antiquated gas oven failed to stay lit at that low temp. I then put it out in the sun but it still wasn't drying. Then, I believe I made my fatel mistake, I raised the oven temp. to 250f. and I believe I over baked the grain because when I finally went through the mashing proceedure I extracted negligable amounts of sugar. Anyway, the search goes on. I won't be ordering any more malt from the states because of the high cost of shipping so if I brew here again (after I use up my current supply of liquid malt extract), it will be because I've found malted barley.

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