Ruddy's Malting setup

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Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Jun 13, 2021 3:42 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Well it is that time of year to start a new single malt and this is my setup, I just do 4-5 kg's at a time as thats all my old bucket with holes in the bottom will accommodate.

I soak the grains for 24 hours in the grain bucket and I use a 10 litre bucket to hold the grain bucket, when it's time to drain I just put a couple of bits of wood so the grain bucket can sit on and drain. I leave the grain bucket in water overnight then prop it up to drain so i can check on the plumpness of the grains, then if they need a bit more then they soak for a few more hours.

Now I use a dual purpose SS trough as it lets the grains sprout then when it's time for drying what I did last year was put the grains in a oven I made for another project and put a 2 ring crab burner under and over the course of 3 hours the chits were starting to part so the first process was done. Last year I just put the trough outside with the fluro cover on and in days the grains were fully dried.

I made a cover from fluro lenses which on the final drying process does a great job.

5 kg malt trough.jpg


Now as we can see in that pic I have put a cover over so the sunlight won't hit the fluro cover and heat up the trough which will dry out the grains. Every day after work I check the moisture content and use a spray bottle to add more water ensuring all the grains are kept damp.

grains.jpg


As we can see there is a 2" drain on the side of the trough and this year I'm going to go on a different tack to drying the grains, I do have a few fans on my shed fire to warm the whole shed so my idea is to fab up a manifold and blow warm air thru the drain so it acts just like a dehydrator. As I will be there I'll keep mixing the grains around as to not burn the one's closest. As this will be a new process it will be interesting see how it works.

Now the barely I'm using was $17 for 20kg's at the local hardware and last year it cost a heap more for the same stuff off the same supplier at a different fodder store. Now everyone that has tasted last years AG project say money can't buy this as it's just so nice.

So i must be doing something right which is always learning to make the best drop one can and the research goes on and on and will never stop as one can say everything can be better.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby hjubm2 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:26 pm

Good to see the way other accomplish the same task! Looking like a great, simple way to do it. Looking at this your not kilning the grain, only drying it correct? I've been looking into making a combined rotary malter/kiln to do 15-20kg batches of Rye, your way of doing it gives me plenty of new ideas now!
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:47 pm

hjubm2 wrote:Good to see the way other accomplish the same task! Looking like a great, simple way to do it. Looking at this your not kilning the grain, only drying it correct? I've been looking into making a combined rotary malter/kiln to do 15-20kg batches of Rye, your way of doing it gives me plenty of new ideas now!



Yea mate I do find as long as the grains are dry enough to put thru my corona mill without clogging it up is good enough for me, last years batch was my first foray into AG and to get a full conversion had me dancing with joy :handgestures-thumbupleft: Now to find 12 months later this drop is the best I've ever made and it's bye bye to using breakfast cereal for making a tasty drop as AG is much better and I will never take a back step.

I have a look for rye but keep coming up with blanks so for me it's a single malt and for the second generation I'll add 5 kg's corn and for the 3rd generation 5 kg each of corn and crushed barely just like I did last year.

Now mate I'm only 1/2 an hour up the freeway so call in for a hello :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby hjubm2 » Sun Jun 13, 2021 4:58 pm

RuddyCrazy wrote:I have a look for rye but keep coming up with blanks so for me it's a single malt

Now mate I'm only 1/2 an hour up the freeway so call in for a hello :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Well I'm still slowly making the parts for that new bubbler so if you have time still to help me with the soldering I may be able to bring you up a (roughly) 25kg bag of the Rye I've been using :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:22 pm

hjubm2 wrote:
RuddyCrazy wrote:I have a look for rye but keep coming up with blanks so for me it's a single malt

Now mate I'm only 1/2 an hour up the freeway so call in for a hello :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Well I'm still slowly making the parts for that new bubbler so if you have time still to help me with the soldering I may be able to bring you up a (roughly) 25kg bag of the Rye I've been using :handgestures-thumbupleft:


Mate come up for a drive but do stop in a grab a mapp gas bottle as mine is getting low :handgestures-thumbupleft: If you need a hand with soldering bring up what you have done tomorrow and i'll help you learn the craft of soldering so you can finish your project.

Now as this is getting off topic I will be providing pic's of the process and if I do get this right it can be a guide for the forum.

In the past people think you need to kiln the grains where in fact if they grind without clogging the corona mill they are ready for the mash, I was surprised with the mash last year when after one hour the refractometer was showing 1037 so I knew the conversion was getting there. After 3 hours I did the iodine test and it did show a full conversion.

So this was my first foray into AG and mate you will see what 12 months can do to this drop :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby Wellsy » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:50 pm

Nice work Bryan
Will be following your footsteps once my nephew in law starts stripping barley this year.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:32 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Well day one and got atleast 98% of grains with the chits starting :handgestures-thumbupleft: and gave them a bit of spray with water and mixed them around

day 1.jpg


So looking good sofar

Cheers Bryan

Edit: you guy's may see better pic's now as I got a new phone and no more keeping the phone in the top pocket when welding :angry-banghead:
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Last edited by RuddyCrazy on Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby Wellsy » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:32 pm

Looks good Bryan
So this is what the grain looks like after the soaking and being in the tray for a day or two if I am reading your instructions correctly
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Mon Jun 14, 2021 4:45 pm

Wellsy wrote:Looks good Bryan
So this is what the grain looks like after the soaking and being in the tray for a day or two if I am reading your instructions correctly


Sure is mate and just make sure the grains soak in water for a full day so they can take on the required water and way they are going next weekend will be time for drying. Had a bit of sun today and the ambient temp in my shed was 20C now the temp gauge I put under the cover was showing 30C so in theory this should get the germination going with a head start. Ok the temp gets down at night but I don't think that will too much of a problem at all.

Now I have been thinking instead of just doing a piggyback generation by using backset and inverted sugar I might just keep malting do a second mash after the distilling run then use some backset in the second ferment to create a sour mash. I don't if anyone does this but I do reckon it's worth a shot. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby Wellsy » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:19 pm

Thanks Bryan
Following this one with interest as there is a big different between $10:00 for 20kg verses 55:00 for 20 kg of malted barley
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:13 pm

Well it does look like the cold has taken a huge toll on this attempt :handgestures-thumbdown: as only got about 10% with the sprouts out of the grain and it is a knotted mess which I'm untangling each day :angry-banghead: So looks like this batch and the rest of the sack is going into angel yeast ferment once I get the next TPW run done so I have a 60 litre fermenter.

also it did look like this grain does have some age to it which could also be playing a big role in the failure to all sprout.

O'well it was fun to try but it does look like I'll have to wait until spring.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby Sam. » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:12 pm

Ruddy, barley germinates in the cold ground at seeding time but with moisture will still fine.

If you haven’t already binned it just wait a bit. There is a reason why malsters don’t use cold water.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:37 pm

Thanks for the reply Sam and I did think this batch would of gone off OK, anyway I did call into the hardware and I asked for just how long did those bags of barely had been sitting there. He did say as they were not a big seller that bag I bought would be close to 12 months old. Now just about all of the grain did shoot out the thin roots with just mat up and only the ones on the bottom seemed to sprout but on looking this arvo not very many.

As it has been close to a week I do think this batch is a ride off so I have taken the blanket out and taken the shade off, so when the sun does shine the SS trough does heatup and using natural convection those grains will dry out so it won't be a wasted effort.

This week at work I did score some 100mm x 2.5mm RHS which fits my 24 volt fans nicely so the project is now to get them made up so one side can be used to heat that old railway box I keep my 60 litre ferments on and by heating the box with warm air will in term provide warmth to my fermenters and the other side will go into my project for the grain drying. Now with my fans being 24 volts I can power them straight off my shed batterybank and I'll makeup a circuit to monitor the heat

With that 185mm perforated cylinder I have sits nicely into that 200mm ID pipe I have sitting here so the idea is to make up a unit that blow warm to hot air in while cylinder is rotating. So as the grain dries the chits will fall off and go thru the holes where the inforce of the air will blow then out to a bucket for disposal.Also I have a few 50 volt DC motors to provide power for turning the cylinder and they do run nicely off the shed battery which is 24 volt 735AH forklift battery. So no sense to go to 240 volts AC and the need to gear down where with DC a 10K pot can be used for speed control.

The only problem for me is time as work has me working 6 days a week and with this new job it may even go to 7 days a week with a day off every 13 days just to keep a person sane.

Cheers Bryan

Ok this unit will probably only do 3kg at a time but when designing things it best to start small and with the gear I have here so no costs are involved.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby hjubm2 » Sat Jun 19, 2021 6:31 pm

Sounds like your following the exact route now that I've been looking at. I've seen it work well in the past so hopefully goes well for you. Keep us posted
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:27 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Well due to work I didn't have much time to devote to the barely so I just chucked the grain into a cardboard box and put it in my hotbox down at the house. Well with the weather the way it is it hasn't totally dried out the grain so today had a good look and to my surprise most of the grains had sprouted :handgestures-thumbupleft: so as I had my shed fire going I put a couple of SS trays ontop of the fire and put some grain onto dry. It did take a bit of time for the first batch and soon enough heard the snap crackle pop of the grains so got my scraper and move the grains around, now using this method one does end up with some choccy malt of in plain words scorched black malt :laughing-rolling:

Put the dried grains thru my corona mill and the malty smell just drifted up :handgestures-thumbupleft: so once I get this first batch all processed I'll make start on the second batch.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby bluc » Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:06 pm

Always nice to have a win bryan.
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby Ned » Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:47 pm

Single Malt Whisky.jpg
My Malting Set up. Just updated the machine and slowed it down.
Nice cool weather at the moment so I am going to have another crack (10kg) won't need to put it in the fridge
This is what I did back in December 2020.
The result was a single malt whisky. Very nice drop.

Malting in the fridge at 14 deg. 4 Steeps and 3 Rests, but I think its time to start the germination. Aimed for 45% got 46%. Time to put my steeped malt into this Beast. I might just air rest it for a couple more hours.
Weighted the whole container (estimates 46%) and also 50gram sample in the tea strainer (estimates 45%). Grain bends without breaking. The only issue I found in the fridge is that once you refresh the water at this time of the year is is about another 8 degrees warmer. So you need to decide whether temp probe goes in the grain or just in the fridge. In the fridge it will eventually cool the water/grain to temp, but takes a few hours. Hindmarsh Barley
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:54 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Well without a drying setup as yet and the way the weather is going it was time to stop the grains full stop :laughing-rolling: So got my heat gun out and gave all the grains some warmth, now where I saw shoots and there was plenty they got a good blast to ensure they wouldn't be growing anymore. :laughing-rolling:

At work today saw a heap of perforated gal sheet and asked my workmate if it was scrap where he said take what you want mate. Then I suggested we bring the plate roller back to the workshop as I do have a job or two to do :handgestures-thumbupleft: He said mate next week when we are quiet it won't be a problem and what do you want to make.

Well I just said with that sheet rolling some to say a 350mm diameter to make a kiln for drying grains for malting, he said well mate you better make two of them as the more we talk about setting me up to make my own is getting better by the day. So it make it easy just stick the heat gun in one end and have the grains turning over so the warm air will get to all of the grain. Just the low setting would be all thats needed and after using it a few times the time taken to dry can be recorded for future use.

With my next batch I'll only go 1/2 a bucket as it will make it easy to handle the amount of grains, now it will take a few times to say the least to get the full sack done but what is time when one one is making a nice drop and as far as effort only is enough is needed to complete the task.

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Wed Jun 30, 2021 6:12 pm

G'Day Guy's,
Went up to the shed tonight after work to see how the grains were going and there was still some green shoots so gave all the grains a good blasting with the heat gun then a thought popped into my skull :scared-eek: Just take off the duct tape on the drain outlet and stick the heat gun in :handgestures-thumbupleft: also put my temp gauge on where the 3 panels meet on the lid and with the heat gun on the low setting it soon got to 60C. So decided to put it on the high setting and it didn't take very long to reach 100C. I kept the heating going until the base of the trough was very warm to the touch then turned off the heat gun and put a sleeping bag ontop.

Also gave the corona mill a good clean after it soaked in a bucket of water overnight so tomorrow arvo as I'm knocking off work early to get my car fixed I'll see if the grains are dry enough for putting thru the corona mill. If I'm not happy with the dryness I'll just throw a heap in a steel bucket and give it a good blast with the heat gun to get the grains fully dry for processing.

Anyway after trialling this out tonight I'll give it a go with wet grain when it's time and it may just work out the way to go. I did notice over the last 2 nights of using the heat gun which in total was well over an hour my shed battery didn't even notice the load :laughing-rolling: but my inverter was in full cooling mode :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:

Cheers Bryan
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Re: Ruddy's Malting setup

Postby RuddyCrazy » Sat Jul 03, 2021 5:01 pm

Well as it was a cold morning in the shed and putting one round thru the corona mill the grains were still a tad damp so with my shed fire raging I decided to raise the SS plates off the top of the wood heater with some 1" square bar. This worked a treat and I'm onto the last batch so got 1/2 a bucket of grain soaking for the next batch of malting. I found around 20 minutres had the grains nice and warm and it was on the arms grinding the lot of them, I do have a few 10 litre buckets with sealing lids so the crushed grain will be stored air tight to keep it fresh. :handgestures-thumbupleft:

drying setup.jpg


By the time I get thru this 20kg's of barely I reckon i'll have 3 or 4 of these buckets full of crushed malt so when it comes to mashing time it will be easy just open the buckets up and chuck the lot in once the strike temp is reached.

malty goodness.jpg


All good fun and I'm hoping this years winter run will be better than last years but man that will be hard to beat as this is by far the best whisky I've made.

Cheers Bryan
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