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Sniffles

In search for agriculture knowledge for home growing?

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I am obsessed with this Beer Brewing bug and I am one of those people that can not put something down until I master it. so ergo my need to to become a farmer.

At this point I have researched my eyes blood red about the process' of growing and malting barley but I find myself  having trouble with a couple topics.

1. Growing Barley

     - Does anyone have any good information about different strains of 2 row or 6 Row barley?

     - Or is there really just the 2?

     - Does any one have any good suppliers for "unmalted" barley?  (seeds I can grow obviously)

     - What is the difference in Organic vs (for the lack of a better word) non Organic barley?

     - Any Ag (meaning Agricultural) advice for growing barley in Southern California.  (Orange County to be specific)

     - What strains of Barley grow better in Southern Cali?

2. Malting:  My plan to master the malting process is with running 20 - 25 1-2 LBS batches of various malts.

     - Any good suppliers of unmalted barley to play with. (prefer supplier in Southern California)

     - Any malting advice on malting techniques to boost efficiency. 

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I haven't grown my own barley but I have done some home malting for 2.2-3.0 gallon batches.

This link has some of what I do, with pictures.

If all goes well I get about the same conversion as would be expected from commercial malt.

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Nice Picks,  and thanks for the link.

where do you get your grains from?

any advice on my other Questions?

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I get most of my raw grains from here. Probably a bit expensive, but the product is good.

Where ever you get the raw grain from you'll need to be careful to get whole or sprouting grain. If the grain has been dehusked it won't sprout.

The basic steps of malting grain are hydrating, sprouting, drying, and roasting if needed.

Were you settling on any particular methods or equipment yet?

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Thanks for the Link!  I see most of their product is in small batches.  I was looking more for 25-50 pounds so I can work on several Malts at a time. 

Do you know much about the different varieties of 2 Row Barley?

Malting:

Not really following any methods yet but I do plan on using and building the following:

 - I am planning on running small scale batches so I will mostly use house hold containers and PET Buckets for Hydrating and sprouting

 - I am building a 2-4 drawer low temp kiln that will double as a Hop Oast for the initial stage of Malting.

 - I am also going to use an old smoker as a roasting Kiln as It has a rotisery that will stir the grain so I get a uniform Roast.

any advice on techniques or Equipment? 

As far as growing the Barley I have not gotten into to much research as I  want to master the malting process first.

 - basic gardening tools for Equipment.  

 - I am planning on running 3-5 rows in a 5' X 15' or 20' Plot for Planting

 - I am building a raised planter with some base screening to keep them underground varmints under control.

 - not sure what Fertilizer/soil conditioners I will use but I want to keep it as close to Organic as I can.

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Check the dropdown boxes. Barley, Millet, Oats, Spelt, and 3 kinds of Wheat all come in larger volumes. The barley comes in 25, 30, and 50 lbs. 

I don't know much about different barleys. There is a type (or types) that are considered better for malting and brewing. I'll guess that is not what is available from the link.

I malt using a kitchen pot (covered with a large splatter screen) for soaking (the screen helps strain off the water as well as keep bugs out), sprout in large terra cotta plates (like for holding planters--sanitized between batches), and dry/roast in my oven in aluminum pans. I can do 3-4 lbs at a time like this.

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Interesting I never thought about covering the Grain while soaking.

On the Topic of Bugs is there any bug I need to be on the Look out for?  I have read about whevals but I think that is a Dry grain infestation.

How long do you typically sprout your Grain? 

Is there a time difference in germination between small batches and large batches? 

Do you typically have a fairly uniform germination or do you have a good technique for achieving this?

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Sprouting can be anywhere from 3-5 days.

I've only done smaller batches.

I'm sure all the grain does not sprout the same. Just look for mostly sprouted how you want, some will be more and some will be less.

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