Making Medieval Beer From Seed Barley
Reproducing Ancient Beer Recipe From Scratch
Recently I managed to get a hold of a good quantity of seed barley, a ridiculous amount, but we won't mention that right now. Now seed barley is not normally what would be used to make beer when doing home brew, normally one would just go out and buy malt all ready to go, but since I am not normal I am going to attempt to brew my first ever batch of beer straight from seed. I intend to malt my own barley and turn it into beer, hopefully it will be tasty beer, but for my first batch I would be satisfied with drinkable.
This article will track my progress. Please check back often.
Image source sxc.hu
If this is my first brew why am I starting from scratch like this and not using a kit? Simply because I can. Sure I could start by buying a kit and brewing at a U-Brew, but what's the fun in that? I do projects like this to learn how its done, if I used a kit I am skipping huge chunks of the process, to me it is more logical to start from the basics and possibly use the short cut methods later on.
Besides I am a history geek, and historically the beers brewed were significantly different than most modern brews, it would be hard to brew a beer using a historical recipe using modern mixes. Most medieval and older recipes did not include hops, while hops are now considered an integral part of brewing. My hope is to end up with a beverage that is almost identical to the ales that would have been brewed in the Medieval Times.
As to why use seed and not specific malt barley, malt barley is the same but just very controlled and very carefully selected for protein content and other specific markers. I will be using seed for three reasons,
- It's what I have
- it's cheap
- It's more historically representative of what most brewers would have used
I will be using a recipe from my all time favourite source of brewing recipes. Yes I am that much of a geek that I have a favourite source, what's your point? Moving on!
I have not chosen exactly which recipe I will be using, but when I do I will post it. For now I am primarily interested in how to turn my freshly obtained barley seed into malt for brewing.
Do You Brew?
Have you ever brewed your own beer?
Web Resources For Malting
Now the question is how do I take grain seed and turn that into malt. Luckily my old friend the Interwebs has all the answers. I have collected a few links to sites that tell me exactly how to produce my own malt from seed. As I go through the process myself I will be taking tons of pictures and videos of the process myself and will add them to this article.
Have You Malted
Have you ever malted barley from seed?
- Malting Barley Grain at Home | Home Brewing Beer Blog by BeerSmith
A great site of detailed step by step instructions on how to make your own malt at home.
- Make Your Own Malt
BYO.com is a reputable beer brewing site, this brief article is a great introduction on how to make your own malt.
- a fear of flying: How To Make Your Own Barley Malt
This blog deals with malting barley for other purposes. Malt is not only the primary source of sugar for beer brewing, but a great food flavourant as well.
- How to Malt Barley | eHow
How to Malt Barley. Malted barley is one of the essential ingredients for most beers. Therefore, it is important for serious home brewers who have the desire to do everything themselves from the bottom up to know how to prepare it. The equipment requ