The Fresh Loaf

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Making Red Rye Malt

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dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Making Red Rye Malt

I took 60 g of rye berries and soaked them for 5 hours in water.  Then, taking a metal sheet tray, I moistened a paper towel and placed it on the tray and spread the berries over the paper towel.  I then took two paper towels, moistened them, placed them over the berries, covered the sheet pan with plastic wrap and covered the whole shebang with a kitchen towel.. Every day I would move the berries around and spray the top of the paper towels a little water to keep them moist - not wet.  After 96 hours from start to finish the berries were ready to dry and looked like this.

The tray looked like this.

I then dried the berries in my table top Cuisinart convection oven.  The berries were stirred and the pan was rotated 18o degrees every 15 minutes.  I used a drying schedule of 30 minutes each at 175 F (convection), 225 F, 275 F and then 20 minutes at 325 F and they were done. Here are pictures at the end of each time and temperature.

175 F

225 F

275 F

325 F

After grinding the original 60 g of berries, it made 32 G of Red Rye Malt Powder.  The powder looked like this.

 

Comments

mwilson's picture
mwilson

Seriously cool!

Nice guide of the individual steps. This is one of those things I'd like to do but probably won't get round to it.

Thanks for sharing.

Michael

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I think it is 'seriously cool' too - because you can distill rye whiskey after you ferment these rye berries if you don't like rye bread :-)

varda's picture
varda

and timely.   DA  I was about to try again.   Now I will follow your step by step plan.   Great documentation!  -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I used your temp and schedule to base mine on along with my much, much greater experience at doing Barley Malt for beer.  You had said that you would go for lower temps and I think you were very right about that and it is the key.  I also wanted to speed up the process by increasing the temp faster while never going over 325 F.   Lower temps allow for better color control and not burn the berries.  I stopped when the berries got to the final color that codruta posted on your blog.  It is also nice to be able to document with decent pictures now too !

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Dabrownman

Great job showing how this should look step by step during the entire process.  So nice to have it all in one place AND the pictures are GREAT!  It really helps to see what the different stages should look like for those of us who are reading 'challenged'  :-/

Take Care,

Janet

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

all work at getting the process and product better - while keeping it together in one place.  This rye malt makes all the difference to so many breads.  I love my new old camera.  Once I figure it out it will be awesome!  I've already heard from eliabel that red rye malt was fermented in Russia and may not have had anything to do with the color.  Now we need to find out how it was fermented, for how long and who knows what else :-)   This quest sounds like it is right up your alley and likely to be fun!

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Dabrownman

Thank you for sharing. Your post is inspiring for me, because these days I think a lot about the red malt. Nevertheless, I have a doubt: I read in the Russian sources that the making of the RED rye malt in contrast to the WHITE rye malt includes the fermentation of the sprouted rye berries. Only after the fermentation, they are dried.

Obviously, your malt looks red.  I wonder if in the Russian term "krasnyj rzhanoi solod" the word "krasnyj" (red) really means the colour or not. The bread-making terms in Russian based on an very old vocabulary and in the past in Russian the word "red" could mean a range of different things. It could have the meaning, for example, of "good" or "beautiful".

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread making and beer making go hand in hand.  I know that if you malt barley and ferment it by adding water and yeast (natural or no) to it you get beer.  If you do this with rye, you have the basis of rye beer or,  as George Washington knew (being the largest Rye brewer and distiller in the USA at the time), you have the fermented mash for making rye whiskey.

I have no idea if Russians fermented their rye before drying or not but if they went through the effort of fermenting rye like GW did they must have made Rye Whiskey from it but alas, all I remember from Russia is vodka distilling.

It was also my understanding that Rus, as in Russia, also means red and is derived from the Vikings who came down the river to Odessa and conquered it like they did many of the major cities in Europe of the age.  They called the Vikings Rus because of their red hair.  The Vikings spread their red hair color throughout Europe and are the reason the Irish, (and everyone else in Europe) have red hair and the Jews from Odessa, my wife's relatives,  have red hair even though they are so far apart from the Irish in every way.   They both have red hair because of the Vikings, their common ancestors, and the reason Russia got its name too. 

One thing I noticed is, that after 4 days of sprouting, the wild yeast on the rye berries, had started to ferment the grain slightly while it was sprouting because you could smell a tinge of alcohol, just like you can in rye sour mash or starter.  I'm guessing it naturally ferments and there is no way to stop it - until you dry it.

eliabel's picture
eliabel

I think you're right. The red rye malt is used for the kvas, a drink with low spirit content (2-3%). In that sense kvas is like a very mild beer, thought the taste is different: kvas is sweeter, more like a soft drink.

By contrast, a good vodka should be made from wheat and,  I believe, the Russian sources began to speak about vodka only from the beginning of the XVII century. Before other alcoholic drink were popular, like medovukha, made from honey.

I will try to translate the fragment from the Russian source I found abouth the making of the red rye malt into my imperfect English and will post it here, if you allow to do so and if it seems interesting to you.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

your findings here.  Knowing exactly how Russians from long ago made red rye malt would be great news.  How was it was fermented, for how long and how it was dried are all important facts the bread makers at TFL would love to know.

Thanks so much for your help.

varda's picture
varda

I believe that this is a current thing in Russia - I have found various posts on different sites by a Ron - I linked to one in one of my blog posts, but the link was removed.    I found another link here http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3059  where he refers to fermenting malted rye.   This involves getting it moldy.   Eek.   Not something I would like to try at home.   I have also tried to find red malt for sale online or locally, but so far no luck.   I called a Russian store in the area, and they have Kvas which I hope to buy soon and try it in a Borodinsky.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of info varda!  So real fermented Russian rye malt would be green because of the mold and not red? Just the thought of that is pretty funny.  I'm guessing that the mold makes for a different flavor mostly and drying it in a hot oven would kill anything bad anyway.  It has now turned into an 8 day process though due to the 4 extra day for mold growth.  I'll get some started and see  what happens.  I wanted to make some diastatic malt anyway.

Thanks varda.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

You are a brave man to grow and then eat mold!  I know, I know - it is what makes cheese taste so good but somehow I still am leary of growing it in my own kitchen....not being in CONTROL of exactly what molds are inhabiting the grains.....

I will eagerly await your results :-)

Take Care,

Janet

varda's picture
varda

is you don't eat the mold.   The mold grows on top and something magical happens in the middle.    Still won't do it.    Don't want to die.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

You have Lucy, my German baking assistant who tastes all of my food for poison or foul taste, thinking this Russian rye malt project is really a commie plot to finally do her in :-)

So does anyone know how these Russians, who are apparently impossible to kill with rye mold it seems,  remove the attached mold that is growing inside as well as outside the rye seed?  I'm guessing they wash it as best they can and then kill everything alive, including the moldy seed, in the heat of the oven.  My guess is that mold just doesn't sit on the surface of food stuffs waiting to washed off - it eats its way inside too. 

I have to make sure my life insurance is paid up too.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Methinks you better stop while your ahead. If not for your sake then for Lucy's.....If she is as loyal as she looks it would be cruel and unjust punishment for such a loyal and trusting assistant!

Janet

(P.S.  I now nominate you into the CBS crowd.....It is for those of us who suffer from Compulsive Baking Syndrome..as coined by Khalid.)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

some of us, I'm not saying who exactly but there are more than a few, went way past compulsive and are now addicted - to baking compulsively :-)

Thankfully, Lucy has a fine, if larger sized and oddly shaped, nose that can usually tell her (as if noses could talk) what not to eat - if she hasn't killed it herself.   If she kills it herself - it is gone in a flash - and she hasn't died from any of those,  many of which, were way worse than than rye mold if you ask me.

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Varda, I've found some Russian shop selling the red rye malt. The price is more than affordable: a few euros for a kg. On Monday I will write them asking if they can ship abroad, to Belgium and to the US. As soon as I hear news, I will let you know.

varda's picture
varda

for looking into this, and look forward to knowing what you find out.  -Varda

eliabel's picture
eliabel

The explanation was too difficult for my English. I've tried to make more understandable a Google translation:

At preparation of red malt languor, or a fermentation is carried out. The purpose of process is the subsequent accumulation in grain of amino acids and the sugars which give a specific taste, aroma and color of red rye malt. Process of a fermentation proceeds in the heaps called Cargo. Cargo has a prism form with roundish top or very high bed hill in height 70-90 see. The fermentation, or languor, green malt lasts about four days. For the first 72 hours grain remains on a place and in its thickness there are physical and biochemical changes. In two days in a heap of grain four layers are observed:

• top, mouldy, thickness to 15 cm;

• main, with brown-red color of grain and very pleasant grain smell, thickness to 25 cm;

• intermediate, thickness of 35 cm;

• bottom, thickness 15-20 see.

In 72 hours after the conclusion of green malt in cargo, it is turned upside down, so  the first and bottom layers of cargo changed places with the second (main) layer.

The resulting fresh malt (it call "green") needs to be dried…

From here: http://recepthleba.ru/malt.html

The fermentation, or languor, green malt lasts about four days. During the first 72 hours grain remains on a place and in its thickness there are physical and biochemical changes. In two days in a heap of grain four layers are observed: 1) top, mouldy, thickness to 15 cm; 2) solving, differing brown-red color of grain and very pleasant grain smell the in thickness to 25 cm; 3) intermediate, thickness of 35 cm; 4) bottom, thickness 15 — 20 see.

The physical and biochemical changes causing quality of red rye malt, occur in the second and partially in the third layer of cargo. The temperature in the top layer reaches 50 °, and in the second 60 °. For the purpose of temperature fall in the second layer in 56 hours after a dump of cargo it is made подрезка, i.e. the loosening of the top layer to avoid excessive warming of cargo.

In 72 hours after laying of green malt in cargo, the partition of the last with that calculation that the first and bottom layers of cargo traded places with the second (solving) layer is made.

24 hours later malt arrives in drying.

Drying of malt is made in special dryers. There are more out-of-date dryers in which malt directly adjoins to furnace gases — smoke and koksovy dryers. More advanced are air dryers where drying is made by warmed-up air. Air is warmed up passing in fire chambers on heating pipes. Even more perfect dryers — drum-type. Dryers are equipped with two lattices, located one over another more often. The moisture formed at drying is removed through a special vent pipe; artificial draft is arranged also.

When drying red rye malt should be met the following conditions:

1) drying is carried out on a grid, and the thickness of a layer of malt shouldn't exceed 12 — 13 cm;

2) shoveling of malt should take place later 6 hours after malt loading in the dryer and be made further every two hours before the completion of drying;

3) drying comes to an end at achievement by malt of 8 — 10 % - ache humidity;

4) drying is made so that the temperature of a layer of malt rose gradually and in 12 hours was about 70 °;

5) gradual heating of malt is necessary in order that formation of chromaticity and aroma of malt occurred at considerable humidity, 20 — 30 %.

(…) Grinding. Before a grinding malt is cooled previously within one days. Then it is sifted, sprouts thus are removed.

Red rye malt is ground on usual millstones.  

Caramelized malt rest within one month for achievement of optimum flavoring properties.

From here: http://hlebopechka.ru/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=126&topic=8003.0

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for all your hard work in sorting this Red Rye Malt Saga.

Here is what I understand about your description.  It calls for a fermenting bed nearly 3' high in a prism shape that is rounded on the top.  This bed  is turned after 72 hours top to bottom.  Additional opening of the top may be required to keep the cargo at 50 C or less.  After 96 hours the grain is moved to the dryer in 5" high piles and dried over 12 hours at 25% humidity up to a temperature of 70 C.  Then the  malt is milled after sifting to remove sprouts.   The ground red rye malt should rest for 30 days to develop its best flavor.

I think you have solved the mystery eliable.  Sadly, I don't think any home bakers can accomplish it - but maybe we can get closer than one thinks. 

Thank you so much for your effort. 

eliabel's picture
eliabel

Glad it was useful. I've yet got response from the Russia, but if somebody is interested in the kvas extract or kvas concetrate (which  has as the main ingredient the red rye malt) in the US you can order it from here, as a friend told me:

http://russianfooddirect.com/store/44/food/beverage/water-kvas/concentrate-kvassa_item1440.html

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

surprised when I found out Whole Foods doesn't carry it - although their beer and wine expert knew all about kvas and wished they did carry it.  I am glad they carry buckwheat groats though :-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Do your Russiaian sources talk about how they fermented the rye berries, for how long before they were dried?

isand66's picture
isand66

So what does the final product taste like?  Is it very strong flavored?

What did you use to grind them up?

Nice photos by the way!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

roasted, dry, rye but it is much deeper, rich and drier than that.  It also has a sort of lingering, nutty bitterness.  It reminds me of Armadillo Nectar of all things :-)  Can't wait to use it on my Multi-grain Challah, some Borodinski and possibly some Tzitzel - still working on a recipe for that though.  I ground them up in my spice/ coffee/ grain mill.  Works great for small batches.

I really like that new old camera.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

And thanks for the detailled description of the process. Is this malt diastatic? Or just used for flavor?

Maybe I'll give it a try. I bet my husband would be delighted having another strange baking ingredient stored in our refrigerator - crowding out his impressive condiment selection. :)

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

malt since I raised the temperature over 220 degrees and killed off the enzyme that converts starch to sugar.  Had I kept the temperature between 120 and 200 F, I would have made diastatic malted rye.  If I had used barley then the low temperature would have made for fine malted barley for beer making.  The higher temperatures make for darker beer up to 220 F max.  My rye malt went to 325 F so it is non diastatic.

Bakers use both diastatic and non diastatic malt for different reasons.

From recipetips.com comes the below 

Diastatic malt, which contains active enzymes from the sprouting grain, is used to break down the starch in dough and convert it to sugar (maltose) so that the yeast can feed on the sugar enabling the dough to rise, especially in breads such as sourdough that require a longer time for preparation and fermentation to occur. This malt provides more nutrition, an enhanced flavor, a finer texture in the bread crumb, a fresher tasting product, and a browner crust appearance, all without excessive lengths of baking.

Non-diastatic malt, which does not contain the active enzymes, is most often used as a sweetener to give baked goods and cereals more flavor, a glossier appearance and a softer more consistent crumb. Bagels, breads, granola, cookies, salty crackers or snacks, gravies, and sauces are all products that commonly use non-diastatic malt.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi dabrownman,

I managed to find this thread on Dan Lepard's Forum, here:

http://www.danlepard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2676

The final comment, found on the second page of the thread is the most insightful.

After sprouting, grain for “red malt” is fermented (subjected to spontaneous heating in a thick layer of malt for 4-5 days). Sometimes artificial heating is used. During fermentation, the grain heats up to 50-55 C. At this temperature, a complex oxidation occurs between the reducing sugars (maltose, glucose) and the products of the hydrolysis of the proteins. As a result of this reaction, dark colored and aromatic substances are produced.

It seems the colour produced in the finished Red Rye Malt is obtained from 4-5 days of fermentation and that there is no roasting involved.   My understanding is that this traditional process is becoming rare, and that roasting the grain is considered an acceptable alternative.

Many thanks for posting on this

Best wishes

Andy

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I think I know exactly what they are doing  now.   It sounds like they are doing exactly what  beer and spirit brewers do with barley malt - they just use rye instead.  The thick layer of malted grains that brewers create after 4-6 days of sprouting is allowed to ferment for a few days.  The thick layer of malt has to be turned over and re-dispersed so that the increasing temperature, caused by the fermented grain, does  not go over 50 C to be safe.  This temperature control keeps the enzymes created by malting the grain - alive.    This is distatic malt.  These enzymes cause the starch and carbohydrates in the grain to be converted to sugar (maltose) that the yeast can eat to make alcohol and CO2 in the fermentation tank later.  

At this temperature only diastatic malted grain is created but, the longer the fermentation takes place the darker the malt will become.  What makes a darker beer like stout is that the barley is malted longer - not at a higher temperature but the temperature must be raised to around 50 C after sprouting to mallow the malting process to take place .  Brewers do this by placing a think layer of sprouted grain on the malting floor and let the temperature increase spontaneously.  When the correct temperature is met the grains are then stirred and turned to ensure the 50 C temperature but no more is maintained until the increasing darker color desired.  The grains are then slowly dried.  Schotch whiskey makers use peat to dry and lightly smoke their malted barley which gives scotch its unique taste.  Once dries it is crushed for beer and spirit making with its enzymes intact.

It sounds like red rye malt used in Russia for bread is produced exactly the same way and it is diastatic malt made red by fermenting for a few days at 50 C.  Sadly, I don't think you can make a small amount of red rye malt this way because of the thick layer of sprouted grain required - about 8" and large area to create spontaneous heating.  But you should be able to do to by heating the sprouted grain to 50 C and keeping it moist for 4-5 days and letting it malt to a darker shade of red.  You would have to spritz it and keep it moist though. 

Those with large grain sacks could probably do something similar by filling a 50 pound sack with sprouted grain and placing a thermometer with temperature alarm in the middle.  No heating would be required.   When the spontaneous temperature got too high, you would just dump out the grain to cool it and then stuff it back in the bag - until the temp got too high again.

The diastatic properties of the red rye malt make sense to me because these enzymes would turn the starch and carbohydrates in the flour into maltose that the yeast can use to feed on and make the bread rise and keep longer - while providing  the qualities of flavor the red portion of the malting process provides. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

that talks about how to make red rye malt:

Here is what I understand about her description.  After about 4 days of sprouting, it calls for a fermenting bed of sprouted seeds nearly 3' high in a prism shape that is rounded on the top. This bed is turned over after 72 hours top to bottom. Additional opening of the top may be required to keep the bed at 50 C or less. After 96 hours the grain is moved to the dryer in 5" high piles and dried over 12 hours at 25% humidity up to a temperature of 70 C.   After sifting to remove the sprouts the malt is milled. The ground red rye malt should rest for 30 days to develop its best flavor.

I think eliabel solved the mystery.  Sadly, I don't think any home bakers can accomplish it - but maybe we can get closer than one thinks.

Thank you all so much for effort and contributions.

jdfields's picture
jdfields

Hey, do you really think you need 'Cuisinart' brand stuff to make this or that it takes 4 days? Plastic wrap and paper towels and convection ovens? Wake up and smell the Borodinski (malted rye bread) loaf!

I malt rye 4 times/year (350g batches) using only a glass jar, my picnic cooler, 2 (wire screen) colanders a $3 holiday light string. It makes (perfectly active) diastatic malt that I use for Borodinski malted rye bread and Mammi Finnish pudding.

1) Soak 350g rye berries (use any viable = non-irradiated seeds) in 5-6 cups water for 6-8 hrs. This time and amount are very forgiving.
The soaked grain weighs about 550g (absorbed 200g water [66%] ).

2) Spread out the soaked berries on wire screen mesh and place into picnic cooler. Elevate the screen a few inches off the bottom. Put a small (about 5 watts) holiday light (or incandescent night light) into the cooler and keep lid closed. Rye will be sprouted in 16 hours. (Optionally; Dampen the berries once after 8-10 hrs.)
Yes, the sprouted rye looks just like your pics.

3) Since I need diastatic malt, I dehydrate by spreading out a 40 watt (total) string of holiday lights into the picnic cooler *under* the screen and prop the lid open 2-3 inches.

Do NOT close the lid tightly or else the moisture is trapped and condenses inside the picnic cooler! The moisture must be free to evaporate. The temp inside is about 100-120 deg F (use this a a guide only, not critically important for good results).

I find that the grain is done dehyrating in less than 24 hrs.
The final weight is about 5% less than the initial grain.
I keep it in a glass jar and grind (using my thrift store purchased, bladed coffee grinder) just prior to each use.

Simple common sense precautions -
Do NOT use a single 40 watt light bulb. That would be a FIRE Hazard!
If you can't touch the light bulb with your own fingers for more than 5 seconds, it's too hot to be safe for 24 hours unattended use.

CYA legal language -
I provide good advice but NO guarantees, NO warrantees of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
If you hurt yourself or burn down your house or cause damage to your self or others; Don't blame me. I cannot be held responsible for your actions.

eatalready's picture
eatalready

I have followed every step exactly, and my berries are now done roasting/drying, looking very much like your photos. In the 225F and 275F stages the house smelled absolutely stunning... Can't wait for them to cool off.  Will be grinding the malt in the morning and baking something totally awesome next day!  Thanks for your instructional post.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

some of the batch to dry at no more than 150 F to get white diastatic malt? I usually dry the whole batch at 150 F and then take half of the berries out when dry to make white malt and then take the temperatures up to finish off the rest of the berries red non-diasttic malt.  I love what both of them do for bread of all kinds.  Glad you liked the process.

abby777's picture
abby777

Help I'm totally confused. Today is my 2nd day on barley sprouts they look like the 3 sprouts shooting out.I don't know when to start drying these and also i put some in pan of water and the hulls don't float to top. I'm wanting to make malted flour for malted milk powder. When these are ready to dehydrate, will the hulls easily come loose soaking in water or is there a way to get the hulls separated? Or do U go by the length of sprout. They're already length of grain.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is that it doesn't sprout at all well if the hull is removed and there is no way to separate it after sprouting for 4-5 days.  The reason it is used for beer making is that the entire malted grain will eventually be thrown away or sued for animal feed.  The 3 thin sprouts are the roots and not what you are looking for.   There will be a thicker, single sprout that will emerge and run down the length of the seed.  When it is as long as the seed the sprouting is done and it is time for drying - but I think you are stuck since the hull is still attached.  Or you could call it sprouted malt with extra fiber?,