The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sprouting and Malting Primer

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Sprouting and Malting Primer

The 25% extraction sprouted multi grain bran sifted from the 75% extraction sprouted flour.

The little green rosettes will make your muffins taste bettah and sprouted grains will make your breads taste bettah too!  Sprouting is way easier than making bread so it is perfect for Lucy and I to do for just about every bake ……and a great way to turn a 3 day sourdough bake into a 5 day one – also perfect for us retired folks looking for something to do.

 

Make sure you re using hulled grains if you don’t like hard to digest fiber and roughage in your flour.   I’ve seen sprouting directions out there saying to soak the grains in water for 24 hours for the first step.  Don’t do it.  You are trying to sprout them – not drown them which is what you will likely do if you soak them for 24 hours.  You want to keep grain genocide far away from you.  The first step is to weigh the grains to be soaked.

 

After a 4 hour max soak in water you have to put them n something so that they can sprout, you can easily rinse and drain them every 8-12 hours so that the mold is kept at bay, keep light out so no green shoots stay white instead of turning green and the cool humid air in.

 

I found a plastic cheese mold with small colander holes in the bottom to let the whey out when forming and pressing cheese which is also perfect for sprouting grain..  it was a bargain a 50 cents at Goodwill.

 

You can buy sprouting gadgets and containers online, at health food stores and in some ethnic markets too.  Many folks just use a mason jar with the solid lid removed and substitute a screen to let water out when they rinse the grain and just keep it in a dark place.

 

What you are trying to do is replicate how the seeds would normally germinate in the ground.  Damp – not wet, dark – no light and cool – not hot or cold.  64-70 F works  best but since you are only going to be sprouting for 24 hours total or so from when the first soaking water hits the seeds,  a bit warmer won’t mold the seeds  just rinse them more often.,

 

This 5 grain mix took different times for each variety to chit but no worries - it is all close enough.

After soaking, I drain the seeds in the cheese mold and rinse them in water, shake out the excess water, cover in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel to keep out the light.  I repeat this every 8- 12 hours until the seeds chit.  Different seeds chit at different rates with rye being the fastest and some ancient grains being the slowest but they all close enough to sprout together which is what I do’

 

Once the first white rootlets break through the seed bran shell it is called ‘chitting’ and you are now done with sprouting to make sprouted flour and ready to dry the grains.  Once the grain has chatted, I dry it in a dehydrator at 105 – 110 F for 3 hours and 30 minutes with the seeds spread pout thinly, on a single layer on the trays. 

 

You will know that you are done drying them enough, so they won’t clog up your mill, when they weigh about the same as they did when you first weighed them before soaking.  Once dry you can mill them and sift them like you do any flour.  Your taste buds will reward you for taking the time to make sprouted flour for all kinds of things. 

If you don’t have a dehydrator I used to dry my grain outside in the AZ but you have to figure out a way to keep the birds from eating it.  I used the broiler pan from the mini oven with the seed on the bottom covered with the vented broiler top.  I have also dried them in my mini convection oven where the lowest temperature was 150 F.  With the door ajar the seeds never got over 140 F. 

Some will say that this is too high a temperature and kills off the enzymes you are trying to promote but brewers have always been right, They use the same grain and enzymes to extract all the sugar from the starch in the grain to make beer at the fastest rate and the best temperature to do so – 150 F.  So keeping it under 150 F will do the trick.

Time to make white & red malts when the seed shoot is the length of the seed p here are two pictures showing when the seeds are finished malting

Now if you sprout your grain, in this case rye or barley, for 4 or 5 days until the shoot, not the 3 rootlets that first chit out of the seed, is the length of the seed itself then it is ready to dry to make rye malt or barley malt.  This much longer time requires more rinsing and cool temperatures to keep the mold at bay.

Once dry at 105 F you can just grind into white diastatic malt, below right, or you can take the temperature up to 325 F like the seeds above to brown them to make red non diastatic malt, below left.

 

 Both malts above were made from the same malted berries 

If you dry this grain at low temperature you have white, diastatic malt and if you dry it at higher temperature up to 325 F you have red, nondiastatic malt – both of which are fine bread ingredients for all kinds of reasons.

Happy Sprouting and Malting

 

Comments

Floydm's picture
Floydm

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It is nice to have a batch of sprouted grains and malts ready for any occasion.  No sense paying extreme retail prices when it is so easy to make them.

Happy baking 

jackie9999's picture
jackie9999

I need a thanks or like button..that was great :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

so it will be easy to find later.  I've updated it a bit with some better pictures from the sprouting and malting archives - and fixed some of the typos:-)  Glad you liked it.

Happy baking

PalwithnoovenP's picture
PalwithnoovenP

This is a very handy guide for my future bakes. I'm very curious about the taste of sprouted grains and I've read that they're very healthy too. I saw a bag of sprouted whole wheat flour before but I didn't get it knowing that I'm not yet ready with it and I don't know if we will like its taste and I really don't like wasting food especially expensive ones. 

Definitely going to my bookmarks.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you will love ones with sprouted whole grins in them.

Glad you liked the post and happy sprouting and malting 

Wendy K's picture
Wendy K

This is great and just in time for cooler autumn temperatures which should be perfect for sprouting.  I'll have to dig out the dehydrator in the basement and dust it off.  Oh goody, more toys!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

happy sprouting Wendy

Pompom's picture
Pompom

Just haven't tried to make the red yet. How much do you add to a recipe? In the past, I usually just tossed some in, unmeasured, but lately I've been only measuring in grams.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

ans 2-3 g for 500 g of white flour.  I add about 10 g to the scald for rye breads. So the answer is - it depends.  Once you make red malts how long before you skip the grinding and just make beer:-)

Happy baking .

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Hi, dabrownman!

Five grams for 500g of flour seems a little light for all the effort (not that waiting around is so very taxing). I'm sprouting 35g of some sort of wheat berry, red, I think, from Whole Foods.

Anyway, you're upping the ante on your bakes with sprouted flours now, aren't you? Have you done 100% sprouted flour? Is the bread any good? Is there an upper limit?

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

White malt in white flour is usually added at .6 of 1% so not much required there to get the job done since you are just wanting to add the enzymes taken out when the hard bits are remved to make white flour.

You can use any amount of sprouted grains since they don't have the diastatic power of long germinated malts/  Today I have a 100% whole sprouted grain bread in autolyse to bake off later today.  I prefer to keep the sprouted grains in breads to 50% or less though.

Happy sprouted baking 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

So thaaat's what Malt does. Hmph. I've been trying to figure that one out. I thought it was for flavor and sugar and I imagine that's so but the real deal is for the enzymes that are sometimes missing in white flour.

I've been reading where some brands add malt to their flour but now I understand the importance though I'll have read more on why enzymes are necessary. I know they break things down... it's becoming more clear though. Thanks! I'll do more reading along these lines.

Thanks for the info on sprouting! It's one of the easiest things I've done and actually kind of fun! I'm going to run through my bag of KA whole wheat and then pick up a Nutrimill after I break my Mr. Coffee grinder. At $220, it'll make a nice line-item on the credit card bill where I can worry about it later.

Whatever you do, dabrownman, don't be Irish. I mean, praise God for the Irish but we tend to not think things through sometimes, you know?

What does more or less sprouted grains do for your bread? Too gummy if too much?

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

denatures them so they don't work so all you get is flavor and some color - great for rye breads - especially Russian ones.

Alpha Amylase and Beta Amylase break down starches into sugars the wee beasties can eat to make acids and CO2.  Protease breaks gluten protein bonds and makes the bread extensible - too much protease action the gluten doesn't hold up during proof and the bread falls rather than springs when baked.

Only 1/4 Irish and 3/4th German - no wonder we love beer around here:-)  Grandma Day (O'Day really - she dropped the O when she came to America) would be proud of Lucy's Soda and Brown Breads.  

The 100% whole sprouted grain bread turned out well enough today!   Since it was 40% rye Lucy chucked in some caraway seeds to make it a special deli rye bread for sandwiches.  It sure smelled nice as it baked...

Happy Baking Murph.

Skibum's picture
Skibum

I may have to try this. I have some red and white wheat berries in the fridge and perhaps they would work. I do lack a flour mill though . . .

Thanks for sharing, Ski

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

No mill required.  The photo of the red and white malt was actually make in a coffee grinder which works better for 5 day spouts.  The mill works better for 1 day sprouted grains - especially since there is usually way more of them too.  I usually malt 120 g dry fr red and and white malt of 60 g each but several times that total amount for a loaf of sprouted bread,.

I have a new Wonder Mill for sale for $150, mills just as good as my Nutimill that I use all the time.  That's about $50 bucks less than buying it on Amazon.  Don't know what it would cost to ship it to you though

bayleafbaker's picture
bayleafbaker

Thanks, dabrownman!

Have you ever encountered mold in the sprouting process? Is it visible, or is it more of a smell?

bayleafbaker's picture
bayleafbaker

Also, has anyone ever noticed little white fuzzies/feathers on the sprouts when sprouting barley grains?
If you've ever sprouted broccoli seed---it looks similar to the fuzziness that appears on those (which is totally normal with broccoli sprouts).

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

days when I didn't rinse the seeds 4 times a day and it was  summer hot, rather than winter cool in the kitchen.

bayleafbaker's picture
bayleafbaker

I dried/roasted and ground my first batch of barley malt today, thanks to your helpful instructions, dabrownman!
I've read that the longer the sprouts grow, the more energy is used up; therefore, the ideal length of the sprout=length of the barley seed.

This morning, I saw that my sprouts had really taken off! Some were triple the length of the barley and were beginning to green a bit.
Are these too far gone to have any remains of what we're looking for in malting?


All from the same batch. Ones on left almost triple length of seed.

All from the same batch. Ones on left---triple length of seed.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

on the left are too long.  No green either.  It just make the malt taste a bit bitter but they shouldn't tun green lf you kept them in the dark.  Since I found out that wheat has the same diastatic power of barley I usually use that for bread and keep the malted barley for beer.

When the seed sprouts it uses its store of energy in the seed but the diastatic power goes way up the longer it sprouts..... to a point.  Your malt made with over sprouted seeds will be just fine as bread malt.  I don't malt much for bread anymore since i started using sprouted flour.  There is plenty of enzymes in whole grain and even more in sprouted grain and I use a lot of each.  it is the white un -sprouted AP and bread  flour that needs malt and most, but not all, of that usually comes malted from the mill.  I use much more red malt than white now a days.

bayleafbaker's picture
bayleafbaker

Thanks for sharing your knowledge about this. I definitely know what to expect with sprouting now, after trying it once. I'll just hope that this batch of malt powder isn't terribly bitter!

I don't think I'd ever use malt in a loaf of bread. I want to try my hand at sourdough bagels. From what I've read, malt is ideal for bagels. I'm not interested in including a sweetener, so I went with malt.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

especially whole grain ones, pizza and rye breads and white malt is a nice addition for home milled white flours where the natural malts are sifted out of the flour.  We are only talking 6 tenths of 1%  for white malt.  The color and flavor of your breads will be rewarded.  White malt can also compensate for some bitterness some folks taste in whole grain breads as well - without adding any additional sugar or honey.

Happy malting 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Bob's Red Mill doesn't seem to produce non-diastatic malted barley flour anymore, and I don't want to pay a lot of shipping for 1 lb.

I tried to make it (from another instruction, with 24 hour long soaking), but the finished ground flour got moldy very soon, and I had to throw it away (good advice - to weigh the grains before and after!).

I'll try it your way, when I'm back from my mother-daughter trip to Mexico.

Karin

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Remember that wheat has the same diastatic power as barley so you can use it instead if you want but it might have a different flavor?.  Rye has less diastatic power but it sure has the flavor when made into dark red, non diastatic malt for rye breads which i know will interest you.  I'm pout of red rye malt myself and have to make some.too!  have fun on your trip with your daughter. i think trips are still cheaper and more fun than weddings.....

Scurvy's picture
Scurvy

to make red malt out of, and my question is before I grind it should I sift the roots and sprouts out leaving just the seeds to grind? It smelled so good drying too :)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

that I don't bother to do it for white or red malts.  I usually grind malts in a coffee grinder becsue it much easier to do so than trying to run them through the Nutrimill.  Regular 24 hour sprouts I do run through the Nurtimill after drying.

Scurvy's picture
Scurvy

...as I heat the little beasties up to 325 degrees F the kitchen is smelling just like the Big Sky brewery in town. I love it. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a nice amber ale before it gets too hot!

Wendy K's picture
Wendy K

I'm finally getting around to sprouting my first batch of wheat, but have run into a small snag.  I see from your photos that your dehydrator has mesh trays with small holes.  Unfortunately, mine has trays with large holes that grains would fall through.  I've looked in the manual and poked around on the internet for suggestions, but with no success.    Do you know if I can line my trays with parchment paper or would that impede the air circulation too much?  Any other ideas?  Thanks!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

when i have a lot of grain to dry.  You just want to make sure the middle and outer edge are clear so that the air can circulate and you should have no problems.