Malting Oats... err Quinoa

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morticaixavier
Malting Oats... err Quinoa

I gotta say, you guys seem to have inspired me. I have embarked on yet another long anticipated experiment this weekend.

I grabbed a couple lbs of whole oat groats from the coop this weekend and soaked them in water. They are currently in my ferm fridge at ~64.

I'm not even sure if these oats will sprout but I am going to give it a try.

I figure I will dry them and make a 1 gallon 100% oat malt beer just to see what happens.

Here is the data so far

2013-05-18 13:30:00(ish)

Weight of Oats 818 Grams (Hulled Whole Oat Groats). Assumed moisture content of 10% so ~ 736.2 dry weight.
Will the 'Hulled' matter?
In .5 gallon mason jar with sprout screen top. They come up to just pass the halfway point.

rinsed three times with tap water and filled to top with filtered water.
Put in ferm fridge at 60~

2013-05-19 13:00:00(ish)
drained out the water. The oats had swelled by about 50% leaving only about 2-3 inches of headspace in the jar.
Smell good, like oats. no nasty smells that I can detect. Kernals that were broken (and I should have removed) are starting to get a little mushy looking.

Weight of Oats 1314 Grams.
1314 - 736.2 = 577.8 grams of moisture = ~44% moisture

Rinsed oats again, refilled with water and put them back in the fridge

2013-05-19 16:35:00
Drained the water. The oats had swelled even more, leaving only about 1-2 inches of headspace in jar. Still smells good. Broken Kernals have sort of exploded a little.

Weight of Oats 1347 Grams.
1347 - 736.2 = 610.8 grams of moisture = ~45% moisture content.

From what I have read this should be perfect. Rinsed the grains again and drained well before putting back in the fridge @ 64f.

denny
denny's picture
Good on ya! Keep us informed

Good on ya! Keep us informed!

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

morticaixavier
2013-05-20 16:14

2013-05-20 16:14
pulled the oats out of the fridge. Still smells good. no sign of germination yet. Although I do notice a slight bulge at one end of some of the grains, perhaps?

Left them on the counter at ~85*f for 1 hour (life getting in the way of 'science') before putting them back in the fridge at 64*f.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
2013-05-21 09:38

2013-05-21 09:38
pulled the oats out of the fridge and gave a rinse. smelled good still, like wet oats. no signs of germination.
2013-05-22 05:02
pulled the oats out of the fridge briefly as I headed out to work. no rinse. no change. still smells like oats with a hint of that green smell like wet grass. I am holding out hope about that smell being the first real signs of germination.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
2013-05-22 18:35

2013-05-22 18:35
I keep flashing back to Denny's blog post regarding preconceptions and perceptions. I THINK I see signs of germination but I COULD be fooling myself.

The smell is a tiny bit yogurty which I guess is to be expected. I decided the grain might be too closely packed without enough air flow in the jar so I have spread it out on a cookie sheet and mounded it up floor malting style.

I think I might see little nubbins beggining to form at one end (chits? acrospires?) which is what I would expect. other than that no change.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
2013-05-23 09:07

2013-05-23 09:07
Gave the oats a quick turn with a spatula this morning. I am starting to worry a bit. The smell is less wholesome that it was at first and I am not seeing a ton of action on the nubbin front (that sounds way dirtier than it should).

worst case scenario is I'm out 5 bucks for the oats. and I can always feed them to the chickens.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
2013-05-23 21:50

2013-05-23 21:50

I'm calling this experiment chicken food.

Checked on teh oats tonight, no change in appearance but smell is starting to go down hill.

Lessons learned:

Hulled oats might not be the best choice as starting grain.
Instead of soaking for 12 hours at a time try the 2 hour soak 8 hour rest regime.
I suspect I had too many oats in the jar to start with. try with half as many (about 1 lb instead of 2)

I am going to get something else at the coop this weekend and try again.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

Bugeater
Bugeater's picture
Just wondering if you have

Just wondering if you have ever tried making a 100% oat beer using commercial malted oats? A couple years back when Drew was doing his article for Zymurgy on brewing with oats, I tried making a 100% oat stout.

I learned a lot on that beer. Foremost, I reminded myself why you don't try too many different things at one time. Far less than stellar beer (i.e., I dumped it.). On the positive side, the oats have much more husk material than barley so stuck sparge is not a problem. In spite of a poorly executed recipe, I did notice that oats have a distinctive taste that is not pleasant when used at such a high percentage. I described it as cloying, but it wasn't a sweetness. I am at a total loss as to how to accurately describe it. At 20% the flavor works fine, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I do plan to try this again this summer while controlling the variables more closely.

Bugeater Brewing Company

morticaixavier
Never tried an all oat beer.

Never tried an all oat beer. I imagine it would be a little overwhelming. this was more about the malting process. I would have mashed the oats alone just as a test of enzymatic action. Unfortunatly they went stinky (sad face). I am going to try something else.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Got some whole grain quinoa

Got some whole grain quinoa for the next attempt. gonna get that going this weekend. I have researched a bit and it appears that malted quinoa should have the diastatic power needed to convert itself and significant adjuncts.

Going to change up my procedure a bit as well.

1) Weigh the dry grain
2) Rinse well to remove as much dirt and dust as is reasonable
3) soak for 2 hours
4) Drain and let breath for 8 hours
4.a) Repeat as needed until some signs of germination are observed
5) Assuming some germination occurs, this will be the tricky bit.
5.a) Figure out how to determine degree of modification on quinoa
5.a.i) is there an acrospire visable, either on the outside of the grain or within a husk?
5.a.ii) If yes, do we go with the 3/4 length of grain? Whole length of grain?
5.a.iii) Some of these questions can wait till later testing as well.
5.b) halt germination at desired degree of germination
6) make 'beer' with the result. I am only starting with a very small amount. perhaps 250-500 grams. super mega minibatch

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

pjj2ba
Quinoa is a dicot not a

Quinoa is a dicot not a monocot, so it looks very different during germination. There is no acrospire. Think bean seedling-like instead. I suspect you'd want to stop germination before the cotyledons come out, but after you see some kind of root coming out.

morticaixavier
awesome thanks, that will

awesome thanks, that will help a lot. gives me a little research fodder as well.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Finally an update.

Finally an update.

I rinsed 271 grams of quinoa three times then submerged in water for approximately 3 hours. Going to rinse it and let it set on the counter overnight.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
So I get up way to early. and

So I get up way to early. and today I got up even earlier. Had a bug this weekend and spent all day in bed Saturday so I was awake before my alarm at about 4:15 AM. well waste not want not, I decided I would rinse my quinoa before I headed off to work. I was thinking that I would actually soak it again but when I looked it over it appears to be already sprouting. I noticed this last night when I rinsed and drained but didn't think anything of it because quinoa does that. It gets a little tail when you cook it. However this morning I could swear I see tiny leaves starting at one end of the tail.

I rinsed it again and left it on the counter if those are already sprouts then it may explain partially why people seem to have a hard time getting quinoa to convert properly. They are way over modifying it. Just a thought, not even a theory. We will see what's up tonight. I am tempted if I see more growth in the little tails to start drying it tonight. I'll use the food dehydrator as it's supposed to be kind of cool over the next couple days here (relativily, mid-high 70s).

More updates when I get home!

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
When I got home there were

When I got home there were lots of tiny leaves starting. each grain of quinoa has a little tiny tail about as long as itself that uncurls when you cook it. If you've eaten it you can see that. Well that tail grows if you don't cook it after soaking. After slightly less than 12 hours (Monday 4:20AM) the tiny tail on some grains had at least doubled in length and begun to bifurcate at the non-grain end. By 17:00 when I got home the tails had tripled in length, now at least 4 or 5 times as long as the grain, and there were many more grains sprouting it looked like around 75%-80%. Sadly I did not take a sample and actually count.

I did some reading online yesterday about malting these 'pseudo-cereal' grains as agronomists and food scientists hope to make them more 'acceptable' to western snake food companies. One of the interesting things that I learned is that quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth all have much higher amylase activity after fewer days of germination than barley. And in fact, while barley amylase levels increase all the way through 6-7 days of germination where some of the pseudo-grains lose almost all amylase activity after only about 72 hours.

With this in mind I pulled out the food dehydrator (I had hopped to spread them out on some screen and let the hot northern California summer take care of the drying) and spread them out on some cheese cloth. I used two trays so the layer would not be to deep. First I mounded the grains up a bit and ran the dehydrator at 95 for 1 hours. There was not a lot of heat penetrating ot the center of the mound so I pushe dthe heat up to 115 for 1 hour. The mound began to dry well so I spread it out into a thinner layer and put the heat back to 95. 3 hours later it was very nearly dry. I let it go another two hours.

The smell of the grains when I was spreading them out was slightly yogurty. I am not surprised by this as they were at room temp for more than 24 hours while room temp was in the upper 80s. But after drying the smell is gone and the taste is slightly sweet. no tartness is evident.

I am ready to try mashing this stuff up and seeing what kind of gravity and fermentability I can get. I am going to reach out to my homebrew club to see if anyone can lend me a pH meter to monitor the mash pH as I had NO idea what this is going to do.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Just to add: the texture of

Just to add: the texture of the dried grains is very soft and easily chewed.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Winnowed the dried grain and

Winnowed the dried grain and weighed it. 244 grams. so loss is 27 grams.

taste is distinctly sweet. Like malted barley. This weekend is brewday. Mash at 153f with 4 ml/gram RO water adjusted with a balanced profile Chloride/sulfate ratio. I am still hoping to get hold of a pH meter for that step.

so

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Brew day!!!!

Brew day!!!!

This run is very much a proof of concept . so I may not be paying as close attention to every detail as I should. If I can show that it is possible to get a base malt capable of converting itself into a reasonably fermentable wort I can worry later about controlling for all the other variables and actually figuring out the details.

I started with 244 grams of (possibly) malted quinoa.

I put it in the blender and reduced it mostly to flour. I am trying to see if I can in fact extract sugar from this so I am willing to put up with a frustrating sparge if it means I get good conversion.

I added 1 liter of water at 160*f and ended up with glue at 139*f. I added hot water till I got to 1.5 liters of slightly soupy gravy like liquid at 149* I am going to add boiling water to bring it up to 153* and close to 2 liters of water. this is a ratio of nearly 8 liters per kilo which is not great. hopefully it is not getting too thin.

Notes:

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Final wort was very light

Final wort was very light colored and very starchy. I do not have high hopes for conversion. There is a slight sweetness but mostly starchiness.

OG was 1.034.

During the boil a skin formed on the surface which, to me says unconverted starch. still it will be interesting to see what happens.
Well I pitched .25 packets of us-05 into 1 liter of wort yesterday afternoon. Ended up doing a no chill, just poured the boiling wort into a half gallon mason jar and sealed it up and stuck it in the fridge overnight.

This morning there was a very spare krausen

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

erockrph
Man, good on you for taking

Man, good on you for taking this project on, because I surely wouldn't have the patience for it. My suggestion for the next run you do would be to malt a larger batch and halt germination at 3 or 4 different points. Since there's no real precedent you're kind of flying blind to determine the correct amount of modification needed. If all the batches end up starchy then it could be that there just isn't sufficient enzyme necessary to self-convert. If there is a trend where some are better converted than others, then you are on your way to dialing in the correct amount of modification.

Looking forward to further reports. Thanks for keeping this thread updated. I really like the "open source" experimentation that has started up on this forum.

morticaixavier
Thanks for the comments. I

Thanks for the comments. I was thinking a similar thing. I suspect I also ground the grain to finely as I got a lot of flour through my filters. I am contemplating using some form of convoluted filter, not like a paper filter cartridge as I suspect that will be to fine but maybe just a pile or rice hulls in a strainer. The cheesecloth I used this time either clogged and didn't let anything through or let to much through when squeezed.

I am also going to try some millet as it is known to have high enzyme activity when malted.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Well, perhaps I despaired to

Well, perhaps I despaired to soon. There is a nice thinnish .25 inch head of krausen on the... stuff tonight. looks like normal white creamy s-05 krausen. Probably won't get around to getting a gravity reading until after NHC though. There is so little I suspect I will only get about 2 readings before it is all gone.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
This morning the krausen has

This morning the krausen has fallen, or mostly fallen. I will make the call tomorrow evening if I want to take a gravity sample or wait till I get back from NHC.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

morticaixavier
Well, needless to say I didn

Well, needless to say I didn't take a sample before I left for NHC.

The 'beer' sat on the counter, through a week of 100+ degree heat as I tromped about on the east coast. I came home Thursday and all signs of krausen were gone. the beverage had not cleared at all but it also didn't look to disgusting. sort of a very very cloudy wit beer.

so,what's the gravity? pulled a cylinders worth with a ss turkey baster and added the hydrometer. it reads 1.012 ish adjusted for temp. so it appears as though I had fermentation of some sort.

So what's it taste like?
the aroma is tart and cidery. a distinct apple note. Acetaldehyde maybe? although it's more of a cider less fresh green apple.
Flavor is lightly tart, cidery thin.
mouthfeel is slightly thin and very slightly astringent.
overall it tastes like beer.

As is I think it could use some more late hops and more mouthfeel. some of this would likely be introduced by carbonation but it could also use some less fermentable sugars.

overall I think I might step this up to a 1 gallon batch. I think I will try to roast some of the grain to get some character malt in the picture.

I am also going to do a much longer mash. perhaps as long as overnight to see if I can get better conversion as there was a very starchy character to the wort.

I'm kind of excited to be sitting here sipping from the hydro tube a beverage I made from raw grain.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage