Malted Barley “Tea”

A few nights ago, I got the urge to try out a home brew technique that had been on my mind for a while. Steeping water, and adding crushed malted barley. Pretty straight forward stuff in coming up with a new beer recipe, but not something I had much experience with.

The goal is to taste the ‘tea’ and try to understand what flavors each will bring to your beer. Here are some notes from my first attempt at sipping on a brewing mash!

Sonoma County Beer


Using my coffee grinder, set to Coarse, pulverized 3 different grains into something akin to grits. However, the Coarse setting runs a bit longer than itprobably should, so the husks were broken up more than needed… Too much, in fact.


Brought the water up to a boil in my tea kettle, then let it rest for about 2-3 minutes before adding to each mug. Seemed to speed up the process of converting starches to sugar, but was too hot to comfortably taste anything at all.


While they do look cool (c’mon, you know you like Fiesta Ware), a big draw back is that each one masks the color each grain type imparts in the water. Clear glass tea/coffee mug’s would likely work much better.

Sonoma County Beer


I setup in our dining room, which gave me quite a bit of room to taste, take notes, and shoot pictures for this article. Unfortunately, I kept noticing an unusual baking-spice aroma coming from the tea’s. After looking around, noticed my wife had an Apple-Cinnamon candle near by. Smelled great, but almost entirely masked the grain’s aroma. Ended up moving to my office.

This was a fun experiment, and based on the lesson’s learned above, will be one I try again very soon. My hope is to use the information gained from a successful grain ‘tasting’ to begin creating my first, from-scratch, beer recipe. Feel free to send over any thoughts or other tips for better understanding the grain bill.

Categories: Home Brewing

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