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David Sparks Ph.d Malting
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: October 30, 2018

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Got an email from team member Tommy Allen stating that he had visited in his words a brewery in Walla Walla, Washington and that I should get in touch with Founder + Maltster of the Mainstem Malting House, Phil Neumann. Good story idea, thanks Tommy, so I put in a call to Phil. “Have you got a couple of minutes to discuss your brewery? Malthouse, even cooler, but yes I do.” Okay, a little background. “Since 2016 I have been using partner malting capacity, paying other more established malt houses to do our malting for us. Okay. For the great unwashed masses who don’t know what malting is? Malting is the requisite step to turn raw grain into beer. If you crush raw grain up and you fed it to yeast they would die. It is not an accessible nutrient for them. The carbohydrates are not in the right format to be fermented. A maltster’s job is to turn that raw grain into yeast food and they do that in a one week cycle. You hydrate the grain, you sprout it, you let it germinate for a few days and then you kiln him try it. You are initiating life in that seed, getting the seeds internal package of enzymes to change long term energy reserves into shorter-term energy reserves and then allowing a brewer to take the last step of turning it into yeast foods.”

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