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2-Row Crushed Malted Barley Under the Microscope

Below is a video of a two-row malted barley grain shown under the magnification of a microscope. The video allows you to see a closeup of the structure of the grain. The footage was taken under approximately 100 power magnification.



Here is a still shot of the grain under magnification:

Crushed Malted Barley - Malt - Shown under magnification

Crushed Malted Barley – Malt shown under magnification.


The mash is water-saturated crushed malts, unmalted grains, and adjuncts that are present in the mash tun when the mashing occurs. During the mashing process, the starches will be broken down into sugars so they can be fermented by the yeast and converted into alcohol.


Beer Brewing Mash

The mash for an American Wheat Hefeweizen towards the end of the mashing.


Malt is grain, such as barley or wheat, that has been soaked, germinated, and then dried in a process known as malting.

The malting process is conducted by soaking the selected grains in water until they germinate. Then the grains are transferred to the germination floor and dried with hot air to halt the germination process. Malt is critical for brewing because of the enzymes that develop during the germination and malting process. These enzymes are measured as diastatic power and are what enables starches to be converted into sugars during the beer’s mash process.

A beer with too low of a ratio of malted grains to non-malted grains in its grain bill will not have enough diastatic power to be able to convert all of the starches to sugars, and therefore will have a very low starting gravity and a low alcohol by volume.


Malt, Malted 2-row barley used as beer grain

Malt/malted 2-row barley used as beer grain


Kilning is the process of drying malted grain in a kiln using an indirect heat source to halt germination and evaporate much of the moisture from the malted grains. Kilning grain started to become popular in the early 18th century and was the predominant method for drying malt by the 19th century. Prior to kilning, malt was often dried over open flame which would impart a smoke flavor in the finished beer, similar to what you may find today in a German rauchbier.

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