Page:EB1911 - Volume 17.djvu/522

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505
MALT


pressed between the thumb-nails, but should crumble and disintegrate to a chalky mass having little or no adhesiveness. The foregoing observations are not to be regarded as hard and fast rules, but they are simply intended to give some indications of the malting process when it proceeds on normal lines; it may be that on account of the presence of damaged corns the piece begins to develop mould by about the tenth day, and it then has to be kept thin and sometimes even loaded on kiln prematurely. The malt made for grain distillers, in which a high diastatic activity is required, is manufactured on quite different lines from those above indicated. It is often sprinkled late, and loaded on kiln often in a sodden condition. In some cases sprinkling on kiln is resorted to, but it is doubtful if this leadsto the desired object. Other things being equal, the smaller the corns-i.e the greater number of embryos in a given weight-the higher the diastatic activity of the malt. In selecting a barley for the production of highly diastatic malt, the diastatic power of the original raw grain is a factor of great importance. Kilning.-When loaded on kiln, malt intended for brewing ale and stout is, if properly withered, in a moribund condition; nevertheless, during the first stages of the kilning process a certain amount of vital activity is manifested, and the malt undergoes mellowing by the action of enzymes on the contents of the endosperm. If the malt be loaded while the rootlets appear fresh on account of the presence of too much moisture, rapid growth of the acrospire ensues, giving rise to overshot corns, known in Germany as “ hussars.” To check this the moisture must be rapidly removed by the passage of large volumes of air through the malt. But under such circumstances mellowing does not occur. The ideal conditions of kilning are when the malt has been properly withered on the floors before loading, and, assuming that drying and curing occupy four days, that 25-3o % of the moisture be removed very gradually, this occupying the first three' days, at the end of which the malt is said t'o be hand-dry. The thickness at which the malt is spread on the kiln should not exceed 7-8 in., and until hand-dry (that is to say, reduced to a moisture content of 12-15%) it should not be turned; if moved at all (and that only is necessary when reek occurs), it should only be lightly forked. The rate at which the temperature is raised depends largely on the kind of malt to be made and the construction of the kiln. If high flavour and colour are required, these are produced by keeping the malt for several hours near a temperature of 160° F. while it still contains 12-15% of moisture. If more than this amount of moisture be present when the temperature reaches the limit just mentioned, the conditions known as stewing would obtain, with the result that “forced ” malt would be produced. A certain amount of colour is produced at the final temperature to which the malt is raised; but when such means are relied upon for the production of the greater part of the colour, reduction of extract and deficiency of flavour follow, the colour being then almost exclusively the result of caramelization of the carbohydrates. The so-called curing stage constitutes the last part of the kilning process, and the malt must then be turned frequently to ensure uniformity of action. Mechanical turners are exceedingly useful for this purpose. Curing in a drum, as in the so-called pneumatic malting process (see below), also effects satisfactory curing. The following table will give an idea of the kilning temperatures usually employed for the three kinds of malt mentioned, but it must be remembered that these temperatures are largely regulated by the construction of the kiln and the amount of draught available. In this connexion it may be mentioned that the final curing temperature is not necessarily a criterion of the tint of the malt. A malt may have been fmished off at a very high temperature and still be a pale malt, provided the moisture percentage has been sufficiently reduced in the initial stages of kilning.

Running

Pale Malt. Ale Malt. Amber Malt.

1st day temp. go-100° F. 90-I0O° F. 90-100° F. 2nd, ,, , 100-rzo Ioo-120 IOO-I3O

3rd, ,, , 120-'l30(IO hrs.) 120-130(6 hrs.) 130-ISO(6 hrs.) 3rd, ,, , 130-180(8, ,) 130-150(12, ,) 150-r6o(12, ,) 3rd, ,, , 180-"I9O< 6, ,) ISO-180(6, ,) 160-180(6, ,) 4th, ,, , drop to I7O(I2, ,) 180-190(12, ,) 180-200(I2, ,) 4th, ,, , 190-200(6, ,) zoo-zzo(6, ,)

4th, , drop to 180(6, ,)drop to 190(6, ,)

The average laboratory values obtained from malts of the descriptions after about two months' storage should be as follows 1Running Pale Malt. Ale Malt. Amber Malt.

Extract per standard quarter of

336 lb ........ 95-98 lb 94-96 Tb 94-96 lb

Moisture .... . . . about 2'O% in each case Diastatic activity (Lmtner) . 30-35 zo-30 8-Io Tint (Lovibond 52 series neutral). 3-5 6-8 20-25 Metabolic Changes.~All through the malting process metabolic changes are proceeding, in which both carbohydrates and proteins are concerned. In its resting stage the embryo of a barleycorn is generally free from starch; as soon as germination sets in, however, starch appears in the scutellum, while the amount of sucrose there present increases, these being apparently formed from maltose originating from the action of diastase on the starch of the endosperm. Sucrose also augments in the aleurone layer, but starch is never formed in the aleurone cells. These changes occur when the malt is first loaded on kiln; indeed, at no part of the malting process is there greater physiological activity. Kilning has been specially studied by I. Grtiss, who divides the process into four stages, the first being that at which the temperature limit is 1 13° F. It is characterized by a continuation of the living processes, especially growth of the acrospire, which, as already stated, proceeds too far if the malt be loaded too wet. In any case the rootlet dies away. The metabolism of the carbohydrates already mentioned is accompanied by that of the nitrogenous constituents, the reserve protein of the sub-aleurone layer being attacked by proteolytic enzymes and broken down into simpler compounds. This is a most important matter from the point of view of the brewing value of barley, for the degradation products of the proteins are necessary constituents of wort as yeast food. Moreover, unless proper modification of these protein bodies occurs it is impossible to produce tender malt. A barley which contains a high percentage of reserve protein is as a rule unfitted for malting purposes, and indeed, the higher the protein content the greater the difficulty the maltster experiences in dealing with it. Protein hydrolysis requires the presence of a certain amount of moisture, and if this be removed too rapidly by a forced draught at the early stages of kilning the proteolytic enzymes cannot perform their function. If, on the other hand, the grain be loaded in too moist a condition, and the temperature be raised too quickly, the proteolytic enzymes lose their activity and the proteins remain for the most part unattached. When germination is allowed to proceed on the kiln too great degradation of the protein occurs, and the malt is liable to produce fretty beers, on account of the presence of an excessive amount of nitrogenous nutritive matter, which leads to the development of disease organisms.

The second stage of the kilning process, accordirig to Griiss, is that at which the temperatures range from 113° to 167° F. The life of the corn is now suspended, but enzymatic processes continue. The starch is further saccharified, and the dividing line of the aleurone layer at the furrow is attacked, as are also the cell walls of the endosperm, which are still intact, these being partially converted into gummy substances. This change, however, also requires the presence of a certain amount of moisture. If too much air be passed through the malt at this stage the above-named dividing partition of the cell walls is not attacked. The air may expand the grain to some extent and produce malt of a low bushel weight, which, however, is not properly modified and cannot give satisfactory results in practice.

During the third stage of kilning, an enzyme, which Griiss claims to have recognized, and which he denotes spermoxidase, is said to exert its activity.

Schonfeld has confirmed the discoveries of Griiss by practical experiments.,

Fuel.-The fuel used for drying and curing malt is either anthracite or coke, and the greatest care is necessary in selecting it on account of its liability to contain arsenic, which is to a greater or less extent an invariable constituent of all coal. The fuel used for malting purposes should not contain more arsenic than éuth grain per lb. Gas coke should on no account be used, unless it has been