Thursday, July 12, 2018

Malting in United States

Barley has long been recognized as the first cultivated and domesticated grain in the world, dating back more than 10,000 years. It originated in the Fertile Crescent, a crescent-shaped region located in the present-day Middle East.

Clay tablets describing the beer brewing process and dating back more than 5,000 years have been found in Mesopotamia. According to these tablets, Sumerians used to prepare “beer bread” out of germinated barley seeds.

Today, malting can be defined as a process whereby grains are made to germinate by soaking in water and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Malting develops the grain’s enzymes which are required to modify the starches into sugars.

Barley was introduced into California from Spain during the last half of the eighteenth century by the Spanish conquerors and the missionaries who followed them.

Production was predominantly focused in New York state until the mid-19th century, but as the population moved west, barley moved with it, eventually reaching Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. In 1861, the first malting facilities in Louisville, the Kentucky Malting Company, went into operation.

By 1881, the malt houses of the city have $89, 000 invested and twenty –six employees working 14 hour days to produce 68000 bushels worth $510,000.

In the 1870s, the largest grain market in the world was in Chicago. Chicago had numerous breweries and nearby Peoria was a center for distilleries, so malt was in high demand.
Malting in United States
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