The barley’s harvested – what next?

By BeertownNZ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 National

The 2016 barley crop has been harvested. Gladfield Malt sales manager Gabi Michael says its time to make some malt:

Wild, unpredictable weather in the 2015/16 Canterbury season made growing barley challenging. The hard work of harvesting is now over, and the crops are stored in silos. Mission accomplished on the harvesting front! 

We now test protein, germination and screening levels for the new season's crops in conjunction with PGG Wrightson. Gladfield Malt plant manager Caleb sent more than 200 samples for testing. Once results are in, the next stages involve selecting the best of the crop and waiting until the grain is no longer dormant and is ready to germinate.

Dormancy, in simple terms, means the grain is asleep or inactive. The tricky bit is knowing when the grain will become active! At Gladfield Malt, we use New World grain varieties, where the dormancy periods are usually shorter. Once germination begins we start malting. 

Last month we steeped the first batch of 2016 season barley and we’ll soon be working on malting the 2016 wheat and rye crops. It is worth noting that Gladfield Malts are 100% natural because we don't use any genetically modified grains; there are no chemicals added to the steep water to accelerate germination; and there is no bleach added to the grain to change the malt's appearance.

We will blend the 2016 season’s grains with the previous season until we have gradually moved to using 100% of the current crop. That can take up to five weeks to happen. Our primary goal is to give you consistent, high-quality malts across the entire Gladfield Malt range. 

Photo: Writer Gabi Michael on a big, fancy lawn mower thing

By BeertownNZ Wed, 06 Apr 2016 National