Move Over Fresh Hops Make Room for Fiery Malt – Raising A Glass to Mike Armstrong of Farmstrong Brewery

Fiery Malt is an age-old term for malt fresh out of the kiln.  In centuries past, brewers might have known that brewing with fiery malt could bring out nuanced flavors and aromas like enjoying fresh baked bread straight out of the oven but cautions abounded that the risks of still-warm, fresh malt could mess with a brewer’s mash.

In 1898, Frank Thatcher wrote in Brewing and Malting, Practically Considered (Country Brewers Gazette, London)  “I have used new malt just off the kiln, without any admixture with old, and yet {I} was most successful.  Due allowance was made for the increased temperature of the material, so a low striking heat was employed.”

Mike Armstrong of Farmstrong Brewery in Mt. Vernon, WA is the first to take up the challenge of brewing with Skagit Valley’s Fiery Malt, fresh out of the drum!  The NZ-151 Pale Malt and Estica Red Wheat Malts were taken out of kilning at the malthouse, driven down the road to the brewery about 5 miles away, immediately milled and put in the kettle for mashing. Armstrong adjusted his calculations for the grain temperature and targeted 13 plato yield –  and came darn close at 12.7 degrees!   He also kept in mind the sacrifice to optimal grist consistency, given the higher core moisture in ‘fiery malt kernals’.

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