BOTL is a club that was founded as a means for our members to educate themselves and others about brewing beer, ciders and meads. We are all in this hobby as like minded individuals that have a thirst for knowledge and an appetite for an enjoyable time. Most of us are from Holland, MI and the surrounding communities.
We are accepting new members at this time.
For more information about our fine organization please email us at
We meet on the second Thursday of each month at the New Holland Pub. Start time 7 PM.

Please bring 3 bottles of this month's style homebrew that you want to share, OR a different style of your homebrew.
When bringing your homebrew to share, please bring your recipe to tell everyone about your brew.

Styles of each month:
January – Barleywine, Winter Warmer, Strong Ales
February - Belgian/French Ales, Lambics and funky stuff
March – English Ales and Milds
April - Lagers, Kolsch and Hybrids and Alts
May –
Cider, Cysers, Perry and Meads
June - Pale Ale, IPA and Ryes
July – Ambers and Reds
August – Wheat, Wit, Weizens and Fruit Beers
September –
Scottish Ales and Browns
October – Oktoberfest, Pumpkin, and Spiced Beers
November – Stouts and Porters
December – Saturday, Dec. 8 Christmas party, best of cellar and potluck lunch

Monday, January 18, 2010

Malt Conditioning

Malt conditioning is a very simple process which consists of adding a very small amount of water to your grain bill prior to milling. The addition of water to your un-crushed malt results in more resilient grain husks. The husks take on a more “leathery” feeling. They are less dry and brittle, which means that they will remain much more intact during the milling process. Why would a brewer care to leave their grain husks more intact during the milling process? There are several reasons that would lead one to consider malt conditioning:
•Pulverized husks can lead to tanning astringency in beer
•Intact husks will create a more free flowing grain bed (fewer stuck sparges)
•You can crush finer to increase conversion efficiency without shredding husks.
Items you will need are a bottle for misting the malt, a scale, preferably digital (to accurately measure the water you are about to add) and a large spoon or paddle (to thoroughly mix the malt).
You will want to add 2% of the weight of the malt bill, in water, to the grain. For example, if you have a 10 pound grain bill, which is 160 ounces, multiply this by .02 (2%) and your result will be 3.2 ounces. This is the WEIGHT of water that you will want to add to your grain bill for conditioning. By doing so, you will thoroughly wet the grain husks, but you will not create a sticky mess in your rollers.
Malt conditioning is easy. Mist the surface of the grain, and stir until you have added the calculated weight of water to your grain. When complete, allow 10 minutes for the husks to absorb this water
As you add water to the grain, it will become more difficult to stir. You may find it easier to add the water to half the malt, or a third of the malt, at a time. If by chance you notice grain sticking to your rollers after milling, you can simply run a handful of dry malt through the rollers to clean them. Also, this could be a sign that too much water may have been added to the malt. You can adjust the water proportions accordingly for your process. Feel free to experiment with 2%, 1.5%, etc,.