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Meet The Germinator

By John Maier,

Standard batch size at a commercial malting plant – 350,000 pounds.
Batch size of Rogue DIY Floor Malt – 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.
Batch size of Rogue DIY Micro Malt – 850 pounds.
Some distillers want consistency. They buy standard malts, off the shelf, no surprises.

I want variety. Different flavors, different roasts, different smoking techniques. Now I can create new and unique mashes for Rogue Spirits.

So we Micro Malt at Rogue Farms Farmstead Malt House in Tygh Valley using a steel box called the Germinator. Almost impossibly small batches means I get the variety I want, when I want.

Here’s what Micro Malting looks like.

The Germinator holds 850 pounds of Rogue Farms malting barley. The blower on the right creates a steady air flow to control the speed of germination.
The Germinator holds 850 pounds of Rogue Farms malting barley. The blower on the right creates a steady air flow to control the speed of germination.
Looking inside the Germinator.
Looking inside the Germinator.
Micro Malting is hands on hard work.. Eric flips and rakes the barley to help things along.
Micro Malting is hands on hard work.. Eric flips and rakes the barley to help things along.
Doc McAllister watches as the barley he grows is Micro Malted.
Doc McAllister watches as the barley he grows is Micro Malted.
Bagging the malt is highly automated and sophisticated.
Bagging the malt is highly automated and sophisticated.
White bags are malt that will be trucked to Newport. Brown bags are malting barley that will be the next batch of Rogue DIY Floor Malt or Micro Malt.
White bags are malt that will be trucked to Newport. Brown bags are malting barley that will be the next batch of Rogue DIY Floor Malt or Micro Malt.