Malting is the process of partially germinating and then drying grain to preserve its enzymes. To malt your own corn, you'll need to first steep and germinate the kernels, and then dry, kiln, and clean them. By using the right tools and sticking to a schedule, you can turn corn into malt to use for things like baking and brewing.

Part 1
Part 1 of 4:

Steeping the Corn

  1. Make sure each hole is smaller than the size of a corn kernel.[1]
  2. Remove the lid of the urn so you can set the bucket inside. It’s OK if part of the bucket is sticking up out of the top of the urn.[2]
  3. The corn kernels shouldn’t reach the top of the bucket as they will expand during the steeping process.[3]
  4. You want the extra inch of water because a lot of the water will be absorbed into the corn during the steeping process.[4]
  5. You want the water to remain this temperature during the entire steeping process.[5]
  6. Check back after nine hours and lift the bucket of corn out of the urn. Let the water in the bucket drain into the urn through the drilled holes.[6]
  7. The rest period, called an "air rest," will help get rid of CO2 and encourage the corn to take up more water during the steeping process. When it's finished resting, place it back in the urn so it fills up with water.[7]
  8. Your steeping schedule should look like:
    • First steeping: nine hours.
    • First air rest: three hours.
    • Second steeping: nine hours.
    • Second air rest: three hours.
    • Third steeping: nine hours.
    • Third air rest: three hours.
    • Fourth steeping: nine hours.
  9. Advertisement
Part 2
Part 2 of 4:

Germinating the Corn

  1. Let the water drain back into the urn so only the corn is left in the bucket.
  2. You can make the tray yourself out of wood or buy an aluminum tray at the store. Make sure the sides of the tray are tall enough to keep in all of the corn.[8]
  3. You want the temperature to be between 72 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (22 and 28 degrees Celsius) while the corn is germinating.[9]
    • If the thermometer reads too high of a temperature, move the tray to a darker, cooler place.
    • If the thermometer reads too low of a temperature, place a portable heater or small heat fan that allows you to adjust the temperature near the tray. Check the thermometer regularly to make sure the tray isn't overheating.[10]
  4. This will keep the grain moist and prevent heat buildup that naturally occurs during germination.[11]
  5. The shoots are the long, root-looking parts of the corn that emerge during germination.
    • You can start the drying process once 70 to 80 percent of the corn has shoots that are twice the length of the kernels.[12]
  6. Advertisement
Part 3
Part 3 of 4:

Drying and Kilning the Corn

  1. Set the food dehydrator to between 100 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit (38 to 52 degrees Celsius) and leave the corn inside to dry.[13]
  2. You want the corn to be at 10 percent moisture before you increase the temperature in the food dehydrator. You'll know the corn is at ten percent moisture when it weighs .5 ounces (14.2 grams) less per pound (.45 kilograms) than it did before you started the malting process.[14]
  3. Raise it to between 140 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 71 degrees Celsius). The corn will be finished drying when it's between three and six percent moisture content, or when it's lost three ounces (85 grams) per pound (.45 kilograms) of its original weight. The entire drying and process can take between six to eight hours.[15]
  4. Set the oven between 176 and 185 degrees Fahrenheit (80 to 85 degrees Celsius). After four hours, the corn will be finished kilning and malting.[16]
  5. Advertisement
Part 4
Part 4 of 4:

Cleaning the Malt

  1. Tie the pillowcase shut so none of the malt can escape.[17]
  2. Run the dryer on the coolest setting so you don’t heat up the malt. Tumbling the malt will help remove the bitter-tasting roots and shoots of the corn.[18]
  3. You can do this by hand, or you can use a sieve to separate them more easily. The malt will look like small, dried-up corn kernels.[19]
  4. This will prevent oxygen and moisture from damaging the malt over time. Properly stored malt is good for up to a year.[20]
  5. Advertisement

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is it fine to dry the corn/sprout with sunlight?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Yes, as long as you rotate the corn to help dry evenly, and the sunlight produces at least 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Question
    Do I save the corn, sprouts, or both?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    Unless you want your wort or mash to be bitter, save only the corn to use for your brew.
  • Question
    Is there any way I can do it faster to use it immediately?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    No, the malting process rate is limited/controlled by the biological process of sprouting the grain.

Things You'll Need

  • Five-gallon plastic bucket
  • Urn
  • Drill
  • Food dehydrator
  • Tray
  • Scale
  • Pillowcase
  • Sieve
  • Thermometer

About This Article

Kyle Hall
Co-authored by:
wikiHow Staff Writer
This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Kyle Hall. Kyle Hall works on the content team at wikiHow. He helps manage our team of editors and creates content for a variety of wikiHow projects. Kyle continually looks for new ways to improve the content at wikiHow and make it more helpful and enjoyable for readers. He graduated from Eckerd College in 2015, where he majored in Political Science. This article has been viewed 136,182 times.
40 votes - 96%
Co-authors: 5
Updated: March 29, 2019
Views: 136,182
Article SummaryX

To malt corn, start by placing a bucket with holes in the bottom in an urn, then fill the bucket with the corn. Next, add water until it's an inch above the corn, set the thermostat to 77 degrees F, and allow to sit for 9 hours. Then, remove the bucket from the urn and allow the corn to air dry for 3 hours before repeating the soaking and drying process another 3 times. Pour the corn into a tray and allow it to germinate until the shoots are twice as long as the kernels. Finish by drying the corn in a dehydrator and baking it in the oven at 175 degrees F for 4 hours. For advice on how to clean the malt, keep reading!

Did this summary help you?