Barley grains are a vibrant source of microbes, with a wide range of bacteria, fungi, and yeasts colonizing the area between the husk and the pericarp (fruit outer wall). Malted Barley is simply Barley that has been sprouted at its highest level of enzymatic activity, and then quickly freeze-dried to preserve its freshness and effectiveness. Malted Barley introduces new enzymes that make nutrients more bio-available to plants. The enzymatic recipe found below creates enzymes that break down dead organic matter more efficiently than the vast majority of bottled products from the garden store (with one exception that we’ll talk about later). This style of top feeding or brewing a sprouted seed tea using malted barley will add another differentiating factor to your gardening playbook.
Farmers and gardeners who employ this method have used malted barley as an effective way to make their own enzyme rich sprouted seed tea without all of the hassles of learning to sprout the seeds themselves, as this is a bit of an art form. These high-end seeds (Tibetan Purple Barley being the absolute best) have been scientifically grown to produce the highest and most robust enzymes possible. The organic and scientific methods of seed germination used are far superior to the home sprouting techniques we are used to seeing today.
Advantages of Using Organic Malt Barley
Malt extract is actually a natural by-product of the beer brewing process. This simple material contains vital plant nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen, in addition to the highly coveted enzymes. In addition to adding nutrients, malt extract used as a fertilizer encourages the growth of extremely beneficial soil microorganisms while killing off non-beneficial soil microorganisms, such as the infamous root-feeding nematode. Root feeding Nematodes are non-segmented microscopic worms that consume plant roots and stems. Over time, they will eventually kill all of the plants they come into contact with.
During the malting process, the grains are made to germinate under strict conditions to facilitate the development of internally present enzymes. These enzymes catalyze the degradation of the starchy cell walls of the grain in the presence of water, modifying the structure of the barley endosperm. Once germinated, the grain is dried under conditions designed to prevent the denaturing of those newly created enzymes.
Enzyme counts are noticeably more elevated when you take the time to use this method correctly. Remember that quality organic barley is paramount, as anything non-organic may be compromised with toxins or chemicals that can hinder biological processes. With the right, high quality material, the bacteria and fungi found on Malted Barley Grains can produce biologically significant levels of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a vital plant growth hormone that promotes cell division and is involved in the coordination and development of plant organs.
Malted Barley Options
Freshness with malted barley is just as important as the freshness of your coffee beans. When a coffee connoisseur makes a cup for themselves, they always prefer to grind the beans fresh. This is the same for your plants. Simply use an emulsifier like a "Magic Bullet" and grind the seed into a fine powder; otherwise, using milled Malted Barley to save time and effort is the second-best option.
Certified Organic Barley is more expensive than traditional Barley but will be thoroughly cleaned and ready for sprouted teas for your garden. You can even consume this quality of barley for your own specific health benefits.
The Premium Tibetan Purple Barley is the highest quality organic barley product we have ever used. Look for more articles from Everflux Technologies about this amazing seed. Quality input equals quality output!
Super Sprouted Tea Malted Barley Recipe
(Credit: Clackamas Coots)