In early July we traveled to Fort Collins, CO to check in on our locally grown barley. Below is a Photo Essay of our visit.
Meet Christopher Schooley, co-owner/operator of Troubadour Maltings. A true “troubadour” himself, Chris has a diverse background in music, specialty coffee and the general creation of things. Chris is pictured here at Greg Walker’s farm where Troubadour’s grains are grown annually. He gave us a tour of the farm while educating us on their process, his passion for craft malts, and his vision for their products.
At this time of season, the barley was vibrant green and fully ripened. The stalks and heads were turning from green to yellow and the seed heads were beginning to droop towards the ground. These are all signs that harvest is just a few weeks away.
Due to direct sunlight, the perimeter of this field had turned yellow faster than the middle. These pictured “amber waves of grain” are what you could expect the entire field to look like come harvest. This barley is generally in the ground for 5-6 months.
Once harvested the barley is elevated into these steel silos and stored for 18 months. It is stored for this period of time in order to cover/protect the potential of a poor yield the following year.
The barley is then transported to Troubadours Malting facility to begin the malting process. The first step is steeping, where the grain is soaked in water. Then the grain is allowed to germinate in long shallow bins and then halted from germinating further by kilning to dry it. This is a picture of freshly malted grain ready to be sacked.
Once the grain has been malted and passes QC, it is ready to be sacked and shipped to the brewery. Pictured to the right is a Troubadour sack that was recently mashed into our 7 barrel system. We us this locally grown malt in every batch of our farmhouse ales.
We want to thank Troubadour Maltings for their time and generosity. Until next time, cheers!