Starting a Small Malt House with Dark Cloud Malting – BeerSmith Podcast #144

by Brad Smith on March 10, 2017 · 0 comments

Jesse Kaiss and Danny Buswell from Dark Cloud Malt House join me this week to discuss their experiences starting up a small local malt house. Jesse and Danny are malting their own barley and selling it locally in central Maryland.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (58:42)

  • Today my guests are Jesse Kaiss and Danny Buswell from Dark Cloud Malthouse. Jesse and Danny have started their own very small malting house in central Maryland with a focus on selling to local breweries and distilleries.
  • Jesse explains how they both got started trying to build their own malt house.
  • Danny tells us some of the research involved including developing a plan.
  • We discuss where they set up the malt house and how they funded it.
  • Danny explains the challenges of finding locally grown barley as very little brewing barley is grown on the East Coast.
  • Jesse walks us through the basic malting process and how you turn raw barley into malt.
  • We discuss pneumatic malting, floor malting and turning the grains by hand.
  • Jesse tells us about how they dry out the grains after malting (commonly called kilning)
  • Danny shares the types of malt they created last season.
  • We discuss quantifying the quality of the finished malt as well as how the malts were received by local breweries.
  • Jesse explains their plans to expand production next year.
  • Danny shares some of the challenges they have faced in growing and scaling the business.
  • Jesse tells us about long term plans to grow their own barley to truly have a locally grown/produced malt.
  • We discuss future plans and closing thoughts.


Thanks to Jesse Kaiss and Danny Buswell for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!

iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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