Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Growing Barley Indoors/Where can i get Barley seed for growing my own beer.

I am trying out a new LED grow lamp and want to try to either start early, or completely grow some barley for homebrewing inside.

Where To Buy Barley Seed for Homebrewing: I got mine at Johnnys'. Starting my first batch now but we will see. Organic Two Row Malting Barley

How much to plant: Jonney's suggests 2 lb./1,000 sq.ft. A bucket has a radius of 5.5" and so 95 square inches. which is 0.65 square feet. So i will need to plant 0.0013 lbs. since there are 554 grams in a lb I will need about 0.7 gm in the bucket. Which is way less then my scale can measure.... So I will throw in some random amount of seed and see what happens.

Sprouting: I started the seed under a moist paper towels and a 100w equivalent compact fluorescent to give a little heat and moisture. Since it is cold dark winter. In the spring i will just start under 1" of soil as suggested.

Growing: Now that it has sprouted I am growing this under my 14 watt led grow light.


  1. Given my previous experience with growlights you might need to put them a lot closer to the seedlings once they sprout to prevent stretching. LEDs give off so little heat that you can have them 6 inches away without a problem, maximizing light use and preventing etiolation!

  2. thanks for the heads up. might move the light down a bit when i get back. The instructions say 16" but that might not be for new seedlings.

  3. Thanks. LED lights are fantastic because they are so cool to the touch that they really don't scorch anything. Charlie got me one for Christmas/birthday that I've had sitting right on my seedlings and they're just fine. Plus barley is a grass. Grass loves light. I'm pretty sure you could put it on the surface of the sun and it would be content. I can't wait to see how it does for you though, I've never heard of growing barley inside. Have you tried the hops inside or is that just not worth it since you end up with so much of it left over at the end of the season? I don't actually know enough about brewing to know if you use hops fresh or dried. Sorry if this is really wordy, I just get obnoxiously excited by anyone growing plants.

  4. Yeah the hops I started indoors last year but they are rather large plants so I don't do indoors. They can be used dried or fresh and I have done some of both. Only got enough for a gallon or so last year but hopefully now that the roots are established they should produce well this year.

  5. i can chime in on the LED stuff - my guess is that they recommend you space it out 16" so that the colors mix evenly. Otherwise, you'll get blue in one spot, red in the other and the plants won't see even colors. If you add something right in front of the light (i.e. translucent sheet of paper) that helps to spread out the light and make the color more uniform, you can probably put the lamp closer. good luck...

  6. interesting. I guess that makes sense in a way. Presumably each cell needs to get both wavelengths of light to get through the entire enzymatic process.


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