Sometimes you need a little help from your friends.

In this case, none of us are brewers. But fortunately we know people who are! Master Drakey (Baron Drake Morgan, OL, breaker of women's hearts, member of the 'I ate hemlock and survived' club...) a brewing and cooking laurel used to taking the uninitiated through the brewing, helped us via many skype sessions work on a Barley Ale (including a brew-along-adventure), advising on the malting process and the wine experiment from the last round. Thank you Drakey!

Here is the link to the ale work he did for us on his website Dining with the Khan. This website should be a fabulous resource when he is finished, and we strongly encourage you to check it out.

Burnt barley bread...
...ground up...
...with a little salt...
... and a bear fat substitute (lard)...
Makes one seriously revolting (and stinky) cure for baldness. Thanks Trotula! Now all we need is a victim...
OMG OMG OMG We have sprouts! I think tonight we will be heating it to stop germination and we will have malted barely YAY YAY YAY

-- a short while later--

Grain in oven which is sitting at about 33 degrees which from the few discussions on how to advise is the recommended temp , being around 60 to 125 fahrenheit. Will be in there till tomorrow.n That should dryit and stop the germination without cooking it. 

Here's hoping , it smells quite sweet.
An update from our intrepid brewer...
It is bottled it is drinkable at this time. It seems to have worked and we have 4 litres bottles and sitting in the cool gararge along with two jars for cooking.

It's sour but drinkable ,very weak I think , not my cup of tea , has a bit of a cinnamon after taste just a hint. I'm still not a fan but I drank some . I am still living so all good.

The small ale however was a failure...

Success! Here is our update:
Soaking and drying the grain for malting step one so far has been soaked and dried four times approx 6hours soak 9 hours drying and ..........

We have rootletts forming! YAY! Success so far. I'm quite happy. Kinda stoked actually.

Well another couple of soaks and hopefully we will have enough rootlets to go to second stage wich should germinate the grain this will be the more tricky bit to prevent mould growing.
So when we said we would do malting, even our brewing phone-a-friend expert was impressed, as he'd only done it once himself, and it is a fairly long, drawn out process. But our intrepid incipient brewer and barley expert Muigheinn, was not put off. Here is her update for Day One:
Malting process begun so let's hold our collective and hope. I have soaked the grain twice, dried once, and it is drying again now will put back in to soak in the morning . Grain appears to be swelling which is what it's supposed to do prior to sending rootlets, so it seems to be doing the right thing... will keep you posted. 
Barley into flour, via mortar and pestle, then food processor.
The finished barley loaves. (The bottom ones had double the amount of ingredient.)
Today's exploit was baking bread from barley flour. We tried four experiments:
  1. We tried grinding our own barley flour (quite the chore, verging on the impossible in a mortar and pestle - you can see why they went with a quern).
  2. Making barley leaven (well, actually we made this a few days ago, as it takes a few days to form properly)
  3. Loaves using only barley flour 
  4. Loaves using a mix of wheat and barley flour

The results were quite interesting.

Loaf 1 = Barley with leaven
Loaf 2 = Barley with yeast
Loaf 3 = Barley/wheat with leaven
Loaf 4 = Barley/wheat with yeast

The Barley/wheat combination with yeast was the lightest and sweetest. You can see why it was the high status option!

As well as being denser, the barley loaves went stale and mouldy more quickly too.