Believe it or not, there’s actually a technique to opening a bag of malt. One that doesn’t involve utility knives, blood or cursing. Really!
Opening the malt sack correctly leaves it less prone to spilling since more of the bag remains intact. You also won’t end up with a bunch of loose threads and plastic pieces in your malt. On top of all that you can impress your beer geek friends with this cool trick.
The operation basically involves finding the “key” thread that unravels the stitching holding the bag closed. Some are more difficult than others, depending on the equipment used to close the bag. Weyermann and Great Western are pretty easy. Best Malz gave me some fits, but I eventually got it to work.
Step by Step
- Set the sack on the floor with the writing up and facing you.
- Locate the stitching that holds the sack closed. Frequently it’s a different color.
- Note that the stitching on the front and back of the bag are different. One side will have a single stitch while the other has 2 or 3 threads.
- This part is a little different depending on the maltster. Try starting on your right and cut the first couple of loops. You should find one thread that will start unraveling the stitching. Sometimes it’s a different color from the rest.
- Be patient, it can be difficult to get started. Try pulling each thread away from the bag, perpendicular-like.
- Once you find it, this should happen:
- Once you get to the end, all of the excess thread will pull away cleanly.
- Admire your work. You rock!
Sometimes it pulls from the double-stitched side, like this:
It would be really swell if every bag opened the same way. After all, you don’t want to fumble around when you’re supposed to be showing off. If you need more practice, try volunteering down at the local brewery. Show them this trick and you might get hired on the spot!