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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Research Mash: a Simple Procedure for Conducting Congress Mashes Using Reduced Quantities of Malt

Authors
item Schmitt, Mark
item Budde, Allen
item Marinac, Laurie

Submitted to: Journal of American Society of Brewing Chemists
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 23, 2006
Publication Date: July 20, 2006
Citation: Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D., Marinac, L.A. 2006. Research mash: a simple procedure for conducting Congress Mashes using reduced quantities of malt. Journal of American Society of Brewing Chemists. 64(4):181-186.

Interpretive Summary: In the development of new malting barley varieties, it is necessary to test for a number of attributes in the barley seed and barley malt that are commonly used to determine whether the malt will be suitable for commercial malting purposes. This occurs not only in the final varieties but also in the experimental barley lines from which they are selected. In addition, it is sometimes desirable to also test the barley and malt for certain additional biochemical parameters which are hypothesized to be important in affecting malt production. Currently industry-accepted methodology for determining the 'malting quality' involves processing quantities of barley and malt (25 - 50 g) which, while small on the scale of a commercial malting plant, are still large relative to the supply of seed available during early stages of malting barley variety development. The method described in this manuscript provides a reliable way of testing the malting quality and other biochemical parameters of barley malt on very much smaller quantities of sample, making it possible conduct the desired tests on samples with only very limited amounts of grain or malt available, which is advantageous for several reasons.

Technical Abstract: The ASBC Malt-4 extract analysis method (Congress Mash) is widely used to evaluate the malting quality performance of experimental malts, as well as for generating standardized worts for analysis of biochemical attributes contributing to malting quality. However, as it is commonly implemented, it requires 25 - 50 g of malt in addition to specialized, often custom-fabricated, instrumentation. These requirements hinder researchers without access to the specialized instrumentation and particularly those with limited sample availability in generating Congress worts for malting quality analysis or other fundamental research studies. Use of one of several commercially available devices allows generation of smaller-scale worts (requiring significantly smaller quantities of malt) that appear to be qualitatively similar to full-scale Congress worts. The ability to generate representative worts from much smaller amounts of malt will facilitate research studies on the mashing process, as well as on basic malting properties and components of breeding lines and populations that may have insufficient sample quantities to support experiments requiring multiple mash cycles, treatments, or replicates.

Last Modified: 12/26/2014
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