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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Cereal Crops Research

Title: Teaball redux

item Schmitt, Mark
item Budde, Allen

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2011
Publication Date: June 8, 2011
Citation: Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D. 2011. Teaball redux[abstract]. North American Barley Researchers' Workshop, June 6-8, 2011, Corvallis, Oregon. Available:

Technical Abstract: As a noted Canadian cereal breeder has observed, the greatest challenge to meeting future needs of agricultural and cropping systems is the current limitation on the ability to phenotype germplasm to guide breeding programs. Rossnagel (2009) indicates that the “most critical need” is for “rapid and inexpensive evaluation of large numbers of small samples.” Recently, we have described a number of modifications to current mashing protocols and subsequent wort and malt analysis procedures that substantially reduce the quantities of barley and malt needed for characterization of many of the primary malting quality attributes commonly examined. Results from these reduced-scale mash and QA procedures are very highly correlated with results from standard-scale procedures. In this presentation, we describe a modification of common micromalting protocols than can increase sample throughput 2x – 3x over current malting capacity, using approximately ½ the former staffing levels, requiring only 2 g of individual barley lines, but providing sufficient quantities of malt for the primary malting quality analyses. Briefly, we contain the small amounts (2 g) of barley inside steel mesh tea ball (TB) infusion containers. A number of individual TBs are then embedded within a larger volume of carrier barley that is processed in existing malting apparatus. A few modifications to the standard malting protocols optimize grain hydration and result in malt with primary malt quality parameters similar to standard micromalted grain. The greater throughput of these combined methods raises the numbers of samples that can be analyzed annually, but also importantly, can substantially increase data availability in the critical but constrained window between crop harvest and the preparation for the subsequent year’s field program. The small scale malting and analysis procedures may also be useful for research programs using special populations that may have limited seed availability. Rossnagel, B.G. Breeding and biotech to meet agricultural and cropping system challenges. Plenary presentation to Canadian Prairie Grain Development Committee, 2/25/2009,

Last Modified: 8/28/2016
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