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Title: Let's get small: Miniaturized malt quality analysis for fun and profit

item Schmitt, Mark
item Budde, Allen

Submitted to: North American Barley Research Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2008
Publication Date: 10/26/2009
Citation: Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D. 2009. Let's Get Small: Miniaturized Malt Quality Analysis for Fun and Profit. North American Barley Research Workshop Proceedings, Oral #6, October 26-29, 2008, Madison, WI.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Most common laboratory-scale micromalting and malt analysis procedures are indeed micro-scaled compared to commercial-scale malting (the CCRU standard 170 g malting is approximately 10**6 times smaller than a 6,000 bu Saladin box production malting run). While these amounts of grain are insignificant for a malthouse or brewery where railcar quantities are normally handled, the quantities needed for the micromalting and standard analysis procedures may be problematic for both research and breeding programs. The requirement for >100 g of seed for malting/analysis effectively precludes testing for important malting quality attributes until relatively late in a breeding program, even though meeting malting quality standards is one of the most critical selection criteria. This means that many lines with inferior malting quality must be carried through several generations before sufficient grain is available for even a first round of malt QA testing that would identify those lines with malting quality shortcomings, so that they could be eliminated from the breeding program. Similarly, it becomes much more difficult to analyze mapping and other special populations if seed increases are needed to produce the >100 gm of seed needed for standard QA tests for each line of interest. Fortunately, it has recently become possible to adapt traditional micromalting and malt analysis procedures to much smaller scales, reducing the quantities of grain needed to generate a malt quality profile similar to those from traditional methods. The availability of the reduced-quantity malt quality methods have greatly simplified analysis of genetically interesting populations and could facilitate earlier-generation analysis of malting quality in breeding programs when fully implemented. In addition, several labs globally have adapted a number of related research procedures to small-scale/high-throughput formats, facilitating studies on basic research questions relating to modification of barley carbohydrate, protein, and cell wall reserves. Examples of the modified malting, mashing, and analytical procedures will be presented.