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Title: Making the cut: options for making initial evaluations of malting quality in barley

item Schmitt, Mark
item Budde, Allen

Submitted to: Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/4/2010
Publication Date: 8/17/2010
Citation: Schmitt, M., Budde, A.D. 2010. Making the cut: options for making initial evaluations of malting quality in barley. Journal of American Society of Brewing Chemists. 68:(4):183-194.

Interpretive Summary: Malting quality analyses are used both by maltsters and brewers in evaluating the commercial utility of lots of malting barley, as well as by barley breeders for determining whether or not a new line of barley has some possibility of eventually showing acceptable malting performance. For maltsters and brewers, detailed malt specifications generated under carefully regulated conditions and reproducible analytical procedures are critically important for allowing them to forecast how well the malt performs under their particular commercial conditions. For a barley breeder, the first question is whether the line has any major problems in the most important aspects of malt performance that would prevent it from eventually becoming an accepted malting variety. Due to the differences in the ways that a maltster or brewer and a barley breeder use malting quality assessments, it may be possible to streamline early rounds of malting quality measurements to simplify the job of the malt quality analyst while still providing high-quality data to the maltster or brewer when needed. This paper looks at several alternatives that may be useful for simplifying the first round of malting quality analyses.

Technical Abstract: Alternatives to traditional methods for generating the initial estimate of the potential malting quality of early-generation barley lines are examined through their application to a Regional Spring Barley Nursery. Comparisons are made between the standard malting quality parameters applied to a Congress wort, and to the same measures applied to a Hot Water extract. Additional assessments of wort solutes using two alternative properties (refractive index and osmolyte concentration) are applied to both mash systems and are compared with the density-based measurement of malt extract. Analyses of small scale (microcentrifuge tube) versions of the isothermal Hot Water Extract mashing systems are compared to the standard-scale Hot Water Extract and Congress Mash worts. Advantages of the protocol modifications for estimating malting quality in specific situations are discussed.