Malt modification and its effects on the contributions of barley genotype to beer flavor

Dustin Herb, Tanya Filichkin, Scott Fisk, Laura Helgerson, Patrick Hayes, Amanda Benson, Veronica Vega, Daniel Carey, Randy Thiel, Luis Cistue, Rebecca Jennings, Robert Monsour, Sean Tynan, Kristi Vinkemeier, Yueshu Li, Andrew Nguygen, Aaron Onio, Brigid Meints, Matthew Moscou, Ignacio RomagosaWilliam Thomas

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Based on prior research that showed significant genetic differences between barley genotypes for beer sensory descriptors, the effects of degree of malt modification on these descriptors were assessed in two experiments. The first experiment involved sensory assessment of nano-beers made from micro-malts of Golden Promise, Full Pint, 34 doubled haploid progeny, and a check CDC Copeland. Average degree of modification was assessed by sampling grain from each of the 37 genotypes stored for three post-harvest intervals prior to malting and brewing. The second experiment involved sensory assessment of pilot beers made from intentionally under-properly-and over-modified pilot malts of two barley varieties: Full Pint and CDC Copeland. In both experiments, genotypes were the principal sources of significant variation in sensory descriptors. Degree of modification and genotype x modification interactions were also significant for some descriptors. Based on the results of this study, the genetic characterization of and selection for barley contributions to beer flavor is warranted, even with under-modified malts. The contribution of barley variety to beer flavor will likely be modest compared to the flavors developed during the malting process, and the flavors contributed by hops and yeast. However, in certain beer styles, the contributions of barley genotype may be worth the attention of maltsters, brewers, and consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2018


  • Barley
  • malt
  • beer
  • flavor
  • modification
  • sensory

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