Barley malt grains

Mashing procedures | In 1996, Stenholm et al. [4] asked: “Are the days of Congress mashing over?” In the following article, Evan Evans and John Brauer examine this question and come to a conclusion which reflects modern brewing practice. Following the article, John Brauer talks with us about the joint Euromalt-EBC workshop on different mashing procedures in October 2023 and the implications for the brewing industry.

malt conditioning lutz wernitz (unsplash)

New technique | The advantages of malt conditioning are undisputed. However, owing to the high cost of procurement and complicated operation, in SME breweries malt is seldom conditioned prior to milling. In order to change this, BrauKon has developed a cost-effective, low-maintenance and fully CIP-able downdraft conditioning segment.

Top cutter on an Australian hop farm (Photo: Hop Products Australia)

Australia | Hop Products Australia (HPA) have completed this year’s harvest. They picked 670 hectares across Victoria and Tasmania, which resulted in 1,340 tonnes of hops. This was a 177 hectare decrease and a 480 tonne decrease year-on-year across six proprietary varieties – Eclipse, Ella, Enigma, Galaxy, Topaz and Vic Secret, as well as Cascade.

Spring barley field

Europe | The spring barley acreage in Europe may be larger this year. However, work has been delayed due to the high rainfall in many regions. It is therefore not possible to say for certain what quantities and qualities can be expected. However, it is already clear that the market will enter the new season without significant surplus.

A look inside the new Hop Harvest Guide 2023 (Photo: BarthHaas)

Nuremberg | The international hop specialist BarthHaas has published its Hop Harvest Guide 2023 in March. Brewing and hop professionals all over the world value the guide for its comprehensive documentation of the quality of the most recent hop crop. It helps brewers to adapt their processes and recipes to the changes identified in the respective crop year.

Green ears of Bromus grossus in the field

Almost forgotten | “Conservation through use” is not only the motto for rare domestic animal breeds, the existence of many historically cultivated plant species and varieties are also threatened if they are no longer cultivated and used in a practical way. The team of authors has taken on the old, almost completely forgotten grain species, the “Dicke Trespe”, and tested its suitability for beer production.

Barley field (Photo: WFranz on pixabay)

Study results | For some time now the concept of sustainability has cropped up in practically all areas of our lives. Our brewing industry is no exception. At least all larger brewery groups and breweries publish sustainability reports containing information, among others, on the carbon footprint of their products. Regardless of the surprisingly great differences between the respective breweries’ carbon balance (depending on how this is assessed), malt as a raw material also contributes to the CO2 emissions generated during production. This means that malting plants are also required to make an effort towards achieving greater sustainability. The following study aims to assess the savings potential of new varieties of malting barley with a view to reducing carbon footprints and cutting costs.

Beer cans with different hop varieties

Local varieties | Hops produced in Argentina have an interesting history: the varieties are a mix of classic hops bred decades ago, parental varieties of currently trendy hops and some were bred in the context of the 1980’s local breeding programs. None of them would feature on a list of modern craft hops, and until recently, their usefulness was limited to simply pep up hazy hoppy ales and the like.

Hand reaches for hop plant

Variety differentiation | The classification of hop varieties into aroma and bitter hops dates back to 1971, a time when there were only four aroma and two bitter varieties in Germany. The two groups could be easily distinguished from each other based on analytical characteristics. Today, differentiation is difficult due to the breeding of numerous new varieties. In particular, the hop varieties used for dry hopping, often referred to as flavor hops, do not fit into the usual scheme, although they are literally “aromatizing hops.”

Preparation of beer samples in the laboratory

Toxin screening | Mould fungi are part of the mycoflora naturally present on malting barley. In recent years, the focus was on contamination with the fungus species Fusarium and Aspergillus whereas the relevance of contamination with sooty mould fungi has been recognised only a short while ago.

Hand with hop cone

Hop Storage Index | As soon as hops have been picked and sufficiently dried, a race against time begins, or more precisely against oxidation, as the oxidation reactions reduce the quality of the hops. The Hop Storage Index (HSI) is used to assess this. How does it affect brewing and what factors influence it?

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