Home > Topics > Raw materials

Raw materials

Malin Andersson, Viking Malt; Brent Atthill, Francois Sonneville and Sanjeet Aujla (from left)

World Barley, Malt & Beer Conference | The malting industry and malting barley suppliers very much depend on the general beer output. However, the pandemic years 2020 and 2021 were a different case entirely, marked by full capacity utilisation, pull of demand, price pressure and a logistics crisis – not to mention the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The World Barley, Malt & Beer Conference held by RMI Analytics, that brought the major players of the global supply chain together at the end of March, painted a varied picture of the challenges and opportunities.

Unrestricted hop trade | Plant protection regulations must be harmonized internationally if global trade in foods and their ingredients is to function smoothly. This was the demand made by Dr. Reinhold Kugel, Head of Product Safety and Quality Assurance for international hop specialist BarthHaas, at a thematic session held by the SPS Committee of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on 22 March 2022.

The German Purity Law of 1516 already proves that the mixture of hops, malt, yeast and water guarantees good taste and made beer famous worldwide. This is also the case in Brazil. This is where one of the world's largest green field malt production plants is currently being built. A cooperative made up of several companies, including Cooperativa Agrária, is relying here on the technologies of plant manufacturer Zeppelin Systems, based on the know-how to supply complete plants for malt production for more than one decade.

Development of a methodology | TU Munich is currently investigating the physics of formation of gas bubbles in liquids prone to gushing. Part 1 of this two-part series of articles describes the theoretic fundamentals and the measuring instrument developed. Part 2 presents the results of experimental studies.

Hop extraction | In addition to pellets and CO2 extracts, total resin extract (formerly referred to as ethanol extract) is a well-established hop product that has been utilized for decades in the production of beer. In the second article of this two-part series, the properties of total resin extract are presented in alphabetical order and, where applicable, the latest research findings are included as well.

Comprehensive documentation | The internationally operating hop specialist BarthHaas has just published its Hop Harvest Guide 2021. 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.

Hop extraction | Along with pellets and CO2 extracts, total resin extract (formerly referred to as ethanol extract) has proven itself to be a valuable hop product in the production of beer for decades. In this two-part series, the properties of total resin extract are presented in alphabetical order and the latest research findings are included where applicable.

The Arbeitsgruppe Hopfenanalyse or AHA (Hop Analysis Working Group) has announced the mean alpha acid values determined in freshly harvested hops by mid-October 2021.

Hop addition | A number of studies are available on the behaviour of hop bitter substances during beer ageing and potential sensory repercussions; a survey can be found in “Hops – from Cultivation all the way to Beer” [1]. None of these studies tried to address the question whether changes in bitter substances differ between exclusively hot hopped beers and dry hopped beers. To investigate this question, a bottom-fermented test beer was late hopped and, in addition, part of the test beer was dry hopped. The beers were aged systematically and analysed.

Emission-free | In December 2021, Holland Malt has started the realisation of a completely emission-free malthouse in Eemshaven, province of Groningen. Thanks to a new, innovative heat system, the malting process no longer uses fossil fuels, biomass or other energy sources that cause harmful emissions. With this, the malthouse is taking a big step in its energy transition. The system that is to ensure this transition will be fully operational in 2024.

Hüll aroma hops | The climate change brings particular challenges for hop growers and brewers. Aurum, the new Hüll aroma variety with a Tettnanger background, presents itself not just as a climate-tolerant noble hops but also with a fine-hoppy aroma in combination with a pleasant subtle bitterness and lives fully up to its name in numerous brewing tests.

Many challenges | At the beginning of November, the Maltsters’ Association of Great Britain (MAGB) held their Annual General Meeting in online format as the pandemic continues to restrict the ability to meet face to face. The Annual Luncheon was once again postponed but has now been firmly booked for next year when it will return to the Armourers Hall in London on 1st November 2022.

Short supply | The supply of spring malting barley in Europe remains tight. A smaller area and very heterogeneous qualities characterise this year's harvest.