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Beer scientists look at bigger pitcher after barley discovery

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine researcher Associate Professor Matthew Tucker.

New malts for craft brewers and more stable brewing processes. Scientists are frothing with excitement after the discovery of new information about the malting characteristics of barley grains.

School of Agriculture, Food and Wine researchers have uncovered a new link between one of the key enzymes involved in malt production for brewing beer and a specific tissue layer within the barley grain.

“Barley grains possess impressive features that make them ideal for creating the malt required by the brewing industry,” says Associate Professor Matthew Tucker (pictured).
 
“During the malting process, complex sugars within the barley grain are broken down by enzymes to produce free sugars, which are then used by yeast for fermentation.
 
“The levels of these enzymes, how they function and where they are synthesised within the barley grain are therefore of significant interest for the brewing industry.
 
“Until now, it was not known that this key ingredient in the beer brewing process was influenced by the amount of aleurone within the grain, or that the aleurone was potentially a storage site for the enzyme.

“Our findings will be of potential interest to large brewers who depend on stable and predictable production of malt, and also the craft brewers that seek different malts to produce beer with varying characteristics.”

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A cross section of mature barley grain. The aleurone cells are the cube-shapes cells and are located between the outer husk (red) and inner starchy endosperm.

A cross section of mature barley grain. The aleurone cells are the cube-shapes cells and are located between the outer husk (red) and inner starchy endosperm.

Tagged in Research, School of Agriculture Food and Wine, Food Science, Plant Science

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