Malt analysis provides guidance on the effectiveness of the malting process and the suitability of the malt for brewing. The brewer judges malt quality by referring to the malt analysis provided by the maltster. We have malted current varieties to the standard four day (96hr) germination period. We then abbreviated the process by 24 hours to a three day (72hr) germination time. We have identified through malt analysis on some standard four day germination varieties that it is possible to abbreviate the process by 24hrs and still achieve a desirable malt product. The obvious beneficiaries of this technology are the malt houses. The outcomes will impact on the possible production output without impacting heavily on capital and operational costs. This research could reduce the malting time by 24 hours by selecting suitable varieties. Therefore a higher throughput could be achieved from malt houses that are currently at capacity. Alternatively if the same amount of grain was used for processing, a shorter malting time would cut down considerably on output costs. Less power and water could be used in the process which would cut down substantially on expenditure. Malt analysis will now be carried out on a larger set of varieties and these will be compared with microarray analysis of gene expression comparisons to endeavour to identify genes responsible for differing rates of initiation of in the malting process to help reduce this malting time even further, possibly to a two day malting.
Pacey-Miller, T, White, JF, Bundock, PC & Henry, RJ 2007, ‘Rapid malt - the path to faster malting barley’, paper presented to 13th Australian Barley Technical Symposium, Fremantle WA, 26-30 August.