Improving Barley Malt Quality Attracts Brewers to NCI Course

September 14, 2010

For Immediate Release

Improving Barley Malt Quality Attracts Brewers to NCI Course

Fargo, N.D., USA--Fourteen maltsters, brewers, and food processors from Canada and U.S. attended the Barley Malt Quality Evaluation Short Course at Northern Crops Institute (NCI) August 17-20. During the course, discussion focused on the quality components of barley and malt necessary to produce an acceptable beer.

Course topics included U.S. barley production and variety development, barley quality evaluation, barley malt production technology, biochemistry and analysis, specialty malts and extracts, biotechnology update on barley, barley breeding/gene mapping, germplasm enhancement, world barley malt supply and demand, and food safety issues in malting.

Paul Schwarz, Ph.D., NDSU professor of plant sciences, coordinated and lectured in the course.  “This year's attendees represented a real mix,” says Schwarz. “There were individuals from major malting and brewing companies, as well as new ventures. The "new venture" attendees were very interested in the concept of local supply of all ingredients for beer, including barley, hops, and water. 

“Interest was also shown in traceability and food safety issues, as well as organic production of beer ingredients and the subsequent requirements of organic malting and brewing processes.  Barley supply continues to be a concern because, although the supply lines are still full, acreage is down significantly this year,” he concludes.
American Society of Brewing Chemists, Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences, and NCI co-sponsored the course.

Additional instructors include Richard Horsley, Ph.D., NDSU barley breeder and professor of plant science; Jesse Theis, Rahr Malting Company; Dave Kuske, Briess Malting Co.; Lynn Dahleen, Ph.D., USDA Northern Crop Science Laboratory; Shiaoman Chao, Ph.D., USDA Biosciences Research Laboratory; Derek Prell, Malteurop North America Inc.; and Paul Bolin, Busch Ag Resources. 

In addition to lectures, the group toured the Busch Agricultural Resources Inc., Elevator Operations in West Fargo, N.D.  Judd Carlson, plant manager, hosted the group at Busch Agricultural Resources Inc. Malt House, Moorhead, Minn.  They also visited the NDSU Barley Greenhouse Facility and the NCI/NDSU Malt Analysis Laboratory.