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David Sparks Ph.D. Barley Genetics
by David Sparks Ph.D., click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: October 03, 2017

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Kelley Olson of the Idaho Barley Commission gave a tutorial on the genetic differences between malt and feed barley. “In malt barley, you want certain enzymatic characteristics that you wouldn’t have in feed barley. The reason you want that is that it acts with the yeast to convert the starch, to sugar, to alcohol. You want specific enzymes, you would not have those genetic components in a feed barley. You are basically brewing for high test weight, a good plump kernel with a lot of starch. If you are going to process it for feed, you would process it evenly. Essentially with malt barley you are selling starch so a high test weight, that is how it is traded on the market, is by test weight, that’s pounds per bushel. With malt barley you want protein, you want extract, that’s the starch conversion in malt but you also want these enzymes and you want a little bit lower protein because protein is a nutrition source for the yeast but too much of it can cause problems in the brewing process, filtration and gushing and things like that so you want a very precise balance with the proteins not very high, a pretty narrow range of proteins but most importantly, genetically, you want enzymes that you are not going to get in feed barley.

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