Brewing with unmalted barley and Ondea Pro® enzyme technology: The science and the economic potential

Enzymes, Extracts, Other Session
Kevin S Redd, School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 55, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
Co-author(s): Evan Evans and Anthony Koutoulis, School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia; Gordon MacAulay, GrainGrowers Australia, North Ryde, Australia; Elvig Niels, Novozymes A/S, Bagsvaerd, Denmark

ABSTRACT: Malting, mashing, fermentation, and maturation are enzymatic processes. Barley, the main raw material, contains extract components such as starches and proteins, as well as enzymes such as amylases and proteases. As malted barley is a relatively expensive raw material and the enzymes produced by malting have become commercially available on a large scale, brewers have taken an interest in developing methods to substitute the malt with unmalted raw materials by using these exogenous enzymes. It is already common practice to use 25–50% unmalted cereals (adjunct) in conjunction with malt, and therefore the idea grew to substitute an even higher proportion of the malt with unmalted raw barley by processing the adjunct with exogenous enzymes. Brewing good quality beer directly and entirely from barley is now a practical reality with the development of Novozymes Ondea Pro® enzyme technology. We outline the results from a pilot barley brewing trial using the Novozyme Ondea Pro® enzyme technology and provide the fermentability and process efficiency data for a range of Australian-grown barley grains from different varieties, geographic locations, and growing conditions. We used a small scale laboratory test to demonstrate that Ondea Pro® barley brewing is very efficient and comparable to malt-based brewing. The current malting varieties and Hindmarsh (a food variety) appear to be the most suitable for barley brewing as there is at least a 3% extract advantage with such varieties. The barley varieties associated with improved levels of extract and fermentability include “high” fermentability Flagship; “intermediate” fermentability Hindmarsh, Buloke, and Commander; and “low” fermentability Fitzroy, Schooner, Gairdner, and Baudin. We emphasize that good quality barley is required for optimal barley brewing results and recommend that the purchase of cheaper feed grade barley for barley brewing will result in less consistent brewing outcomes in terms of efficiency (extract, lautering, filterability, fermentability) and beer quality. In addition, cheaper feed grade barley will reduce the opportunities to optimize the use of the Ondea Pro® enzyme product, therefore costing brewers substantially more in the long term. Optimization of the use of Ondea Pro® during mashing has considerable potential to further reduce the cost of barley brewing. In addition to the laboratory results, we provide economic modeling to illustrate a scientific and economic assessment of the potential benefit from the use of enzymes on different Australian barley varieties, with a focus on the gains to be made in emerging markets.

Kevin Redd received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and then began a series of assignments in Alaska and British Columbia for the National Marine Fisheries Service and International Pacific Halibut Commission. He moved to Australia to undertake a Ph.D. program in forensic molecular ecology at the University of Tasmania before commencing work on a range of GRDC-funded malt- and barley-related projects.