Cassandra Liscomb (1); (1) Briess Malt & Ingredients Co., Chilton, WI, U.S.A.


The brewing industry is in need of a rapid method for wort preparation to evaluate the extractable flavors and aromas that are present in malt. Historically, the standardized evaluation of malt has been limited to the measurement of physical and analytical properties and has notably not included sensory. Previous publications in brewing literature have documented malt sensory methods, but such methods have not been validated in order to gain acceptance as standard methods for the industry. Here we discuss findings from the hot-steep validation study, where repeatability and sensitivity were measured by a series of triangle tests. The design of the validation study dictates that the hot-steep method proves to be repeatable if identical wort samples prepared by two different technicians in the same laboratory are not found to be significantly different. Similarly, the method proves to be sensitive if two different malts prepared by the same technician in the same laboratory are found to be significantly different. Due to the perishable nature of wort, the study does not aim to prove reproducibility among different laboratories. A successful validation of the hot-steep method will lead to publication in the American Society of Brewing Chemists Methods of Analysis, which will make it the first method to be published in the area of raw materials sensory. This is a significant event for the brewing industry and will undoubtedly lead to the advancement of malt flavor research.

Cassie has worked professionally in the brewing industry since 2013, beginning as a chemist at MillerCoors in Milwaukee, WI, and working currently in the Technical Services Department at Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. in Chilton, WI, where she focuses on technical projects for quality and R&D. Cassie graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, with a B.S. degree in biology and then from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, with a master of forestry degree. She has served as an official taster on the MillerCoors Milwaukee Corporate Taste Panel, attended the Sensory Panel Management course at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, IL, and is currently responsible for enhancing and managing the Briess Malt Sensory Program.