​Malt Modification and Its Effects on the Contributions of Barley Genotype to Beer Flavor

​Based on prior research that showed significant genetic differences between barley genotypes for beer sensory descriptors, the effects of degree of malt modification on these descriptors were assessed in two experiments. The first experiment involved sensory assessment of nano-beers made from micromalts of Golden Promise, Full Pint, 34 doubled haploid progeny, and the check CDC Copeland. Average degree of modification was assessed by sampling grain from each of the 37 genotypes stored for three postharvest intervals prior to malting and brewing. The second experiment involved sensory assessment of pilot beers made from intentionally under-, properly, and overmodified pilot malts of two barley varieties: Full Pint and CDC Copeland. In both experiments, genotypes were the principal sources of significant variation in sensory descriptors. Degree of modification and genotype × modification interactions were also significant for some descriptors. Based on the results of this study, the genetic characterization of and selection for barley contributions to beer flavor are warranted, even with undermodified malts. The contribution of barley variety to beer flavor will likely be modest compared with the flavors developed during the malting process and the flavors contributed by hops and yeast. However, in certain beer styles, the contributions of barley genotype may be worth the attention of maltsters, brewers, and consumers. Keywords: Barley, Malt, Beer, Flavor, Modification, Sensory

Supplementary file contains 15 tables and one figure.