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Bob Hoff OSU malter will end bottleneck between Oregon barley and beer
by Bob Hoff, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: December 17, 2010

Farm and Ranch December 17, 2010 Oregon State University has a brewing science program. In fact the brewery is right across the street from OSU barley breeder Pat Hayes. But Hayes says none of his barley varieties have been through the brewery.

Hayes: “And so this doesn’t make any sense, right? So it was like, how can we get our barley malted and then into that brewery so we can assess the suitability of Oregon barley varieties and potential varieties. And the bottleneck it turns out is getting malt. Malting the barley.”

The barley breeding program gets data from a federal lab that uses 350 grams, or a handful of barley. Hayes says you can’t make beer from that. The next alternative is a commercial malter but it needs about 350-thousand pounds.

Hayes: “There wasn’t a middle ground there if you will in a modest amount that a person could malt so then you could malt and produce a beer from that and address the question, hey is this potential variety good for beer? Is this particular location going to be a suitable one for raising malt barley? So we said, let‘s do it. Let‘s build one.

And so Oregon State University students from several disciplines are building a mini-malter capable of processing up to 300 pounds of barley. Hayes says the malter also has applications in food barley research. And it is all part of OSU’s efforts to find more uses for Oregon’s barley and add value to it.

I’m Bob Hoff and that’s the Northwest Farm and Ranch Report on Northwest Aginfo Net.

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