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Author Topic: Define "modern malts"?  (Read 867 times)

huckdavidson

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Define "modern malts"?
« on: July 25, 2023, 12:57:53 pm »
What does the term "modern malts" refer to?  How is it defined?

It seems to be a misnomer used in place of specific malt analysis sheet statistics like diastatic power, Kolbach index, modification level, malting barley genetics, etc...

Offline lupulus

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2023, 01:43:57 pm »
It's a malt sufficiently modified to reduce beta glucans to levels that allow efficient lautering in pro brewing systems.
Note: Craft malsters may use friability as a proxy for beta glucans.

It's a complex answer but you asked for it.

Cheers!

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

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huckdavidson

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2023, 02:10:59 pm »
It's a malt sufficiently modified to reduce beta glucans to levels that allow efficient lautering in pro brewing systems.
Note: Craft malsters may use friability as a proxy for beta glucans.

It's a complex answer but you asked for it.

Cheers!

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

That's not complex at all.

Why not just use the term "well modified"?  Used to be that if the acrospire grew 75% - 100% of the length of the kernel the barley was "well modified" anything less was "under modified" and anything more was "over modified".

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2023, 02:47:50 pm »
"Modern malts" is a time-based term that even most idiots should be able to understand.

"Well modified" is less clearly defined.  I think I know what it is when I see it, and so does everybody else... but definitions here can vary more.  Again the idiot factor comes into play somewhat, but this time it's more like "the overthinkers" vs. those who think "good enough is good enough".  Which side are the greater vs. lesser idiots might be a topic of debate amongst all of us idiots as well.

In my view:

All modern malts are well modified.

All well modified malts are not necessarily modern.

All undermodified malts are essentially historical, or made by bad maltsters, or both.  If you can find a modern malt that is truly undermodified... it's a rare sight indeed... and is it beneficial? or only experimental? or an accident??

"Modern malts" is talking about the last ~100 years or so.  Before that, it was iffy what quality malt you were getting.  Not anymore.  Again... if you can find a modern malt that is truly undermodified... ask yourself why... and why it might matter... and why it might not.
Dave

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Offline lupulus

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2023, 04:59:21 pm »


It's a malt sufficiently modified to reduce beta glucans to levels that allow efficient lautering in pro brewing systems.
Note: Craft malsters may use friability as a proxy for beta glucans.

It's a complex answer but you asked for it.

Cheers!

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

That's not complex at all.

Why not just use the term "well modified"?  Used to be that if the acrospire grew 75% - 100% of the length of the kernel the barley was "well modified" anything less was "under modified" and anything more was "over modified".

Because what malsters are using to control modification is beta glucans, not acrospire length.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”  Neil deGrasse Tyson

huckdavidson

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2023, 06:49:24 pm »


It's a malt sufficiently modified to reduce beta glucans to levels that allow efficient lautering in pro brewing systems.
Note: Craft malsters may use friability as a proxy for beta glucans.

It's a complex answer but you asked for it.

Cheers!

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

That's not complex at all.

Why not just use the term "well modified"?  Used to be that if the acrospire grew 75% - 100% of the length of the kernel the barley was "well modified" anything less was "under modified" and anything more was "over modified".

Because what malsters are using to control modification is beta glucans, not acrospire length.

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)


Quote
Beta glucans of barley are a group of linear polysaccharides consisting of glucose units linked by beta 1,3(30%) and beta 1,4(70%) bonds. Molecular size ranges from 20,000 to 1 million daltons. Barley beta glucan content lies between 1.5 and 2.5%. In well-modified malt the level is 0.15 to 0.3%.

Beta Glucan measurement and control

Malt made from malting barley varieties generally has low beta glucan content when malted to the "well modified" state per acrospire length.

Maltsters still use acrospire length but select malting barley varieties that start with lower beta glucan content and will degrade their beta glucans during malting to allow greater extract and faster run-off.

Feed lot barleys do not exhibit this quality and would be very difficult to work with in a mash tun.

The term "modern malt" doesn't seem to fit this context as even in days of yore barley varieties were specifically selected for malting by the behaviors they exhibited when used for brewing.

Offline lupulus

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2023, 04:11:53 pm »
To my knowledge, barley varieties are selected based on agronomics, and kernel fullness/ uniformity.

If anyone wishes to learn more about malting, I recommend the MBAA podcasts by Joe Hertrich. They are not easy-listening; packed with info.

If anyone wishes to learn about barley selection in the US and how barley varieties make it into the AMBA recommended list, reach out to AMBA.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”  Neil deGrasse Tyson

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2023, 04:33:08 pm »
To my knowledge, barley varieties are selected based on agronomics, and kernel fullness/ uniformity.

If anyone wishes to learn more about malting, I recommend the MBAA podcasts by Joe Hertrich. They are not easy-listening; packed with info.

If anyone wishes to learn about barley selection in the US and how barley varieties make it into the AMBA recommended list, reach out to AMBA.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)
.

As you suggested, that was a Masterclass Course on malting. Recommended.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2023, 05:41:20 pm »
What does the term "modern malts" refer to?  How is it defined?

It seems to be a misnomer used in place of specific malt analysis sheet statistics like diastatic power, Kolbach index, modification level, malting barley genetics, etc...

Yes...it's an unspecific term with no exact meaning that refers to all of those issues. They are "modern" in the sense that they are grown and produced for the benefit of modern production facilities and their goals.

Why agonize over this?
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

huckdavidson

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Re: Define "modern malts"?
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2023, 06:39:06 pm »
To my knowledge, barley varieties are selected based on agronomics, and kernel fullness/ uniformity.

If anyone wishes to learn more about malting, I recommend the MBAA podcasts by Joe Hertrich. They are not easy-listening; packed with info.

If anyone wishes to learn about barley selection in the US and how barley varieties make it into the AMBA recommended list, reach out to AMBA.



"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts." - Sherlock Holmes (A. Conan Doyle)

There's generally much more to the malting barley variety selection process such as laboratory analysis, trials, micro-maltings, test mashes, etc... which are measuring the soluble protein content, enzyme levels, extract, diastatic power, etc...

The items mentioned, agronomics and kernel fullness/uniformity alone would be factors in accepting a load of a malting barley variety off the field or from a silo - to be malted, when there is no time for laboratory analysis.

In which case hand evaluation becomes necessary.

Malts and Malting by Briggs et. al. is recommended as a resource for malting knowledge.

Chapter 6The selection and purchase of grain.

Quote
However hand evaluation alone even when carried out by trained and experienced experts, is not enough. Of the grain selected to be top quality at one British site... only 33% malted really well, and no less than 39% was finally rejected.