Effects of grain skinning on the malting performance of barley

PO Okoro, M Brennan, J H (James) Bryce, K (Kelly) Houston, P (Pauline) Smith, SP Hoad

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Skinning is a defect in malting barley, occurring when the husk detaches from the caryopsis during harvesting. Skinning causes financial losses to growers and to processors including maltsters, brewers and distillers. It is likely that skinned grains affect malting efficiency in several ways, which leads to loss of extract. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of skinned grains on malting efficiency. Samples of Concerto and Chronicle with four degrees of skinning severity (0%, 17%, 50% and 90% skinned grains) were micromalted, and the malt produced was analysed (hot water extract (HWE), friability, homogeneity and malt modification). There was a positive correlation between HWE and skinning severity between 0% to 50% of husk loss, whilst HWE was reduced in grains with 90% skinning. However, when the HWE was adjusted for the loss of husk biomass the correlation became negative. Analysis of malt modification using the Carlsberg Malt Modification Analyser showed that a large number of the grains were not modified in the samples with high skinning severity. Therefore, despite the increased hot water extract in skinned samples, the malt produced was not homogeneous, and the increased extract was due to a higher proportion of starchy endosperm in the bulk. The conclusion of this study is that HWE as a single measure does not provide enough information about malting performance in skinned samples, and needs to be considered with other quality measures.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPrint publication - Sept 2017
EventWorldwide Distilled Spirits Conference: Local Roots; Global Reach: Delivering Distilling Expertise to the World - Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 May 20171 Jun 2017


ConferenceWorldwide Distilled Spirits Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Barley
  • Malting
  • Grain quality
  • Grain skinning
  • Distilling


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