Relationship between specific weight of spring barley and malt quality

AH Hoyle, M Brennan, Nicholas Pitts, Gail E Jackson, SP Hoad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
170 Downloads (Pure)


The assessment of malting barley to determine if it meets grain quality requirements is an integral step in ensuring an efficient malting process and a good quality malt output. Specific weight (SW) is an industry standard criterion, however links between SW and malting are not well understood. In this study the effect of a changing SW on malting was investigated. Samples were manipulated according to both grain size and weight, creating grain fractions with a range in SW. Prior to malting, grain quality traits were measured, and after malting, malt quality traits were examined. Increased SW resulted in a reduced number of whole, unmodified corns in malt, implying increased levels of modification. Specific weight correlated with both hot water malt extract (r = 0.82, P < 0.01) and predicted spirit yield (r = 0.84, P < 0.01), this highlights an increased malt output. Furthermore peak gelatinisation temperature of extracted starch from the malt correlated with both SW (r = 0.69, P < 0.05) and grain density (r = 0.65, P < 0.05). This could benefit malt efficiency by increased conversion of starch to fermentable sugars, but with the same energy input. The changes in SW and consequently malt output in this study are a result of changing grain density rather than packing efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103006
JournalJournal of Cereal Science
Early online date21 May 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - Sept 2020


  • Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
  • Grain density
  • Grain size
  • Malt quality
  • Specific weight


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