Fundamental studies of the application of wheat for malting and brewing

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Faltermaier, Andrea E.
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University College Cork
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Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has a long tradition as a raw material for the production of malt and beer. While breeding and cultivation efforts for barley have been highly successful in creating agronomically and brew- technical optimal specialty cultivars that have become well established as brewing barley varieties, the picture is completely different for brewing wheat. An increasing wheat beer demand results in a rising amount of raw material. Wheat has been - and still is – grown almost exclusively for the baking industry. It is this high demand that defines most of the wheat breeding objectives; and these objectives are generally not favourable in brewing industry. It is of major interest to screen wheat varieties for brewing processability and to give more focus to wheat as a brewing cereal. To obtain fast and reliable predications about the suitability of wheat cultivars a new mathematical method was developed in this work. The method allows a selection based on generally accepted quality characteristics. As selection criteria the parameters raw protein, soluble nitrogen, Kolbach index, extract and viscosity were chosen. During a triannual cultivation series, wheat varieties were evaluated on their suitability for brewing as well as stability to environmental conditions. To gain a fundamental understanding of the complex malting process, microstructural changes were evaluated and visualized by confocal laser scanning and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, changes observed in the micrographs were verified and endorsed by metabolic changes using established malt attributes. The degradation and formation of proteins during malting is essential for the final beer quality. To visualise fundamental protein changes taking place during malting, samples of each single process step were analysed and fractioned according their solubility. Protein fractions were analysed using a Lab-on-a-chip technique as well as OFFgel analysis. In general, a different protein distribution of wheat compared to barley or oat could be confirmed. During the malting process a degradation of proteins to small peptides and amino acids could be observed in all four Osborn fractions. Furthermore, in this study a protein profiling was performed to evaluate changes during the mashing process as well as the influence of grist composition. Differences in specific protein peaks and profile were detected for all samples during mashing. This study investigated the suitability of wheat for malting and brewing industry and closed the scientifical gap of amylolytic, cytolytic and proteolytic changes during malting and mashing.
Wheat , Malting , Brewing , Protein
Faltermaier, A. E. 2015. Fundamental studies of the application of wheat for malting and brewing. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.