Fundamental studies on the application of enzymes when brewing with unmalted oats and sorghum

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Schnitzenbaumer, Birgit
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University College Cork
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The use of unmalted oats or sorghum in brewing has great potential for creating new beer types/flavors and saving costs. However, the substitution of barley malt with oat or sorghum adjunct is not only innovative but also challenging due to their specific grain characteristics. The overall objectives of this Ph.D. project were: 1) to investigate the impact of various types and levels of oats or sorghum on the quality/processability of mashes, worts, and beers; 2) to provide solutions as regards the application of industrial enzymes to overcome potential brewing problems. For these purposes, a highly precise rheological method using a controlled stress rheometer was developed and successfully applied as a tool for optimizing enzyme additions and process parameters. Further, eight different oat cultivars were compared in terms of their suitability as brewing adjuncts and two very promising types identified. In another study, the limitations of barley malt enzymes and the benefits of the application of industrial enzymes in high-gravity brewing with oats were determined. It is recommended to add enzymes to high-gravity mashes when substituting 30% or more barley malt with oats in order to prevent filtration and fermentation problems. Pilot-scale brewing trials using 10–40% unmalted oats revealed that the sensory quality of oat beers improved with increasing adjunct level. In addition, commercially available oat and sorghum flours were implemented into brewing. The use of up to 70% oat flour and 50% sorghum flour, respectively, is not only technically feasible but also economically beneficial. In a further study on sorghum was demonstrated that the optimization of industrial mashing enzymes has great potential for reducing beer production costs. A comparison of the brewing performance of red Italian and white Nigerian sorghum clearly showed that European grown sorghum is suitable for brewing purposes; 40% red sorghum beers were even found to be very low in gluten.
Mashing , Oat adjunct , Sorghum adjunct , Rheological mash profile , Wort processability , Beer quality , Sensory analysis , Gluten content , Enzyme optimization
Schnitzenbaumer, B. 2013. Fundamental studies on the application of enzymes when brewing with unmalted oats and sorghum. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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