English Micromalting Group




The primary task of EMMG meetings is to validate and make adjustments to the data prior to comparing trial results with the controls and to check that the barley analysis shows that the nitrogen specification is within a commercially acceptable range with mostly good germination characteristics, noting any exceptions. Verified and Fitcon treated, malt data is then colour coded, using the traffic light scheme: Red/Amber/Green.


The membership is drawn primarily from representatives of those laboratories prepared to carry out the analytical work to the agreed procedures. HGCA provide data-handling and assist with co-ordination. The Chairman is appointed by the Joint Working Party from among the technically qualified malting members.

General Description of Work

BSPB National List and HGCA Recommended List trials in England provide the samples. Controls to provide comparison and continuity are selected from the National List controls. Sample selection is co-ordinated by HGCA both in respect of sites and varieties. Trial site managers are instructed in the selection of sites, varieties, sample handling and submission to the selected testing laboratory.

Testing is carried out using a set Procedure. The Procedure is revised when appropriate at the EMMG annual meeting and checked for uniformity across laboratories using standard samples analysed by all laboratories.

The results are handled as in the Procedure, passing via the Chairman to HGCA. Anomalies noticed at this stage are referred back to the originating laboratory. Shortly before the annual meeting (normally in April), the results are transferred electronically to all members; for each character there is a table listing the varieties tested against the individual laboratory results – the number of results depend on how many suitable sites were available. Statistical techniques are applied to identify outliers.  Laboratory representatives are expected to check the integrity of their results prior to the meeting. At the meeting the results for each year and each character are inspected with the group correcting errors where possible and assessing whether outliers should be excluded from the database. The figures are then rerun to provide the means on which decisions are taken.

Performance against agreed controls is used as judgement criteria for the trials. The EMMG makes judgements based solely on malting performance of the trial varieties related to these controls in a brewing context.

EMMG decisions are summarised and varieties ranked by descending extract. Text in the comments column of the tables is coloured to indicate good (green), marginal (amber) or poor (red) characteristics independently of the overall EMMG proposal for the variety.

EMMG Proposals for each variety are shown in the final column of each table, again using the colour code as below:

Red = recommended not to proceed
(Poor -overall performance worse than controls/no industry interest)

Amber = refer to JWP
(Possible -overall performance equivalent to controls)

Green = recommended to proceed 
(Good  -overall performance better than controls)

N.B. NL1 data sets receive division into only amber or red categories.

The revised means together with the EMMG recommended colour-coding and minutes form part of the Agenda at the subsequent meeting of the Joint Working Party where they are presented by the Chair of the EMMG.