Covid 19 Update Find Out More

1.  Criteria for MBC Provisional Approval
  • Candidates for Provisional Approval will be selected from those varieties in UK Recommended List trials with promising NL1 and NL2 micro-malting results and the potential to supply a significant proportion of UK malting industry purchases.
  • Provisional Approval 1 will be awarded to those varieties that demonstrate useful malting quality in micro-malting tests following the first Recommended List trial harvest.
  • For winter varieties only, Provisional Stage 1 Approval will be given after RL1 where the data are strong with borderline varieties being assessed again a year later using additional data from the RL2 harvest.  Once a decision has been made to delay consideration for Approval the variety will only be considered at its due date.
  • Varieties entering the UK system via the EU Common Catalogue will be eligible for Provisional Approval once the MBC is satisfied that sufficient comparable data on UK grown barley is available, and that the micro-malting or commercial performance demonstrates useful quality.
2.  Criteria for MBC Full Approval
  • Candidates for Full Approval will normally have been awarded Provisional Approval 1 based on micro-malting results.  To gain Full Approval the Malting Barley Committee must have evidence of satisfactory commercial performance in the maltings/brewery/distillery.  Each year a maximum of 5 varieties will be chosen for commercial scale trials, no more than 2 of which will be Winter varieties.  A minimum of 1000 tonnes of barley needs to be made available per test in order for sufficient trials to be carried out to enable a variety to proceed from Provisional Approval 1 to Full Approval in a single crop year.  If a variety is to be trialled for both brewing and distilling, then a minimum of 2000 tonnes is required.
  • Wherever possible the barley available for testing should have nitrogen content of:

Brewing 1.55 – 1.75%
Distilling maximum 1.65%
Grain distilling minimum 1.85%

  • In order to ensure a variety has the best opportunity of gaining Full Approval within the required timescale trial, barley should be in store and dried by the end of September.  This will then enable maltsters to complete their trials by the end of January and Brewers/Distillers to complete the trials by the beginning of May.
  • Multiple trial data from individual brewers/distillers may be admissible providing each trial is performed through a different process system (i.e. mash tun, lauter tun or mash filter).
  • For Brewing and Malt Distilling approval data from a suitable control variety must be submitted with each trial result. It is preferable that a spring barley variety should be tested against another spring barley and likewise with a winter variety.
  • For Grain Distilling approval the trial malt batches must achieve a minimum specification of 160 DP / 60 DU and zero GN.
  • Satisfactory micro-malting results should be confirmed by a minimum number of satisfactory macro trials.

Macro Trials:

For Full Approval for Brewing Use
2 commercial malting and 2 different brewing trials (one of which must be a mash filter)

For Full Approval for Distilling Use
2 commercial malting and distilling trials

For Full Approval for Grain Distilling Use
2 high DP commercial malting trials plus 1 acceptable test report by SWRI

  • The Malting Barley Committee wishes to confirm that two macroscale malting trials are acceptable from the same company, if using two separate maltings and the same barley bulk; or if using two different barley bulks within the same maltings.  However, this is an exception, to be used in exceptional circumstances only and is not to become the norm.
  • A variety should normally progress to Full Approval with one year of commercial trials.  Where there have been insufficient satisfactory malting, brewing or distilling trials to award Full Approval in one year of commercial trials, the Malting Barley Committee may award Provisional Approval 2 to denote that a variety has not been rejected and is still progressing through the approval process.  Macro-scale data from outwith the UK can provide secondary evidence to back up the primary evidence from UK macro-scale trials.
  • A variety should progress to Full Approval within two years of commercial trials.  Any variety failing to gain Full Approval within two years will be removed from the List.
  • The Malting Barley Committee may consider for Provisional and Full Approval varieties with special qualities providing that they demonstrate satisfactory (but not necessarily the best) malting and brewing/distilling performance in all respects.
  • The Malting Barley Committee may use its absolute discretion with regard to awarding of Approval, which might under circumstances override the above criteria.
3.  Criteria for Removal from the List of MBC Approved Varieties
  • Varieties may be removed from the List of MBC Approved or Provisionally Approved Varieties when, at the discretion of the Malting Barley Committee, the Approved or Provisionally Approved variety no longer warrants promotion by the industry.
  • Criteria for removal may include insufficient commercial scale trials, poor or outclassed performance, low purchases or lack of seed availability.
MBC Micromalting Group (MMG) – Brewing and Distilling Evaluation
Testing Protocols for Barley and Malt Samples

1.  Sample Reception and Barley Analysis

1.1   Sample Distribution and Receipt:

The trial sites should dispatch the samples immediately after drying so that the trial material is received by participating laboratories by mid-November. Contractors should notify participating laboratories that the samples have been dispatched.  All samples should be identified by the AFP Number.

1.2   Screening Tests:

When received, each barley sample should first be analysed for corn size distribution, using a barley grader (e.g. Glasblaserei) having slotted sieves of 2.8mm, 2.5mm and 2.2mm.  The results to be recorded as follows:

i.  Corns >2.8mm (%) = weight of grain retained on 2.8 mm sieve
ii. Corns <2.5mm (%) = weight of all grain that passes through 2.5mm sieve (i.e. includes that which will also pass through 2.2mm)
iii. Corns <2.2mm (%) = weight of all grain that passes through 2.2mm sieve

Once the screening tests have been completed the entire sample should then be dressed over the 2.2mm screen and all material <2.2mm discarded.  This dressed sample should be used for subsequent barley analysis and micromalting.

 1.3   Barley Analysis:

The dressed barley sample (>2.2mm) should be analysed for the following:

i.  Moisture % (3.2)*
ii. Thousand Corn Weight (g), dm (3.4)*
iii. otal Nitrogen (Dumas) % dm (3.3.2, Dumas)*
iv. % Skinning
v.  Pre-germination (record this only if entries are obviously pre-germinated)

      * Analytica-EBC reference methods of analysis

A visual examination of the screened barley should also be recorded (e.g. splits, loose husk, lost embryos and mould etc)

The following germination tests should be done on each sample just prior to malting (ca one week) and recorded as cumulative counts at 72hrs:

i.  Germinative Energy / Water sensitivity, 4ml and 8ml tests (3.6.2)*
ii. Germinative Capacity Test (Peroxide)

N.B:  Where possible the barley samples should be stored at 18 – 20°C to promote dormancy recovery prior to malting.

1.4   Dormancy Testing:

i.  Dormancy monitoring will be conducted by the NIAB
ii. Dormancy Testing should be done only on NL barleys
iii. The data is to be forwarded to the Chairman of the MMG as soon as the results are available.

2.    Micromalting

2.1   General Conditions – Sample Preparation and Processin

i.  The AHDB will issue updated lists detailing which varieties from the NL trials need micromalting.
ii. Use the dressed barley sample (>2.2mm) for micromalting.
iii. Ensure that micromalting conditions do not vary from run to run.
iv. Do not attempt to optimise micromalting conditions for each variety.
v.  Each variety should receive the same steeping, germination and kilning cycles suitable for each malt type.
vi. Process cycles should reflect commercial practice (i.e. a two or three water steeping regime)
vii. The use of process additives such as Gibberrellic Acid should be avoided.

2.2   Steeping

The grain should be steeped to target the following cast moistures depending on the malt type:

i.  Brewing and Distilling malt                 44 – 46 %
ii. Grain Distilling (high enzyme malt)    >48%

A two or three steep water regime should be used to achieve these moisture levels and temperature may be in the range 12 – 18oC. Up to 48hrs should be allowed for the steeping stage.

Record the cast moisture a suitable time after the last steep, e.g. 24hrs from casting.  Record the steep cycle used and process conditions.

Sufficient grain should be steeped to allow full malt analysis to be carried out.

2.3   Germination

A nominal germination time of 96hrs should be employed and no processing aids should be used.

Total wet processing time (i.e. steep time + germination time) should not exceed 144hrs.
The normal germination temperatures for the particular micromalting system in use should be employed i.e. typically in the range 12 – 18oC.

Additional comments may be made e.g. grain mouldy, uneven growth etc.

Record the load moisture prior to kilning.

2.4   Kilning

The malt should be dried to typical moisture levels appropriate for each malt type ie:

The malt should be dried to typical moisture levels appropriate for each malt type ie:

i.  For brewing and pot still malts kiln at 60 – 70°C as per a lager or distilling malt.  The final moisture should be 3.5 – 5.0%, target 4.0 – 4.5%.
ii. For high enzyme malts kiln at 50 – 55°C as per a grain distilling malt type. The final moisture should be 5.5 – 7.0%, target 6.0 – 6.5%.

3.    Malt Analysis

Analysis of final micromalted samples should be tested according to the appropriate malt type as follows:

B* denotes required tests for brewing
D* denotes required tests for distilling
DG* denotes required tests for grain distilling

Where appropriate methods of analysis should be derived from Analytica-EBC reference methods.

Results should be reported on the basis of 450g mash where applicable.

MMG members are expected to take part in the MAPS proficiency scheme (link to MAPS page) and are responsible for their own laboratory precision.

Note the GN testing regime for Distilling Malts:

  • GN analysis is not required on the non-producers at NL1
  • GN analysis is required on non-producers at NL2
  • GN analysis is optional on varieties at RL
  • GN analysis is not required on material from the High N grain distilling trials

4.   Reporting of Results

Results for the barley analysis, the malting conditions and the malt analysis should be recorded on the electronic reporting data sheets provided by the AHDB.  Note that the reporting sheet is formatted to allow results to be displayed to the correct precision.

The reporting spreadsheets should not be amended by individual participants as the format is designed for ease of data transfer to the AHDB statistical data pack. Column positions or test header descriptions should not be changed.  Where results are not available then data cells should be left blank.  It is important that zeros should not be entered.

The submission deadline for data will be the end of March (31st).  Data must be reported electronically via e-mail to the RL & Agronomy Trials Data Analyst and to Chairman of the MMG.

The data on trial barleys should be sent to the following e-mail addresses:

•  Ellie.Marshall@ahdb.org.uk
•  trials@ahdb.org.uk