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Barley variety interacts positively with floor malting to produce different malts and beers


  • Campbell Morrissy Oregon State University
  • Curtis Davenport Admiral Maltings
  • Scott Fisk Oregon State University
  • Vern Johnson Deschutes Brewery
  • Darrin Culp University of California
  • Hayley Sutton pFriem Family Brewers
  • Harmonie Bettenhausen Hartwick College
  • Ron Silberstein Admiral Maltings
  • Patrick Hayes Oregon State University



barley variety, winter barley, floor malting, malt quality


Why was the work done: Floor malting maintains a small but notable market share due to its reputed contributions to beer flavour. These malts are viewed as premium products and are produced in both historic and contemporary floor maltings. Despite this, little work has been performed on floor malting to evaluate its effect on malt and subsequent beer quality and flavour. Accordingly, this work investigated whether floor malting produces distinct malts and beers relative to pneumatic maltings.

How was the work done: A mini-floor malting protocol was developed to malt small quantities of grain in a repeatable system that produces malt comparable to the production scale. Two winter barley varieties (Lontra and Thunder) were used to understand whether there was a malting type by variety interaction effect on beer flavour.

What are the main findings: Both floor and pneumatic malts produced similar malts and beers based on quality metrics and the differences found between malts were more attributable to variety and the respective rate of proteolysis. Sensory results showed that there was a significant malting type by variety interaction driving hedonic and descriptive sensory results.

Why is the work important: These results suggest that while the different malting types produce analytically similar malt, selection of barley variety can be used to optimise the floor malting process to produce distinct beer flavour profiles.


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How to Cite

Morrissy, C., Davenport, C., Fisk, S., Johnson, V., Culp, D., Sutton, H., Bettenhausen, H., Silberstein, R., & Hayes, P. (2024). Barley variety interacts positively with floor malting to produce different malts and beers. Journal of the Institute of Brewing, 130(1).