Barleys brewing secrets

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UNIVERSITY of Adelaide research­ers have uncovered the mechanism of barley’s malting characteristics. They discovered a new link between one of the key enzymes in malt pro­duction for brewing and a specific tissue layer within the barley grain.

The most important malting enzymes come from a layer of tissue in the barley grain called the aleurone, a health-promoting tissue full of minerals, anti­oxidants, and dietary fiber. The researchers learned that when more aleurone is present in the barley grain, more enzyme activ­ity is produced.

During the malting pro­cess, complex sugars in the barley grain are broken down by enzymes to produce free sugars, which are then used by yeast for fermentation.

It has been unknown that the key ingredient in the beer brew­ing process was influenced by the amount of aleurone within the grain, or that the aleurone was potentially a storage site for the enzyme.

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