241. The Montana MiniMalter: A tool for applied brewing research

Thomas Blake (1), Victoria Blake (1), Mike Brennan (2), Patrick Hayes (3); (1) Western Feedstock Technologies, Bozeman, MT, U.S.A.; (2) Picobrew, Inc., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.; (3) Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.

Malt and Grains
Supplier Poster

The Montana MiniMalter (patent pending) is a four-chamber malting system in which each chamber is a modified stainless-steel tank plumbed for efficient air and water delivery and equipped with probes for temperature control and water levels. Tanks carrying up to 70 kg (~150 lb) of grain move on a rolling cart along a fixed rail from the 1) steep station to the 2) first germination station, then to the 3) second germination station, and finally to the 4) kiln station. Each cylindrical malting chamber can be fitted with dividers that subdivide the tank into eight equal sections. Sections can then be individually filled with 8 kg (~18 lb) samples of grain for malting. In this presentation, we will discuss the reproducibility and consistency of malt produced by the Montana MiniMalter. We will also present preliminary results from a multi-location research trial designed to test whether variety, location and/or fertility level in a novel collection of barley varieties contribute significantly to variation in beer flavor. After malting using a standard protocol to produce pale malt, malt samples will be mashed using a standardized single-step saccharification followed by a 60-min boil to produce precision wort samples using an automated brewing protocol in PicoBrew Zymatics. Wort samples will be pitched with S. cerevisiae yeast and fermented, racked and canned under anaerobic conditions and refrigerated until assessment.

Thomas Blake is professor emeritus of barley breeding and genetics at Montana State University. He developed and released Chinook, Craft and Hockett, three AMBA-recommended 2-rowed malting barley varieties, and has published more than 100 refereed papers on barley breeding and genetics. He retired from MSU in 2015 to work with Dr. Victoria Blake to develop and commercialize the Montana Malters line of malting systems.