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Producing quality barley for the malting industry

Haley Heather Oser, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The University of Nebraska—Lincoln Doctor of Plant Health program requires each student to fulfill a professional internship over the last summer of the program. For my internship, I worked as a Barley Scientist Intern for MillerCoors and Golden Malting in Golden, Colorado. During this internship I gained a fundamental understanding of malting barley production with a significant emphasis on grain quality. Barley produced for malting must fulfill strict industry quality standards before it is accepted by the head maltsters. These quality standards include: a high germination rate, low moisture content, protein content within an acceptable range and the grain must be free from disease and insect damage. Malting barley quality attributes are directly correlated with the conditions in which the barley was produced. This paper provides a brief history of barley domestication and describes why barley became the grain of choice for malting and the subsequent making of beer. The three main steps of malting (steeping, germination, and kilning) are outlined to emphasize the role quality plays in the malting process. A description of farming practices that contribute to these quality attributes is presented, along with recommendations that may enhance crop production. This document has a special emphasis on the management of the Russian Wheat Aphid (Diurpahis noxia Mordvilko) as well as the fungal diseases Fusarium Head Blight (Fusarium graminearum Schwabe) and Ergot (Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul.). This pest and these pathogens can, under ideal environmental conditions, compromise crop yield and diminish grain quality.

Subject Area

Agronomy|Entomology|Plant Pathology

Recommended Citation

Oser, Haley Heather, "Producing quality barley for the malting industry" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3689476.