Plant Health Program, Doctor of


Document Type

Doctoral Document

Date of this Version

Spring 4-20-2015


Oser, H.H. 2015. Producing Quality Barley for the Malting Industry. Doctoral Document. pp.87


A Doctoral Document Presented to the Faculty of The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University of Nebraska - Lincoln In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Plant Health, Major: Doctor of Plant Health, Under the Supervision of Professor Gary L. Hein. Lincoln, Nebraska: April 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Haley Heather Oser


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.

Advisor: Gary Hein