Dustin Herb (1), Daniel Carey (2), Scott Fisk (1), Patrick Hayes (1), Rebecca Jennings (3), Chris Martens (4), Brigid Meints (5), Matthew Moscou (6); (1) Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.; (2) New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, WI, U.S.A.; (3) Rahr Malting Co., Shakopee, MN, U.S.A.; (4) USDA ARS Cereal Crop Research Unit, WI, U.S.A.; (5) Washington State University, Mt. Vernon, WA, U.S.A.; (6) The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich, U.K.

Malt and Grains

Barley, the foundation of malt and beer, significantly contributes to the complexities of flavor and presents an opportunity to improve the processing, quality, and craftsmanship of beer. The Oregon State University (OSU) barley flavor projects integrate molecular breeding and cereal chemistry with brewing and sensory sciences in order to develop a fundamental understanding of the biochemical and genetic mechanisms controlling barley flavor. In this study, 37 selections from the Oregon Promise population (Golden Promise/Full Pint) were grown in three environments (Corvallis, OR; Lebanon, OR; Madras, OR) and assessed for differences in beer flavor using micromalting, nanobrewing, sensory panels, and analytical tools. Panelists distinguished unique flavors and differences across varieties and environments. The presence of malty characteristics was highest in the Full Pint parent and Madras environment, whereas fruity flavors were more prevalent in the Golden Promise parent and Corvallis environment. The highest concentrations of GC-MS analytes included 1-butanol, hexanol, 2,3-butanediol, acetic acid, benaldehyde, nonanal, dimethylsulfide, 3-methyl butanal, and mercaptan—all of which have associations with various flavors. ANOVA and PCA indicated significant genotype and environmental effects for sensory and GC-MS data, accounting for 43% and 19% of the variation, respectively. The phenotypes were integrated with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, revealing significant associations of traits with genomic regions and candidate genes. These results lay a foundation for enabling the selection and development of flavorful varieties that will benefit maltsters and brewers alike.

Dustin Herb is a Ph.D. candidate in plant breeding and genetics in the Crop and Soil Science Department at Oregon State University (OSU). Currently, his research is focused on barley breeding and genetics and includes genome-wide association studies and genetic mapping of low temperature tolerance, malting quality, and barley flavor traits. Prior to starting his doctorate program, Dustin received his B.S. degree in agronomy from OSU and M.S. degree in plant breeding at Texas A&M University with an emphasis in grain and energy sorghum breeding and was the associate plant breeder at OreGro Seeds, Inc. Post-studies Dustin intends to seek a career in malting and brewing research and development working with raw materials.

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