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2017 Master Brewers Conference
73. Craft malting—Germinating potential detected

Johannes Preiß, Kaspar Schulz GmbH, Bamberg, Germany

Malt and Grains

As an offshoot of the current sustained wave of craft beer, a trend among breweries towards offering an increasingly regionally oriented palette of products has emerged in recent years—this also includes raw materials like malt. Demand is rising for beer made from malt produced in close proximity to breweries, and thus the craft beer wave, which has engulfed the beer market, is being followed closely by another: the craft malting wave. According to the Craft Malting Guild, the number of craft maltsters in the United States rose from 43 to 54 between August 2016 and January 2017. An additional 17 malting facilities were under construction at the beginning of this year, and 30 more were in the planning phase. The craft malting system manufactured by the company Kaspar Schulz Brauereimaschinenfabrik & Apparatebauanstalt GmbH, Bamberg, Germany, has been specially designed to address this burgeoning trend around the globe. According to current information, the brewing equipment manufacturer in Bamberg will have commissioned 17 germination-kilning combo drums by the end of 2017, four years after its introduction on the market. As outlined briefly here, the craft malting scene is on the rise. Some craft brewers are even saying, "Malt is the new hops." By this, they are referring to the innovative advances characterizing recent growth in the hop industry. Small malting facilities will certainly be able to overcome the challenges facing them in the market. These challenges include the procurement of high-quality malting barley and the competitive pricing for malt in the market. However, small malting facilities satisfy the growing desire among consumers for local ingredients, which allow craft breweries to produce novel, original beers with distinctive flavors and aromas. This phenomenon has been compared to one well known to many in the industry: the rise of craft malting is reminiscent of the rapidly growing segment of craft breweries in the United States in the 1980s and 1990s, which has now spread throughout the world. It is currently impossible to predict whether the trend in craft malting will follow a pattern similar to that of craft beer. However, it seems highly likely that the craft malting facilities now in operation and those already in planning will not remain small for long. This presentation allows a closer look at the Schulz Malting System and presents various business models for craft malting facilities.

Johannes Preiß career in brewing began in Weihenstephan, Germany where he studied at the Technische Universität München. Johannes graduated with a degree in Brewing and Beverage Technology. He started working in 2008 at KRONES AG, Germany as project manager in the department of Research & Development. The main focus of his work lay on brewhouse and cleaning technology as well as energy optimization. Main topics were “Lautering Technology” or “Integration of solar Heat into Breweries”. As result of his work Johannes published several patents and scientific papers. Since the end of 2012 he is working as Technical Director for Kaspar Schulz at Bamberg, Germany. Besides his profession Johannes is a passionate musician. In 2009 he got the cultural award by the City of Nuremberg, Germany.

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