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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Record number 504283
Title Brewing with fractionated barley
Author(s) Donkelaar, L.H.G. van
Source Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Remko Boom; Atze Jan van der Goot. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577343 - 152
Department(s) Food Process Engineering
Publication type Dissertation, internally prepared
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) brewing - brewing quality - barley - fractionation - endosperm - beers - malt - filtration - industrial wastes - process optimization - food process engineering - bierbereiding - brouwkwaliteit - gerst - fractionering - endosperm - bieren - mout - filtratie - industrieel afval - procesoptimalisatie - levensmiddelenproceskunde
Categories Food and Bioprocess Engineering (General)

Brewing with fractionated barley

Beer is a globally consumed beverage, which is produced from malted barley, water, hops and yeast. In recent years, the use of unmalted barley and exogenous enzymes have become more popular because they enable simpler processing and reduced environmental impact. Raw barley, however, contains less endogenous enzymes and more undesired components for the use of beer brewing, compared to malted barley.

The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate how barley can be fractionated to optimize the use of resources for the beer brewing process, while maintaining the quality of the brewed beer. A resource use efficiency analysis was performed to verify the presumed benefits on the environmental sustainability of the proposed process change. The work was based on the hypothesis that fractionation of the unprocessed barley will reduce the amount of undesired components, which leads to improvements in the brewing process based on partial or no malting. Fractionation can be performed by milling and separation, which requires physical disentanglement of the components. This fractionation can be influenced by properties of the components of the material, such as the glass transition temperature (Stuart et al.). Fractionation by abrasive milling, also known as pearling, is another possibility: here one makes use of the spatial distribution of components in the kernels. In case of barley for brewing this technique is especially promising as most of the undesired components are in the outer layer of the kernel. In addition, the removal of bran from the barley reduces the amount of water needed in the process. It will also reduce the volume of spent grains, hence reducing wastes and energy required for drying the spent grains. A disadvantage of pearling is however that it lowers the ability of the barley kernel to produce enzymes. This leads to the need of the addition of exogenous enzymes, as is the case when the malting step is omitted.

Chapter 2 describes the glass-to-rubber transition of protein and starch isolated from the barley endosperm, for different moisture levels. The hypothesis for this chapter is that dry fractionation by milling is facilitated by milling conditions in which the protein is in a rubbery state and the starch in a glassy state. Two methods were used to measure the Tg; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermo-mechanical compression tests (TMCT). The methods gave different results due to the differences in moisture content range, and heating rates, which may lead to conformational changes of the protein. The value of the Tg of partially crystalline materials, such as starch in barley, was not unambiguous when using TMCT because the mechanical effect of expansion of these materials was smaller. For both results, the Tg lines were modelled using the Gordon-Taylor equation. Based on sorption isotherms, it was concluded that moisture does not distribute evenly over the protein and starch in the kernel. Starch absorbs more moisture than protein at given water activities. This required a correction of the Tg lines. After this correction, the glass transition lines of starch and protein were closer together. The expectation is therefore that achieving good separation between the components based on having one glassy component and one rubbery component is challenging.

For this reason, another dry fractionation technique, pearling, was considered. Chapter 3 describes the chemical composition of the barley and of fractions removed by pearling. Pearling was shown to selectively remove insoluble fibre, ash, protein and polyphenols, while the β-amylase activity and starch content of the remaining kernel was hardly affected. For example, removing the outer 5% of the kernel reduced insoluble arabinoxylans (15%), insoluble fibres (23%), ash (19%), polyphenols (11%) and water holding capacity of the non-starch components (25%), while only lowering starch content by 0.20%. The water holding capacity of the barley fractions was strongly related to the fibre content. This indicates that when the fibre content in the mash was reduced by pearling, the spent grains will take up less water, leading to less wort and sugar losses in this waste stream, and hence better use of the raw materials and less wastes.

Chapter 4 compares a traditional brewing process to an enzyme-assisted brewing process with respect to their resource use efficiency, which is one aspect of the sustainability of the processes. The use of exogenous enzymes is found to be more efficient than producing enzymes through the malting process. The exergetic efficiency of the conventional malting process was 77%. The main losses stem from the use of natural gas for removal of moisture from the barley in the kilning process, and from the loss of starch in the germination process. In case of the use of exogenous enzymes, it was concluded that the chemical exergy content of the enzymes was not a good measure for the exergy content of the enzymes. Instead, we proposed to use the cumulative exergetic consumption in the enzyme production rather than just the chemical exergy content of the enzymes. This cumulative exergetic consumption in the production of the enzymes was ± 30 times higher than their standard chemical exergy. This shows that the cumulative exergetic costs of minor components should be taken into account if a process uses them in significant quantities. This can be done by extending the system boundaries to include the production process of the purified components. The exergy efficiency of the enzyme formulation production process ranges between 20% and 42% depending on whether the by-product of the fermentation broth was considered as useful as the enzyme product. Even though the cumulative exergy consumption of the process was 30 times the standard chemical exergy of the dry enzyme, the total exergy input (i.e. both wasted and destroyed) for the production of 100 kg of beer was still larger for the conventional malting process (441 MJ) than for the enzyme-assisted process (354 MJ). In addition, beer produced using exogenous enzymes reduces the use of water by 7%, of raw materials by 14%, and of natural gas by 78%. Thus, the exergy loss of the enzyme production process is more than compensated by the prevention of exergy loss in the total beer brewing process.

Chapter 5 describes brewing tests using malted, unmalted and pearled, unmalted barley kernels. Brewing with unmalted barley saves material, energy and water in the malting stage but may result in complications during processing. Pearling mitigates these problems. Exogenous enzymes were used to compensate for the low enzyme activity in unmalted barley. Lautertun filtration and mash filtration were considered as filtration methods. Principle component analysis was performed on the chemical composition of the wort and the various spent grains, to investigate the effect of the malt-to-barley ratio, the degree of pearling and the filter method. A mash filter is optimal for this type of process, and we identified a window of operation in which optimal use is made of the raw materials while maintaining the end product quality, judged on basis of 4 quality parameters.

The concluding chapter 6 presents a general discussion of all results described in this thesis. In addition, the benefits of pearling over that of milling and fractionation, and the effect of pearling on milling properties were discussed. Furthermore, it explores the advantages in environmental sustainability that can be achieved by pearling. Pearling as a pre-treatment for malting reduces the enzyme activity of germinating barley, and therefore the mash quality.

This thesis provides insights in how pre-treatment of barley can make beer brewing more efficient in the use of resources. It stresses the need to optimally use all material streams in a process, to be able to design an environmentally sustainable process, and it shows that efficient resource use is key for achieving this. Additionally the value of enzymes as processing aids was discussed. A clear result is that one needs to include the resource use in the production of enzymes or other processing aids, when analyzing the environmental sustainability of a process, since this can be significant in the overall process.

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