E-Malt.com News article: Australia: New Charger barley variety expected to make it possible for beer to retain flavour for up to a year
Beer that retains its flavour for up to a year is expected to hit the shelves by the end of next month, after Australian scientists spent a decade developing a new type of malting barley, The Australian Reported on August 13.
Coopers Brewery estimates its first batch of Carlsberg lager featuring the new Charger malt barley variety developed by University of Adelaide scientists and the European brewing giant will be brewed this month.
Coopers managing director Tim Cooper said that using the new barley variety would not change the flavour of its product but it would slow down the deterioration of flavours into a “papery characteristic”.
“It’s just going to give the flavour more longevity, possibly postponing it by 50 per cent longer,’’ Mr Cooper said.
Adelaide University’s Plant and Food Science barley program leader Jason Eglinton said the new barley varieties were particularly important for delicate beer styles, where a slight off flavour is easily detected as a cardboard-type taste.
A typical light beer style stored in warm climates can go stale within four months but the new variety could extend a beer’s life for as long as 12 months, Professor Eglinton said.
Carlsberg and Japan’s third largest brewer Sapporo have separately worked with the university for a decade to breed two exclusive varieties for Australian conditions that lack the active lipoxygenase enzyme that is responsible for making beer go stale.
Professor Eglinton said Charger and SouthernStar were developed using conventional plant-breeding techniques, cross-pollinating ancient barley which had a defective gene with the modern elite barley types, combined with DNA tracking systems.
While the malt produced by the SouthernStar barley will head directly to Japan for brewing and testing, Mr Cooper said he was already in talks with Sapporo to use it for Sapporo beer brewed under licence for the Australian market.
Australia’s largest malt producer, Cargill Australia, has contracted a small number of farmers, mainly on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula, to grow the first SouthernStar crop this season.
Sixth-generation farmer Gavin Schuster has planted his first 60ha of Charger this season alongside about 250ha of feed barley on his property just west of the Barossa Valley in South Australia.
“We didn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket but we were looking for a premium malting variety and we wanted to grow something that people are after,’’ Mr Schuster said. “It’s been a fantastic season this year. We’re sitting pretty right now.’’
13 August, 2014