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October Barley and Malt Short Course Well Attended

Close to 30 people seeking basic and technical information on barley and malting attended the short course Barley and Malting Quality: A Field to Brewhouse Perspective October 12-15 at the Northern Crops Institute on the North Dakota State University campus.

October 26, 2015

High attendance at the barley and malt short course, titled Barley and Malting Quality: A Field to Brewhouse Perspective, evidenced changes in the malting and brewing industries in the U.S. Offered by the North Dakota State University Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences, the Northern Crops Institute and the Master Brewers Association of the Americas, the course included current or aspiring maltsters, brewers, growers and craft distillers from 12 different states. The course was held October 12 to 15 in the Northern Crops Institute auditorium. 

The class included close to 30 people seeking basic and technical information on barley and malting. Many had little or no experience with sourcing and malting locally grown barley, in many cases simply because barley is not currently grown in their area of the country.

The course covered factors impacting barley and malt quality. Lectures, discussion sessions and laboratory demonstrations were included in order to help participants understand malt processing and to effectively interpret barley and malt analyses. Well recognized experts from Rahr Malting, Valley Malt, Ecolab, the North Dakota Barley Council, as well as NDSU presented information to the group.

Mark Weber of the Northern Crops Institute said, “This course is invaluable to anyone wanting to learn about malting and brewing from technical experts, especially for anyone who is new to brewing and malting.”  Course director, Dr. Paul Schwarz, said that “the assemblage of so many barley experts in one place and with experience in all areas of malting and brewing operations is truly invaluable to anyone working in the malting and brewing industry.”

An opening reception held at the Fargo Brewing Company featured locally brewed beers and food from a local food truck, Luchadores Taqueria. The reception was hosted by the Fargo Brewing Company and the North Dakota Barley Council.

Lecture topics included:

  • Barley basics
  • Barley varieties and breeding
  • Biotechnology applications in malting and brewing
  • Malt biology and biochemistry
  • Technology of malting
  • Craft malting
  • Specialty malts
  • Barley and malt analyses
  • Food safety issues for maltsters
  • Growers perspective on barley
  • Introduction to HACCP
  • World barley and malt markets

The course likely will be offered again in 2016. Please contact Karen Hertsgaard (, 701.231.5384) for more information.

Author: Karen Hertsgaard
Editor: Paul Schwarz (, 701.231.7732)

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