Since the number of celiac disease cases rises globally, the demand for gluten-free beers with proso millet malt as the main ingredient also increases. Yet the problem with proso millet malt is that the wort (= “beer before fermentation”) is lacking quality when being processed the usual way in the brewery. These low-quality worts cause major microbiological and technological problems throughout the whole production process. Therefore, the production of the wort, which is called mashing, needs to be adjusted. During the mashing crushed malt is mixed with water and this mixture is then heated to different temperatures (e.g. 50 to 78 °C for barley malt). There are several temperature rests during which the enzymes in the mash are degrading the malt ingredients (starch, proteins etc.). The most important enzymatic degradation is the breakdown of starch into fermentable sugars. It is very important that the rests are being held at special temperatures, since every enzyme has its optimal working temperature.
In my thesis I found out that the optimal working temperatures of proso millet malt enzymes differ strongly from the ones found in barley malt. Therefore, brewing with proso millet malt requires a mashing procedure especially designed for this special raw material. With my findings about the ideal malting conditions for proso millet and about the special enzyme characteristics of proso millet malt I designed such a mashing procedure. With this adapted process, producing a high-quality wort with proso millet malt was finally achieved. The satisfactory wort test results lead to the conclusion that proso millet is a suitable gluten-free raw material for the brewing process.
Name: Magdalena Bader