We are now well into the brewing year and nearly all breweries, big and small, will be using 2018 crop barley.

Remember last year? Hot, dry spring and summer with long periods of zero rainfall, particularly in the east of the country. The North West was saved with only days to spare from going onto hosepipe bans and rationed water in August by some timely downpours.

Winter barleys were well on by the time spring came but for spring sowings, which are increasing year on year, it was a very hard time for farmers. The seed sat stubbornly in the ground for longer than usual then when it finally did get away, the hot dry conditions resulted in retarded growth. Limited fertiliser applications occurred following the sparse rain that fell resulting in higher proteins being laid down in the developing kernels which themselves were small.

In some areas it was so bad that at harvest, the whole plant was pulled from the ground, such was the lack of root structure. Small corns, higher nitrogens and lower yields were reported. However, the UK maltsters have done great work in selecting the best of the crop and blending with other better lots.
Having now done several kettle finings optimisations around the north of England, it’s apparent that there is some requirement to increase carrageenan dose rates on certain brew lines. These appear to be pale ales and blond beers. This increase is marginal but is necessary to maintain beer stability both as haze and as flavour.

Contact your Murphy Account Manager for further details.