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Preharvest Sprouting, Mold Appearing in Barley

More research is needed to develop varieties can handle wet weather at harvest better.

Preharvest sprouting and mold, have appeared in the 2008 barley crop, according to Paul Schwartz, director of the NDSU Institute of Barley and Malt Sciences.

Both can render a barley crop unacceptable for malting and can cause problems for maltsters and brewers, he says.

Preharvest sprouting typically occurs when rainy or wet conditions delay harvest.

Mold is caused by wet conditions when the crop is physically ripe. It can grow during the malting process and almost suffocate the kernels and can change the flavor of beer. One type of molds can cause beer to gush from a bottle or can when it is opened.

Additional research is needed to develop barley varieties more resistant to preharvest sprouting and mold growth, Schwartz says.

Source: NDSU Extension Communications

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