Control of glucanolysis in mashing

Silja Home, Kirsti Pietilä, Katharina Sjöholm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Malt always contains small amounts of β-glucans, which may cause problems either in lautering or in beer filtration. The effects of mashing variables on the solubilization and hydrolysis of β-glucans were studied both on a laboratory and an industrial scale. Well- and poorly modified malts produced from the two-row barley varieties Kustaa and Kymppi were used. In addition, the use of unmalted barley as an adjunct was studied. The optimum mashing-in temperature for glucanolysis was 48°C. Starch gelatinization and other heat-induced structural changes in the coarse grist particles seemed to contribute to the solubilization of β-glucans at high temperatures. By extension of the mashing-in period, the majority of the β-glucans from unmalted barley could be hydrolyzed by the malt β-glucanases. Trials on an industrial scale showed that the mash tun design and the efficiency of stirring and heating have a marked effect on the release and hydrolysis of β-glucans. The effects of the mashing variables on the β-glucan concentrations in final wort were minor when well-modified malt was used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
JournalJournal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • beta-Glucan
  • beta-Glucanases
  • Grist coarseness
  • Mashing
  • Mash thickness
  • Stirring


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