Management of barley-associated bacterial biofilms: A key to improving wort separation

Irina Tsitko, Jenny Manninen, Katherine Smart, Sue James, Arja Laitila (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Several bacterial groups are associated with poor wort filtration performance. In this study we characterized the shifts within the bacterial community during malting by next-generation sequencing. The aim was to reveal the bacterial groups involved in the decreased mash filterability caused by hus-damaged barley. Field emission scanning electron microscopy was used to visualise biofilm formation in the outer layers of barley. This study also investigated the impacts of bacterial biofilm suppression on extract recovery. The bacterial growth was suppressed with antibacterial treatment and modified by adding Lactobacillus plantarum VTT E-78076 (E76) starter cultures to steeping. In particular, barley-associated Leuconostoc was associated with decreased wort filtration performance. This study showed that development of biofilm containing extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) on the kernel surface layers during malting was a crucial factor influencing wort separation. The application of L. plantarum E76 successfully controlled the bacterial community during malting and improved wort filtration. Thus, improved wort separation and higher extract recovery could be obtained by management of barley-associated biofilms during malting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)325-335
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of the Institute of Brewing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Barley
    • Biofilm
    • FESEM
    • Lactobacillus plantarum
    • Malt


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