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You may well be familiar with our brewing barley from a walk in the countryside. After all, we are continuously increasing our share of raw ingredients from the local region.
Ingredients from the region.
Our partnerships with farmers in Saxony, Thuringia and the surrounding area take place on a scale that is unusual in Germany. The area covered by our regional cultivation agreements already spans more than 6,000 football pitches. And it is growing all the time.
Our brewing barley.
We primarily use two-row summer barley with lax ears. This variety boasts large, even grains and high germination capability and germination energy, which is vital for the processing in the malt house.
Brewing barley has a lower protein content than feed barley. Ideally, the protein content of brewing barley is between 9.5 and 11.5 per cent. If the protein level is lower, this may have an adverse effect on the taste and foam quality of the beer. If the protein level is too high, on the other hand, this may impair processing in the brew house, make the filtration of the beer more complex and reduce the beer’s shelf life. That’s why we always keep a close eye on our brewing barley.
From barley to malt.
The words ‘barley’ and ‘malt’ are often used interchangeably. Although doing so is not quite correct. Before the barley is added to the beer, it has to be turned into malt – a process that doesn’t take place in the brew house, but in the malt house. Here, the barley is meticulously cleaned by malting professionals and soaked in water until it germinates in controlled conditions. It is then dried at high temperatures, causing germination to stop. During this process, the water content of the grains falls from over 40 per cent to below five per cent.
Only now is the brewing barley really malt. But it’s still not ready for our Radeberger Pilsner. First of all, the malt is cleaned again in the malt house, thus removing the rootlets. It is then stored for four weeks (which makes it easier to process) before being polished. Then, it is finally ready for our brewing kettles.