This is an excerpt of an article that was written for, targeted for barley farmers.

The Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) was established in 2000, and in the last 14 years, Dr. Yueshu Li, director of malting technology, has tested more than 100 different varieties of barley. This research helps barley farmers and barley buyers, and therefore the Canadian barley industry as a whole.

The CMBTC offers technical assistance to grains, malting and brewing companies and is the only operation that conducts independent barley testing in Canada.

“We evaluate the newer malting barley varieties developed by our barley breeders, and then we compare them to existing varieties, both within Canada and from countries competing with Canada,” said Dr. Li.

Dr. Li conducts comparative research, collecting samples of new barley varieties and testing them against a control for qualities such as protein content, germination capacity, plumpness and appearance. All barley varieties are then converted into malt, which is analyzed according to the industry standard, and then brewed into beer.

“We evaluate the barley performance throughout the whole malting and brewing process, until we produce beer,” said Dr. Li. “We make sure the new varieties are comparable, or superior, to the varieties currently being used.”

Dr. Li explained that his research is of particular interest to farmers, who are always keen to learn more about which varieties of barley are successful. Each new variety is evaluated not only for its agronomic performance such as yield potential and resistance to pests, but also its potential malting and brewing quality in order to determine which variety is strongest.

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