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V. Classification of Cultivated Barleys of the United States
G . A. PETERSON AND A. E. FOSTER
ductions from this group, improved selections, and later varieties of hybrid
origin have been grown extensively in the major barley-producing areas
of the Midwest. Approximately 90% of the malt in the United States is
made from the midwestern six-rowed barleys of this group. The varieties
LARKER, DICKSON, and CONQUEST account for practically all the present
The varieties comprising this group are spring-type, six-rowed, awned
barleys with intermediate kernel size. The plants generally are medium to
tall in height, midseason in maturity, and with lax, nodding spikes. The
varieties shatter badly when grown in a dry climate. The better samples
of these varieties are medium-to-high in kernel protein, vigorous in germination, and produce high enzymatic activities when malted. These barleys
are used for both brewer’s and distiller’s malts, the higher protein lots
being selected for the latter. Malts for food uses also are made from these
Varieties of the two-rowed group are of two types: the HANNCHENtype of European origin and the COMPANA-SMYRNA type of Turkish
origin. The HANNCHEN-HANNA type was introduced into the United States
near the beginning of the 20th century (Harlan and Martini, 1936), but
the acreage and number of varieties did not increase markedly until 1950.
Introductions such as PIROLINE, BETZES, FIRLBECKS 111, MoRAVIAN, and
HANNCHEN, and the two new varieties, VANGUARD and SHABET, are grown
in the Northwest and intermountain areas for use in malting. The
COMPANA-SMYRNA type is used for feed.
The varieties of the HANNCHEN-HANNA type used for malting are tworowed, awned, spring-type, intermediate in height, and midseason to midlate in maturity. Desirable samples of these varieties have large kernels,
thin hulls, and relatively low protein content. They germinate vigorously
and produce malts intermediate in enzymatic activity and high in extractable materials, primarily starch. Malts from two-rowed types are blended
with malts from midwestern six-rowed types for brewing, mainly to increase extract yield.
The first varieties of the Coast group were introduced from arid sections
of North Africa into southwestern United States and California. Prior to
World War I1 large quantities of this western six-rowed type, grown in
California, were exported to England for malting. At present, relatively
small amounts of this type grown in the central valleys of California are
malted and used in blends with midwestern-type six-rowed varieties for
brewing. The Coast or Bay Brewing varieties were grown earlier, but have
MALTING BARLEY IN THE UNITED STATES
been replaced by small acreages of ATLAS and its backcross derivatives
and WINTER TENNESSEE.
The Coast varieties are characterized as spring types but usually are
fall- or winter-sown in mild climates, early maturing, midtall to short in
height, and resistant to shattering of grain from the spike. Varieties usually
Typical Analyses of Malts from Three Types of Barley"
Kernel weight (mg, dry basis)
Growth of malt
0 t o !/a (%I
!i t o !i (%)
36 to 94 (%I
t o 1 (%I
Kernel size assortment
On 764 screen (%)
On 964 screen (%)
On 964 screen (%)
Through 5.64 screen (%)
Extract (dry basis) :
Fine grind (%)
Coarse grind (%)
37 . 0
90 . 0
11 . o
Color, laboratory wort ("IA)*
Protein (dry basis)
Soluble (%) of total
Diastatic power (degrees)c
a-Amylase (90' units)d
Reproduced from Reid et al. (1968).
Degrees Lovibond, a unit of wort color.
c Degrees, a unit of amylase activity.
d 2O0C dextrinizing units, a unit of a-amylase activity.
have large, bright kernels, thick hulls, medium protein content, rather slow
physical and chemical modification, and low enzymatic activities after
Typical analyses of malts prepared from the Coast group (California
six-rowed), the MANCHURIA-O.A.C. 214DERBRUCKER group (Midwestern
six-rowed), and the two-rowed group (Western two-rowed), as given by
Dickson (Reid el al., 1968), are shown in Table 111.
G. A. PETERSON AND A. E. FOSTER
The winter barleys were of little importance in the United States prior
to 1920. Increases in acreage have occurred and now 20-30% of the total
barley acreage of the United States (Reid et al., 1968) is planted to winter
barley. The principal region of winter barley production lies south and
east of a curved line running from New York City through Kansas City
and western Texas. Other areas of production outside this region are
located around the eastern Great Lakes, in the Pacific Northwest, in some
intermountain areas of western United States, and as far north as South
Dakota in the Great Plains. Very little winter barley is malted. Factors
causing unsuitability for malting are : unacceptable barley varieties, too
high kernel protein content, and severe kernel discoloration from excessive
moisture at harvest. Varieties such as WHITE WINTER grown in northwestern United States, and HUDSON,grown in the East, are used for malting to a minor extent.
Grading Standards of Malting Barley
Official grain standards of the United States are established for barley
moving in commerce and passing through inspection points or made available to grain inspection laboratories. The Grain Division, Consumer and
Marketing Service, United States Department of Agriculture is the agency
responsible for developing and providing information on these standards.
Commercial grain grading agencies, supervised and licensed by the USDA,
grade grain and furnish the information to “interested parties” such as
grain handlers, shippers, and buyers, and grain exchanges. Barley is
divided into three market classes: Barley, Western Barley, and Mixed Barley. The class Barley is further subdivided into three subclasses: Malting
Barley, Blue Malting Barley, and Barley. Numerical grades from U.S. No.
1 to 5 and Sample grade are assigned to barley lots within each market
class or subclass, except numerical grades 1-3 for the Malting Barley subclass. Special grades may be added to the grade designation to indicate
certain characteristics of the grain which are of interest to barley buyers,
such as “Tough” for moisture contents slightly above desired storage levels
or “Blighted” for grain with more than 4% blighted kernels.
“Barley” offered for sale on the commercial market is described, if officially graded by a licensed inspector, in terms of several physical characteristics, as shown in Table IV. Some of these characteristics are useful to
those who require the barley for malting purposes. Meeting the standards
for the subclass “Malting Barley” does not, in itself, indicate whether suitable malt can be made from the barley. The description of certain physical
TABLE I V
Grades and Grade Requirements for the Subclasses Malting Barley and Blue Malting Barley of the Class Barley‘
Minimum limits of
U S . No. 1
U.S. No. 2
U.S. No. 3
Maximum limits of
Black barley Other grains
a Reproduced from “Official Grain Standards of the United States” published by USDA, Consumer and Marketing Service, Grain Division,
as revised, February, 1970.