Beer is a fermented drink produced from a wort comprised of barley malt, hops, and water in combination with activity from the yeast strains of the genus Saccharomyces
. The beverage is consumed around the world and has a global market controlled by several multinational companies. However, in recent years, it has been possible to note an increase in the number of microbreweries and homebrewers, necessitating additional research both to develop and increase competitiveness of this market sector as well as to improve product quality and promote the reduction of production costs. The process of milling barley malt is often not considered relevant to these goals; however, this operation is influential with regard to, for example, mashing yield, the concentration of polyphenols in beer, and the quality of wort clarification. Therefore, this work evaluates the wet (10%, 20%, 30%, 40%, and 50% moisture content) and dry barley malt milling process as well as analyzes particle size distribution and the mean diameter of particles. The milled grains were submitted to a mashing process to evaluate how particle size contributes to the conversion of starch to sugars and the availability of polyphenols on sweet wort. The results indicate the best milling conditions to obtain a good mashing yield while preserving as much malt husk as possible to facilitate wort clarification.
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