Brewing with unmalted cereal adjuncts can reduce the requirement for malting, thereby lowering costs and improving the overall sustainability of the brewing chain. However, substantial adjunct usage has technological challenges and the sensory characteristics of beers produced using high adjunct rates are still not fully understood. This study examined the impacts of brewing with unmalted barley, wheat, rice and maize at relatively high concentrations (0, 30% and 60% of grist) on the sensorial and analytical profiles of lager beer. Adjunct based beers and a 100% malt control were brewed at 25 L scale. A trained sensory panel (n = 8) developed a lexicon and determined the sensorial profile of beers. At 30% adjunct incorporation there was insignificant variation in the expected beer flavour profile. At 60% adjunct incorporation, there were some significant sensory differences between beers which were specific to particular adjunct materials. Furthermore, 60% adjunct inclusion (with correspondingly low wort FAN) impacted the fermentation volatile profile of the final beers which corresponded with findings observed in the sensory analysis. Developing an understanding of adjunct-induced flavour differences and determining strategies to minimise these differences will facilitate the implementation of cost-efficient and sustainable grist solutions.
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