Boortmalt adjusts protein limits

Boortmalt has adjusted its malting barley protein specifications for this year’s harvest. Malting barley supplied to the company can now have a protein content as high as 12%.

Growers who supply Boortmalt deliver both distilling and brewing barley. Distilling barley takes up 30% of the contracted tonnage and brewing barley takes up the remaining 70%.

Distilling barley only reaches the hopper when it has a protein content of less than, or equal to, 9.3%.

At the beginning of the harvest, the protein specifications for malting barley stated that protein content must be at, or below, 10.8%.

However, protein contents from early crops have been high in many cases, with a range of between 9% and 14% reported to AgriLand in the south and midlands so far.

As a result, Boortmalt has changed the brewing specification for protein content to 12%.

Europe-wide shortage

The decision taken by the malsters comes as there is expected to be a shortage of malting barley across Europe.

The total harvest of malted barley across Europe has been predicted to drop by 500,000t in some cases.

The shortage has also caused the price paid for the commodity to rise. In the UK, a premium of £50/t is being paid above feed price in some cases.

Screenings are also high this season and are a cause for concern in securing high-quality supplies. The current limit for screenings is 8%. However, some farmers have seen screening results above this limit and even into the teens.

No change has been made to screening specifications for the 2018 season.