Mashing performance as a function of malt particle size in beer production

Wan Yin Tan, Ming Li, Lavaraj Devkota, Edward Attenborough, Sushil Dhital

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Significant innovations have occurred over the past 50 years in the malting and brewing industries, focused on optimization of the beer mashing, boiling and fermentation processes. One of the challenges faced in beer brewing has been in the malting process to obtain the desired malt and wort quality to produce high-quality beer products. The hydrolytic enzymes produced during grain germination are mostly entrapped inside the cellular matrices of the grain. The intra-grain diffusion of enzymes for in-situ hydrolysis, as well as diffusion of enzymes to wort, depends upon the malt size and malt size fractions obtained after milling. This review investigates the relationship between varying barley grain particle size distribution and the efficiency of the malting and mashing processes. Recommended ideal particle size of barley grain before and after milling are proposed based on the review of existing literature. Each brewing batch of grains with a proportion of >80% plump grains (>2.5 mm in size) is suggested to be the optimal size before milling, whereas the optimum grain particle size after milling ranged between 0.25 and 0.5 mm. The current review will summarize the theoretical aspects for malt milling and the particle size characteristics for optimizing the brewing process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5372-5387
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Barley
  • beer
  • malt
  • mashing
  • particle size

Cite this