Harboes Brewery in Denmark has released a ‘fresh tasting lager” that does not use malt !
“Harboe introducerer den revolutionerende Clim8Beer – en moderne brygget pilsner, som sparer miljøet for mere end 8% CO2 pr. øl men med samme gode smag”.
“Clim8Beer is nothing less than a revolution, a fresh lager brewed in a modern way, saving the environment for more than 8g CO2 per unit. Still, with the same great taste of course”.
Instead of malt Harboes are using an enzyme preparation (Ondea® Pro) from Novozymes to replace the malt. I am guessing alpha- and beta-amylases (to get the maltose from the starch), maybe amylogucosidase and/or pullulanase (to make sure there is a maximum of fermentable sugar and not too many small maltodextrins with alpha 1-6 bonds), maybe some proteases to mimic the mild proteolysis that should be active in barley malt so that the proteins/peptides after mashing are at the appropriate stage of hydrolysis, and of course some betaglucanase for the mixed linkage beta -glucans that are the cause of stuck mashes.
Harboes has called the beer clim8, www.clim8beer.dk, as they claim a reduction in the carbon footprint from the sidestepping of malting. I guess malting does use quite a bit of energy and water. A lot of the energy must be used in the kilning of the malt.
There are english language videos like this one http://www.clim8beer.dk/english/tilblivelsen_af_clim8.html that describe the process.
Novozymes take on the new beer is here http://www.novozymes.com/en/MainStructure/PressAndPublications/PressRelease/2009/BarleyBeer.htm.
Novozymes claim that it is a “sustainable revolution in brewing” , but of course it still needs to taste good !!! I am interested to taste my first sample.
Is this a good or bad thing – is it the end of the malthouse (I personally doubt it, especially for darker beers that rely on more extensively kilned malt). Just how do they replace the flavors created by kilning? Even in a mild beer using a pale malt there must be some products of Maillard that lead to the toasty, nutty, roasted flavors.