Barley is considered to be the key ingredient in making beer. What if you were told that you can now taste the unmalted version of beer? Yes, you heard it right!
Cool Cousin, a New York-based company, is making the tables turn by introducing unmalted beer into the market. John Midgley, the founder and CEO, believes in environmental stewardship and sustainability. Hence, this beer is made with 100% unmalted barley. It is also believed to save around 700 ml of water and 32 gm of CO2 for every litre of beer produced.
According to the Cool Cousin website, this is the first commercial brewery in the US to come up with the concept of unmalted beer. The malting process is replaced with exogenous enzymes, which are the same as malt.
Malting is a process of steeping the barley, causing it to germinate. This activates enzymes within the barley to break down into its components, including carbohydrates and proteins.
At the right time, the germination is stopped by the application of heat. The repeated application of water (malting often requires multiple steeps) and then the application of heat is resource-intensive. And that’s not the end of it.
Following delivery of the malt to the brewery, the brewer prepares a boiling stew (mash) to stir up additional enzymes that will result in the production of wort, a sugary liquid that is cooked with hops, cooled and fermented.
In due process, the brewer would step the mash through four temperature stops to activate different enzymes, as they would occur in the malting process. With the added advantage of reduced resource consumption, the end result is a flavourful beer that rivals traditional brews.
It is loosely in the style of a German-style Kolsch. It is also ensured that the aromas and flavours of the raw barley are reminiscent of all of the freshly milled grains of the company’s bakery and its grain tea programme.
While Midgley acknowledges that Cool Cousin will continue to use local products, he states that the company aims to grow across America. To access the California market, it plans to brew Cool Cousin there using local grains and hops.