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Plant sciences professor presents at brewing event

Paul Schwarz, NDSU professor of plant sciences, was a featured speaker at the second annual Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend sponsored by Valley Malt of Hadley, Mass. The event, which was held at Amherst College Jan. 18-19, was attended by more than 60 people interested in locally grown hops and grains, and malting and brewing.

Presentations covered the basics of malting and brewing, grain farming, growing and selecting hops for brewing and other topics such as malting and brewing with “less-than-perfect” barley and malts, production of traditional and novel beers, utilizing wild yeasts and understanding how to identify and correct off-flavors in beer.

Schwarz presented two lectures, “Modification: What happens to grain when it is malted” and “Grain and Malt Analysis: Understanding why and how we test, and interpreting results.”

Other presenters were Nick Bokulich, brewing scientist from the University of California, Davis; Chris Jarvis, brewing professor, Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.; Steve Miller, Extension hops specialist, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; Thor Oechsner, organic grain farmer, Ithaca, N.Y.; Bill Vachon, Maltarie Frontenac Thetford Mines, Quebec, Canada; and Bill Verbeten, dairy and livestock field crop specialist, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. About a dozen New England brewers also participated in panel discussions on brewing with local ingredients.

Andrea Stanley, owner and maltster of Valley Malt, praised Schwarz’s informative presentations and for being “very approachable for attendees coming from a wide range of experience.” She said having Schwarz at the event helped “bring the caliber of speakers to a very high level, and we hope to have him back again next year.” Planning for the 2015 weekend is underway.

In 2010, Stanley attended the biennial "Barley Malt Quality Evaluation Course" offered at the Northern Crops Institute on NDSU’s campus and taught by Schwarz.

For information on the Barley Malt Quality Evaluation Course, check out the Northern Crop Institute Short Course listing at

For more information on Valley Malt and the 2015 Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend, go to

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