Modist, being the innovators that they are, experimented by making a beer with 100 percent huskless barley.
The beer, called Deviation 10, is the latest edition to Modist's Deviation Series of experimental beers. And this one was very experimental (more on this below).
And it turned out pretty good. Deviation 10 is a clean, semi-fruity brew that's a little hazy. We'd give it a four on our beer-rating scale because it's easy to drink and super refreshing.
The beer – which has an ABV of 5.5 percent – is now available on tap at Modist in Minneapolis.
Why is this so cool?
That's because Modist's unique brewing system (it uses a mash filter instead of a lauter tun) makes it possible to brew without husks, unlike most other breweries.
Here's a quick, non-scientific explanation of why this is so cool, courtesy of Modist Brewer Keigan Knee.
Traditionally grains without husks are harder to brew with because the husk helps make a filter, creating more space for liquid to flow through the grains more easily than if there weren't any husks.
Think of husks kind of like a coffee filter, which helps the coffee flow smoothly. Without it, you'd end up with a sticky, chunky mess.
So breweries that have lauter tuns can't brew a beer without the husks, Knee says. Modist can though, because their brewing system uses pressure instead of gravity.
Why make a beer without husks?
Husks don't give any wanted flavor to your beer (in fact, it can cause some unwanted flavors like bitter tannins), so BSG wanted to figure out if using this huskless barley would be beneficial to brewing, Knee explained.
"We found that it is viable to brew with," Knee said. "The flavor contribution from it is pretty cool – it's like toasty, bready – kind of like bread crust. ... And it's a lighter flavor."
The idea with this huskless barley would be for brewers to use it in addition to traditional barley (with the husks).
Doing so would have benefits to the beer's flavor, and it would also be more economically friendly because brewers wouldn't need to use as much malt to make a beer, Knee said.