Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 305–311 | Cite as

Improvement of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) germination by application of biochar leacheate in steeping solution to upgrade malt quality

  • Xiaoyu Zhang
  • Zhimin Yu
  • Wenzhu Tang
  • Jun Meng
  • Xiaoli Dong
  • Wenfu Chen
  • Xianzhen LiEmail author
Original Research Paper



To investigate an improvement of barley germination by application of biochar leacheate in the steeping solution for upgrading malt quality.


Barley germination was improved when biochar leacheate was used in the steeping water during the first steeping cycle. A clear decrease in the time to reach 50% of final germination percentage was detected due to an addition of biochar leacheate, but no significant difference was observed in the percent germination at the end of germination. Hydrolase activities including α-amylase, proteinase and β-glucanase in barley grains were maximally increased during the malting process when 10% biochar leacheate was added to the first steeping water. The wort yielding indexes including both glucose and maltose content and the free amino nitrogen content were significantly increased but the β-glucan content was significantly decreased at a level of p < 0.05 when 10% biochar leacheate was added to the steeping water.


Biochar leacheate could be used as a stimulator in the steeping solution during the first steeping cycle to improve barley germination and so upgrade malt quality.


Barley Biochar leacheate Germination Hydrolase Improvement Malt quality 



This study was founded by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0200800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31771907), and the Basic Foundation for University of Liaoning (2017J031).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liaoning Biochar Engineering & Technology Research CentreShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangPR China
  2. 2.School of Biological EngineeringDalian Polytechnic UniversityDalianPR China

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