Malting Characteristics of Some Sorghum (Sorghum Bicolor) and Finger Millet(Eleusine coracana) Grain Varieties grown in Kenya

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Makokha, O. A.
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Anselimo Ouma Makokha
Sorghum and finger millet are important traditional food staples in Kenya. They are indigenous to the country, and are therefore relatively well adapted to the environment and can be grown widely in the country, including in the arid and semi-arid region. However, their production and utilization is relatively low. There is great potential to increase the production and use of these cereals if their industrial utilization can be expanded. One area where these grains can easily get industrial utilization is in the production of malt. Malt from sorghum and finger millet is already widely used for making traditional opaque beer. It can also be applied in the manufacture of lager beer and non-alcoholic foods, particularly weaning foods. However, there are many varieties of sorghum and finger millet grown in Kenya. These varieties differ in their physical and chemical characteristics, and these differences affect the quality of malt obtained from the grain. Malting conditions such as germination and steeping periods also influence malt quality.