In brewing, adjuncts are unmalted grains (such as corn, rice, rye, oats, barley, and wheat) or grain products used in brewing beer which supplement the main mash ingredient (such as malted barley). This is often done with the intention of cutting costs, but sometimes also to create an additional feature, such as better foam retention, flavours or nutritional value or additives. Both solid and liquid adjuncts are commonly used.

Adjunct is a bit of a moot word in the brewing industry, and refers to the use of a non-traditional ingredient outside the usual malted barley, hops, water and yeast. Adjuncts can be the addition of fruits are sugars. In this section the category of adjuncts relate to grain or starches used as inexpensive substitute for the primary ingredient – Barley.

Adjuncts are available in a variety of forms. They are most commonly found whole, torrified, flaked, or rolled, in meal or in starch/flour. The characteristics of each grain can vary depending on its milled form.

Whole grains: Often called “berries” (rye berries, wheat berries, and so forth), whole grains are the least processed form of adjunct.

Raw and Unmalted: Grains that have not undergone the malting process.

Grits and meal: Grits and meals are prepared by removing the hull and the germ from the kernel, then grinding the product to the desired fineness. This processing saves the brewer the step of cracking the grains, but grits and meals still require double mashing.

Flour: Flours are produced as by-products, during the manufacture of corn and rice. Flours must be cooked before being mixed in with the malt mash.

Groats: Groats are the hulled kernels of cereal grains such as oat, wheat, and rye. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain as well as the endosperm.

Starch: Starches can be prepared from many cereal grains. In commercial practice, refined wheat starch, potato starch, and corn starch have been used in breweries; corn starches, in particular, are used in the preparation of glucose syrups. Wheat starch has been employed in breweries in Australia and Canada, where local conditions make it economical to use. However, the most important source of refined starch is corn.

Flaked and rolled grains: There are two different manufacturing processes used to produce brewing flakes. In the traditional process, corn and rice grits or whole barley are steam-cooked to soften the endosperm, which is then rolled flat and dried. Gelatinization occurs during the steaming process. Another process involves “micronizing” these materials prior to flaking by subjecting the grain to internal heating by infrared heat.

Torrefied grains: Produced by heating the grain quickly to 500 °F (260 °C), which makes the endosperm expand and pop, thus rendering the starch pre-gelatinized and easily milled. Once torrefied, grains can be added directly to the mash tun since the starch granules have been gelatinized. Most of the nitrogen is denatured in the kernel and is not solubilized, thus contributing little or no nitrogen to the mash.


Barley (Hordeum vulgare)

Barley is used in all-grain brews to produce a lighter colored finished beer without lowering the original gravity. Used as a replacement for corn to eliminate the corn flavor, barley aids in head retention, imparts creamy smoothness. Especially good in Porters, Dry-Stouts and Stouts, but can be used in any beer.
Lovibond Color: 1.4°

Commercial Examples: Most Beers

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)

Buckwheat is a naturally gluten-free grain. Buckwheat groats are the hulled, starchy seeds of Fagopyrum esculentum and are not considered a cereal grain. Buckwheat is typically used to increase body and head retention and provide a warm, nutty flavors.
Lovibond Color: 2.1°

Commercial Examples: Field Mouse’s Farewell | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project; Morimoto Soba Ale | Rogue Ales; Buckwheat After Dark | R.J. Rockers Brewing Co.

Cassava (Manihot esculenta)

Cassava, a.k.a. Brazilian arrowroot, or manioc, is one of the most popular staple foods in Africa. It is a tuber crop rich in available starch. Presently it is an underutilized crop in beer production. Nigeria, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand lead the way in its production. In Africa, cassava is used either as a wet cake or as a purified starch. Although cassava is sometimes called yuca in Spanish, it differs from the yucca.

Commercial Examples: Cassava Dry Stout (R&D Brew) | Jailbreak Brewing Co.; Liurai | Heineken Timor Leste; Cassava | Joh. Barth & Sohn

Corn or Maize (Zea mays subsp.)

Corn grits are the most widely used adjunct in the United States and Canada. Corn helps to sweeten and lighten the beer without reducing the alcohol content. A “corn” taste may be apparent, making it generally more suited to the sweeter dark beers and American, light Bohemian and Pilsner lagers.
Lovibond Color: 0.8°

Commercial Examples: Corn / Maize : Footprint (2014) | Odell Brewing Co.; Mayan Maybe Not | Great Basin Brewing Co.; La Calavera Catrina | Garage Project; Flaked Corn: Newport Storm – Annual Release ’12 | Newport Craft Brewing Co.

Millet (family - Poaceae)

Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains. The most widely grown millet is pearl millet, finger millet, proso millet, and foxtail millet are also important crop species. As a gluten-free grain, millet has gained popularity as a beer adjunct due to its suitability for people suffering with Celiac disease.

Commercial Examples: Glutenator | Epic Brewing Co.; Shakparo | Sprecher Brewing Co.

Oats (Avena sativa)

Oats adds body, and a creamy mouthfeel to oatmeal stouts, porters and some Belgian Wits. Oat Flakes have a very distinctive “sticky” mouthfeel which is noticeable even in small amounts, and are the preferred choice, as the other kinds, whole oats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and quick oats all require some form of cereal mash before being added to the main mash.
Lovibond Color: 2.5°

Commercial Examples: Play Fast | Tired Hands Brewing Co. Flakes:Monstruous Fat Pig Stout Mexican Cake Edition | The Piggy Brewing Co.; Malted, Rolled, Naked, and oat milk: Hazy-O | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)

Quinoa is considered a pseudo-cereals, that does not belong to the grass family, but like other cereal grains, quinoa consists predominantly of starch. Quinoa has a starchy endosperm and a non-starchy aleurone layer. At present quinoa, not commonly used in the brewing industry, but in recent years it has become of interest due to its gluten-free status.

Commercial Examples: Pangaea / It’s The End of the Wort As We Know It | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Luxe Quinoa Pale Ale | Lux Brewery; Dirty Blonde Quinoa Alt |  The Church Brew Works

Rice (Zizania species)

Rice is currently the second most widely used adjunct in the U.S. in the production of light-colored lager beers. Rice has hardly any taste of its own, therefore it will not interfere with the basic malt character of the beer. It promotes dry, crisp, and snappy flavors and is used in several premium brands, including Budweiser. Rice is favored by some brewers due to its lower oil content than corn grits.
Lovibond Color: 1.0°

Rye (Secale cereale)

Rye tends to add a bready, spicy rye character as well as a slick, drier mouthfeel and a full body to any beer. Rye is especially appropriate for use in the traditional German Roggenbier (rye beer), Finnish farmhouse sahti beer, and in the low-alcohol (0.5 to 1.5% abv) Russian Kvass. Rye can also make an interesting addition when used in smoked and wheat beers.
Lovibond Color: 2.0°

Commercial Examples: Bruce ChiLee IPA | Boxing Cat Brewery; Field Mouse’s Farewell | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project; Flaked Rye: Game of Thrones: Fire and Blood | Brewery Ommegang

Spelt (Triticum spelta)

Originating in Iran around 6,000 to 5,000 BCE, spelt also known as dinkel wheat, is a low-fat grain that’s high in protein. It is widely available and may be tolerated by people with allergies to wheat starch. However, it is not tolerated by people with celiac disease.
Lovibond Color: 1.7° – 3.2°

Commercial Examples: La Ferme Urbaine | Foolproof Brewing Co.; Field Mouse’s Farewell | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project;  Game of Thrones: Fire and Blood | Brewery Ommegang

Triticale (Triticosecale)

Triticale (Triticosecale) is the oldest artificially created hybrid cereal,, which was obtained by crossing of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale), first bred in laboratories during the late 19th century in Scotland and Sweden. It properties are similar to brewing with wheat.
Lovibond Color: 2.1° – 3.0°

Commercial Examples: Farmhouse Wit | Deep Ellum; Stochasticity Project: Quadrotriticale | Stone Craft Brewery; Wildhood | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Wheat can be used in both malted and unmalted forms. Since malt is packed with protein, it helps give a beer a thick, foamy head with a smooth, refreshing taste. American hefeweizen and German weizen highlight malted wheat, while Belgian witbier (unmalted) has a hazier appearance and slightly sharp tartness.
Lovibond Color: 2.0°

Commercial Examples: Footprint| Odell Brewing Co.; Passionfruit-Habby Reinheitsgewhat!? | Little Fish Brewing Co.; Dżonka Tomka  | Piwoteka


Amaranth (Amaranthus)

Species belonging to the genus Amaranthus have been cultivated for their grains for 8,000 years. Amaranth plants are classified as pseudocereals that are grown for their edible starchy seeds, but they are not in the same botanical family as true cereals, such as wheat and rice. Amaranth species that are still used as a grain are Amaranthus caudatus L., Amaranthus cruentus L., and Amaranthus hypochondriacus L. The yield of grain amaranth is comparable to rice or maize.

Commercial Examples: Saison Z  | Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales; Survival “7-GRAiN” Stout| Hopworks Urban Brewery; Commonwealth | Ninkasi Brewing Co,

Bulgur (Triticum durum)

Bulgur also called Firik or Feerekh Wheat, is a cereal food made from the cracked parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It originates in Middle Eastern cuisine. Pressure cooked at a high moisture content with the grain structure intact; yields results similar to those of malted wheat without the malty taste. No aroma with a bland, grainy flavor.

Commercial Examples: TBD

Einkorn (Triticum monococcum)

Einkorn wheat can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum, or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, or as subspecies:  Einkorn is a diploid species of hulled wheat, with tough glumes (‘husks’) that tightly enclose the grains. The cultivated form is similar to the wild, except that the ear stays intact when ripe and the seeds are larger.  The name refers to the fact that each spikelet contains only one grain.

Commercial Examples: Grisette About It!| Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Eenkoorn In De Wei | Jopen: Riedenburger Einkorn-Edelbier | Riedenburger Brauhaus

Emmer (Triticum dicoccum)

Emmer belongs to the spelt family, a group of hard-kernel heirloom wheats. A cross between Einkorn and wild grasses.  The domesticated types are Triticum turgidum subsp. dicoccum and Triticum turgidum conv. durum. Emmer was first used in beer and bread by the Mesopotamians, circa 8,000 BCE. but is now a relict crop in mountainous regions of Europe and Asia.

Commercial Examples: Fahrt Ins Grüne (2015) | Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle; Yann | Flügge; Who the fuck Is Knaust? Historic Ale | ÜberQuell Brauwerkstätten

Farro (Triticum: dicoccum, monococcum, spelta)

Farro is an ethnobotanical term for three species of hulled wheat: spelt (Triticum spelta), emmer (Triticum dicoccum), and einkorn (Triticum monococcum). Hulled wheat is wheat that cannot be threshed. Emmer is by far the most common variety of farro grown in Italy, specifically in certain mountain regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo. It is also considered higher quality for cooking than the other two grains and thus is sometimes called “true” farro. Confusion about the terminology for these three wheat varieties is generated by the difficult history in the taxonomy of wheat and by colloquial and regional uses of the term farro.

Commercial Examples: Positive Contact  | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; La Ferme Urbaine | Foolproof Brewing Co.; Eenkoorn In De Wei | Jopen

Kamut (Triticum turanicum)

n 1949, an American airman named Earl Dedman received 32 kernels of wheat from a fellow flyboy, who acquired them in Egypt. He mailed them back to his father’s farm in Montana, where the grains became known as “King Tut’s Wheat.” After the novelty faded, the wheat is largely forgotten until the late ’70s, when several Montana farmers reintroduced the rich and resoundingly nutty grain as kamut.

Commercial Examples: Survival “7-GRAiN” Stout| Hopworks Urban Brewery; NORA | Birrifico Agricolo Baladin; Pharroes Kamut | Bulk Head Brewing Co

Potato (Solanum tuberosum)

The potato is a starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas, with the plant itself being a perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae. Naturally low in fat and protein, potato is used in small amounts to add body to the beer. It imparts little potato flavor or body, with no aroma. Potatoes were introduced to Europe from the Americas in the second half of the 16th century by the Spanish. Today they are a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world’s food supply.

Commercial Examples: Repoterroir | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; Secret Stash Harvest Ale (2011) | Flying Dog Brewery; Potato Maple Porter | Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Sweet Potato (Pomoea batatas)

The sweet potato or sweetpotato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the bindweed or morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are used as a root vegetable.  The young shoots and leaves are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is distantly related to the common potato (Solanum tuberosum), both being in the order Solanales. Although the darker sweet potatoes are often referred to as “yams” in parts of North America, the species is not closely related to true yams. Cultivars of the sweet potato have been bred to bear tubers with flesh and skin of various colors.

Commercial Examples: Appalachia (Terra Locale Series) | Wicked Weed Brewing; Sasquash Sweet Potato Porter | Milwaukee Brewing Co.; Fluxus 2017 | Allagash Brewing Co.