There is a gradual shift to substitute barley with sorghum in brewing industry to reduce the cost of doing business and make beer products more competitive. This study evaluates the sorghum genotypes for desirable malting and brewing characteristics. Biochemical characteristics assayed for 131 sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L) Moench] accessions included total starch, amylopectin, amylose, proteins, tannins contents, germination energy and germination capacity. Results indicate that starch contents ranged from 22.8 - 81.2%, amylose from 11.5 - 30.2% while the amylopectin content ranged from 6.6 - 59.8%. Generally, amylose contents of sorghum genotypes were lower than their amylopectin contents, with a ratio of 1:2. The mean protein content for the sorghum accessions was 9.4% with a range of 3 - 18%, while that of barley was from 7.7 - 9.8%. Germination energy and germination capacity for sorghum ranged from 82.9 - 99.8% and 74.0 to 99.5%, respectively. Barley varieties showed germination energy and capacity greater than 98%. Sorghum tannin contents ranged from 2.55 mg/100 ml to as high as 100 mg/100 ml while barley varieties had tannin contents of 8.9 to 10.3 mg/100 ml. Two genotypes, SDSA 1x ICSR 43 and SP 993520-1 were the most favorable for brewing.
Key words: Sorghum, starch, protein, tannin, germination energy, malting and brewing.