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Barley provides all the sugars necessary in one biological package, and has been the basic ingredient in brewing since brewing began 4,500 years ago.

In the centre of the barley seed pod is starch. Starch is a very complex sugar, up to 2500 times as big as a glucose molecule, and in itself is indigestible by yeast.

The husk of the barley seed pod is tough and protective, but contains proteins which break down during processing to produce enzymes that in turn break down the starch into fermentable sugar.