Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cysteine proteases are of fundamental biological importance during germination but may also have a large potential as commercial enzyme. Barley cysteine endoprotease B2 (HvEPB2) was expressed in Pichia pastoris from a pPICZαA based construct encoding a HvEPB2 C-terminal truncated version (HvEPB2ΔC) and a proteolytic resistant His6 tag. Maximum yield was obtained after 4 days of induction. Recombinant HvEPB2ΔC (r-HvEPB2ΔC) was purified using a single step of Ni2+-affinity chromatography. Purified protein was evaluated by SDS–PAGE, Western blotting and activity assays. A purification yield of 4.26 mg r-HvEPB2ΔC per L supernatant was obtained. r-HvEPB2ΔC follows first order kinetics (Km = 12.37 μM) for the substrate Z-Phe-Arg-pNA and the activity was significantly inhibited by the cysteine protease specific inhibitors E64 and leupeptin. The temperature optimum for r-HvEPB2ΔC was 60 °C, thermal stability T50 value was 44 °C and the pH optimum was 4.5. r-HvEPB2ΔC was incubated with native purified barley seed storage proteins for up to 48 h. After 12 h, r-HvEPB2ΔC efficiently reduced the C and D hordeins almost completely, as evaluated by SDS–PAGE. The intensities of the B and γ hordein bands decreased continuously over the 48 h. No degradation occurred in the presence of E64. Recombinant hordeins (B1, B3 and γ1) were expressed in Escherichia coli. After 2 h of incubation with r-HvEPB2ΔC, an almost complete degradation of γ1 and partial digests of hordein B1 and B3 were observed.