BRAUWELT International 3-2024

EDITORIAL - From cautious optimism to hopeful perseverance

The Craft Brewers Conference is always a telling reflection of the present mood in the US craft brewing industry. This year’s CBC and especially the presentation on the state of the industry by Bart Watson, the chief economist at the Brewers Association, was no exception. While many breweries are still struggling to compensate for the long pandemic-induced slump, there was also a mood of cautious optimism at the CBC accompanied by that dogged and unflagging spirit of American entrepreneurialism. In fact, Watson boldly stated in closing that IPA should really stand for “immediate profits ahead.” Nancy and Christopher McGreger were on the floor at the conference and tradeshow for BRAUWELT International and report on p. 133 about what’s new at this exciting moment in craft beer history for the brewers in the USA and those around the world.

Problem-solving – As you might expect, since BRAUWELT is a trade journal, we always strive to provide you with the latest technical and technological information on brewing in order to support you, our loyal readers, through challenging times. This is also the case right now: If a process that promises shorter lautering times, higher extract yields and better beer quality is hardly ever used, this is normally due to some underlying disadvantage, such as space requirements, maintenance, personnel or high running costs. Well, having said that, it’s high time we take another look at a well-known technology. On p. 141, we offer new perspectives on malt conditioning and present the data from a new procedure developed in practical trials.

A profusion of ideas – Almost all breweries need some optimization, especially with their sources of energy and the efficiency with which they utilize them. Prof. Winfried Russ from the University of Applied Sciences at Weihenstephan-Triesdorf provides an array of tips on how to optimize energy usage in small and medium-sized breweries, on page 162. The best thing about it is that “significant reductions in energy consumption are possible in every company without noticeably interfering with day-to-day operations,” says Prof. Ruß. His esteemed colleague Prof. Martin Krottenthaler is always ready to more closely inspect the brewhouse. On p. 165, he reveals how to work in a technologically efficient manner while also saving energy – and without compromising product quality.

Energy-minded – The contribution by Ronny Takacs of the TU Munich-Weihenstephan on p. 180 also focuses on energy usage: how one might use analytical methods to probe the potential for using thermography in the brewing industry. In doing so, it is key that instead of temperature measurements at discrete points, spatial resolution is now possible. Processes can thus be monitored more rapidly, and new concepts for monitoring these processes can be developed.
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  • Lydia Junkersfeld

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