BRAUWELT International 2-2023
EDITORIAL - Low input – high output
Are you looking forward to visiting Nashville at the beginning of May for the World Beer Cup and the Craft Brewers Conference as much as I am? In the meantime, you might want to take a look at our trade fair preview on p. 105. The world has changed quite a bit since the last CBC, and I’m really eager to find out what kinds of innovative products and processes we’ll see there this year. The focus will be even greater on resource conservation as well as on increasing efficiency and productivity. However, in Nashville, it will all ultimately revolve around one thing: the best craft beer!
A new hop variety – The philosophy of the breeding program at the Hop Research Center in Hüll, Germany, can be distilled down to a single slogan: “Low input – high output”. Until recently, the variety Herkules has served as the primary bitter hop for beer production in many breweries around the world. Its dominance in the market and the industry’s reliance on this single variety has not been completely without risk, which is why alternatives are being sought to ensure that a high alpha hop will always be available. Titan is the latest “offshoot” from Hüll; it possesses a high tolerance to the stresses brought about by climate change. This new variety is also optimized for cultivation and is highly resistant to disease. As a high quality bitter variety, this hop exhibits excellent bittering properties in the brewhouse and is also capable of imparting a pleasant aroma to beer. A detailed portrait of this new variety can be found on p. 73.
Field flora – Brewery microbiology has made substantial advances in recent decades. So, everything’s fine, right? Not really. Costs and reductions in personnel can quickly negate positive developments. Our author has travelled to breweries around the world as a consultant for brewery operations and over the years has seen quite a lot. Starting on p. 101, Dr. Klaus Litzenburger touches upon a number of sore points, but he also shows how the situation can be improved. Dr. Litzenburger’s article serves as a perfect introduction for the next article, which details how lactic acid bacteria play a unique role in the food industry. In breweries, they can be either friend or foe. On p. 88, we look at their potential as beneficial organisms and as wort and beer spoilers. We also provide a glimpse into the future of modern brewery microbiology.
Optimizing production processes – Digitization makes it possible to collect and analyze huge amounts of data with multivariate cause-and-effect relationships. However, this poses a major challenge for the brewing industry in terms of application. The article on p. 130 presents the results from the project “Data-driven process optimization using machine learning in the beverage industry” (DaPro) and offers recommendations for taking action.
A full tank – Back to production: it’s nice when more beer is produced with the same amount of input and the packaged beer hall is filled to capacity. One way to achieve this is to reduce the amount of beer losses. In a long-term trial, an engineering firm and a craft brewery took a closer look at tank geometry and the surface properties of fermentation tanks – with surprising results! For more, turn to p. 93.