Home > Topics > Laboratory


Modern analytics open up new options for a quantitative analysis of specific bitter components in beer (Source: Kzenon/shutterstock)

Analysis of bitter substances | In beer production, the development of modern analyses provides possibilities of extending the analytical spectrum. It is possible to investigate the detailed path of individual compounds from raw materials to the finished beer, using mass spectroscopy. The hard resin fraction of hops that mainly consists of polar i.e. easily water soluble bitter substances is ascribed a special role in terms of dry hopping. This makes efficient transfer of these substances from hops to beer possible. The present contribution describes the compounds involved, as well as the flavour contribution they make to beer bitterness.

Ageing behaviour | Forced ageing at 40 °C is one of the most common methods for assessing sensory stability of pale lager beers. However, different aroma profiles frequently arise in practice compared to natural ageing at 20 °C. The present article describes the ageing characteristics of pale lager beers during forced and natural ageing, both in sensory and in analytical terms. The contribution is based on research results that have been published in BrewingScience, May/June 2018, volume 71.

Sensory research | Branched chain fatty acids (isobutyric acid, isovaleric acid, and 2-methylbutyric acid) are major metabolites that originate from various metabolic pathways. Thus, these compounds are contained in various foods and beverages. These compounds in beer have their origins in malts, hops, and also from yeast metabolism. It is well accepted that these fatty acids may give rise to some rancid off-flavours. However, an effect of these compounds on overall beer flavour has not yet been fully elucidated. The following article summarises a part of the research results which have already been published in BrewingScience, 2019, issue 6: November/December.

Analytical methods | At the end of November 2020, the European Brewery Convention (EBC) and the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC) have released a new International Method. A successful international collaborative trial organized in 2018 and 2019 involving 17 laboratories throughout the world led to the creation of this new method on the determination of bitter compounds in dry-hopped beers.

Starch breakdown | Modern analytical quality assurance in breweries covers a complex spectrum of tasks. Based on typical applications, this series of articles describes analytical approaches for evaluation of various processing problems in brewing unit operations, as well as possibilities for early identification of potential upset sources and prediction of product stability.

Wort analysis | Brewing beer is a question of equilibrium. This is evident in all process units. No property of beer can be seen individually, all parameters also exert an influence on other beer properties. This also applies in the brewhouse. Re-use of last runnings – as rich in extract – should be considered for financial reasons [1]. But does this make sense?

Vega Grieshaber | With the launch of its new Vegabar pressure switch/sensors and Vegapoint level switches, Vega Grieshaber KG, Schiltach, Germany, becomes a full-range supplier for level and pressure in food production processes. The compact instrument series are perfectly tailored to standard applications that require high quality and strict hygiene.

Inline and fully automated | Conventional quality control carried out in the laboratories of breweries and beverage producers is usually performed manually and requires a significant amount of time and labor. With the automation solutions available from Anton Paar, the laboratory is located directly on the production line.

Improved process control | Real-time measurement of process parameters is indispensable for achieving high process efficiency. Diacetyl, an indicator substance for assessment of fermentation processes and thus the point in time for cooling and hosing in the brewing process, is accorded particular commercial importance. This article provides an overview of existing measurement procedures and the potential for further development.

Optimising evidence | Detection of beer-spoilage bacteria in the brewing process is of the utmost importance. These bacteria can cause, among other things, hazes, acid and off-flavours in the product. It is extremely difficult, especially in pure culture yeast and also in cropped yeast, to track down these beer spoilers because their growth is suppressed by yeast. In addition, these bacteria are often present as trace contaminants in such yeast. In this study, a method has been developed to detect beer-spoilage bacteria in pure culture yeast much faster and with a higher degree of reliability than has been the case with existing methods.

Establishing a measurement methodology | The arabinoxylan substance group has been hitherto largely disregarded in the area of beverage analyses and interpretation of technological repercussions, this is due in part to the limited availability of measurement methodology. However, it is a cell wall component that should not be underestimated and is possibly – in addition to β-glucans – another important indicator or technical parameter for cytolysis.