Hand inserts drawing pin into a planning board (Photo: Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash)

Coordination | Outstanding beer quality is of paramount importance for a brewery. The implementation of strict quality management systems ensures that beer is within the required specification at all stages of production. This is challenging enough for a single brewery, but it becomes exciting when several brewery sites are operated and quality managed simultaneously.

Two hands holding hop cones (Photo: BarthHaas)

Hop Storage Index | When evaluating hop quality, many use the Hop Storage Index (HSI) as a simple analysis to get an indication of how much the hop has been aged. The rule of thumb is: the higher the HSI, the poorer the hop variety was harvested, stored, and processed. Although HSI can be a useful tool, it is important to understand that the value should not be the sole indicator to understand the total hop quality.

Barley malt

Underestimated risk | Mould fungi are part of the natural microbial flora of malting cereals. In recent decades, intensive research focussed on the fungus genus Fusarium plant pathogen in this respect. However, the consequences of contamination with the so-called sooty mould fungi are hardly known in comparison.

Repeated spray shadow test: area of the infeed screw to the filler exposed to RET medium

Cleaning results validated | Spray shadow tests are a useful and proven tool for validation of automatic cleaning systems. This holds true for new installations, changes to existing systems and regular revision. Based on two industrial examples, the usefulness of two different spray shadow tests, both used at VLB, is illustrated.

Water and drops of water (Photo: Arek Socha on Pixabay)

Optimised cleaning | On-demand cleaning is today often seen as a vision for a new form of sanitation. But what’s behind this? How is the need for cleaning defined? Martin Löhrke, CEO of Jürgen Löhrke GmbH in Lübeck, Germany, takes a look at the options already in place to meet the requirements of individual cleaning operations.

Close-up of a microscope (Photo: Misael Moreno on Unsplash 2023)

Analysis methods | A beer is as good as its raw materials. Control using various analysis methods is required to ensure that malting barley and malt are of the highest quality. This article give an overview on how analysis developed from the first specifications of malt to up-to-date technical solutions.

Apples in crates (Photo: moritz320 on Pixabay)

Inline analysis | Spectroscopic methods offer the option of real-time analysis and, thus, optimisation of conventional methods of food processing. Chemical reactions triggered by thermal exposure can be tracked, based on the knowledge of reaction kinetics for quantification of thermal input. This has the potential for more product-specific process control, in this case in pasteurisation of apple juice.

Row of mikroscopes on a long table (Photo: Ousa Chea on Unsplash)

Test results | Rapid and reliable detection of beer spoilers is still a frequently discussed topic in brewery microbiology that has not yet been resolved to-date. In the context of a bachelor thesis, a study for using the so-called impedance method was presented. Extracts of same are reported in this article.

Two hands holding hop cones (Photo: BarthHaas)

Hop aging | When hops age, chemical changes occur that reduce their brewing value. As long as the hop cone is on the hop bine growing in the field, no oxidation happens. As soon as the hop plant is harvested, the clock starts ticking before hops are packaged. The enemies of hops are high storage temperatures and time, as well as whether they are stored in oxidative or non-oxidative conditions. In this first part of an article series we discuss what this means for the brewer, introduce the Hop Storage Index and talk about the economic implications of hop aging.

Person holding malt grains in the palm of their hand

Withering and kilning | Depending on processes and equipment, not every malt grain experiences the same conditions during malting. Measurable differences in malt quality between the various floor layers are thus inevitable. This study investigates the extent to which these inhomogeneities also have repercussions for gelatinisation temperature of the resulting malt.

Close-up of the ColiMinder

Real-time monitoring | From Austria comes an interesting new technology that will permanently change the water treatment processes in the beverage industry and make them more efficient: the ColiMinder, an on-line instrument for fully automatic monitoring of microbiological water quality in the beverage industry.

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