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Concept: Brewery


During the beer brewing process, bitter tasting cis and trans iso-α-acids are generated from the precursor α-acids found in hops. The absolute configurations of the α-acid (-)-humulone and several of its derivatives have now been elucidated by X-ray crystallography, thus resolving decades of confusion over the humulone isomerization mechanism.

Concepts: X-ray, X-ray crystallography, Brewing, Beer, Hops, Brewery


The annual production of hops (Humulus lupulus L.) exceeds 100,000 mt and is almost exclusively consumed by the brewing industry. The value of hops is attributed to their characteristic secondary metabolites; these metabolites are precursors which are transformed during the brewing process into important bittering, aromatising and preservative components with rather low efficiency. By selectively transforming these components off-line, both their utilisation efficiency and functionality can be significantly improved. Therefore, the chemical transformations of these secondary metabolites will be considered with special attention to recent advances in the field. The considered components are the hop alpha-acids, hop beta-acids and xanthohumol, which are components unique to hops, and alpha-humulene and beta-caryophyllene, sesquiterpenes which are highly characteristic of hops.

Concepts: Brewing, Beer, Humulus lupulus, Hops, Humulus, Brewery, Cannabaceae, Humulus japonicus


Hops used in the brewing process of beer for flavoring are known to contain estrogen active compounds (EAC) and to be the source of EAC in beer. The recently developed planar yeast estrogen screen (pYES) with the substrate resorufin-β-d-galactopyranoside (RGP) successfully was applied for the detection of EAC in ethanolic extracts of hops pellet samples. The only pYES positive compound was identified as the hop flavanone prenylnaringenin (PN) by thin-layer chromatography-mass spectrometry. The heat-induced formation of estrogen active PN from the inactive hop flavonoid desmethylxanthohumol was confirmed by simulation of wort boiling, extraction of both the hops' remainder and the supernatant water, and subsequent investigation of the extracts by pYES. By means of the dose-response curve of PN of a hops' remainder extract, the estradiol equivalent concentration (EEQ) and thus the estradiol equivalent amount (EEA) of PN in the hops' remainder after simulation of the wort boiling was determined to 39 μg/L and 52 μg/kg, respectively.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Ethanol, Brewing, Beer, Fermentation, Hops, Brewery


The brewing process differs slightly in craft breweries as compared to industrial breweries, as there are fewer control points. This arguably affects the microbiota of the final product. Beer contains several antimicrobial properties that protect it from pathogens, such as low pH, low oxygen and high carbon dioxide content, and the addition of hops. However, these hurdles have limited power controlling spoilage organisms. Contamination by these organisms can originate in the raw materials, persist in the environment, and be introduced by using flavoring ingredients later in the process. Spoilage is a prominent issue in brewing, and can cause quality degradation resulting in consumer rejection and product waste. For example, lactic acid bacteria are predominately associated with producing a ropy texture and haze, along with producing diacetyl which gives the beer butter flavor notes. Other microorganisms may not affect flavor or aroma, but can retard fermentation by consuming nutrients needed by fermentation yeast. Quality control in craft breweries today relies on culturing methods to detect specific spoilage organisms. Using media can be beneficial for detecting the most common beer spoilers, such as Lactobacillus and Pediococci. However, these methods are time consuming with long incubation periods. Molecular methods such as community profiling or high throughput sequencing are better used for identifying entire populations of beer. These methods allow for detection, differentiation, and identification of taxa.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Bacteria, Metabolism, Yeast, Brewing, Beer, Fermentation, Brewery


The development and applications of biosensors in the food industry has had a rapid grown due to their sensitivity, specificity and simplicity of use with respect to classical analytical methods. In this study, glucose and ethanol amperometric biosensors integrated with a wireless telemetry system were developed and used for the monitoring of top and bottom fermentations in beer wort samples. The collected data were in good agreement with those obtained by reference methods. The simplicity of construction, the low cost and the short time of analysis, combined with easy interpretation of the results, suggest that these devices could be a valuable alternative to conventional methods for monitoring fermentation processes in the food industry.

Concepts: Ethanol, Starch, Brewing, Alcoholic beverage, Beer, Food industry, Hops, Brewery


The founder of the Carlsberg brewery, J.C Jacobsen, recognized the value of private-public partnership and established the Carlsberg Foundation in 1876 with the single aim of applying research and innovation to brew the best beer. One hundred and forty years on, Jacobsen’s vision still prevails, and in this interview three scientists from the Carlsberg Research Laboratory (Birgitte Skadhauge, Anna Haldrup, and Ole Olsen) share their experience about finding a career at the crossroads between industry and basic research.

Concepts: Research, Brewing, Beer, Research and development, Basic research, Applied research, Hops, Brewery


During the production process of beer, it is of utmost importance to guarantee a high consistency of the beer quality. For instance, the bitterness is an essential quality parameter which has to be controlled within the specifications at the beginning of the production process in the unfermented beer (wort) as well as in final products such as beer and beer mix beverages. Nowadays, analytical techniques for quality control in beer production are mainly based on manual supervision, i.e., samples are taken from the process and analyzed in the laboratory. This typically requires significant lab technicians efforts for only a small fraction of samples to be analyzed, which leads to significant costs for beer breweries and companies. Fourier transform mid-infrared (FT-MIR) spectroscopy was used in combination with nonlinear multivariate calibration techniques to overcome (i) the time consuming off-line analyses in beer production and (ii) already known limitations of standard linear chemometric methods, like partial least squares (PLS), for important quality parameters Speers et al. (J I Brewing. 2003;109(3):229-235), Zhang et al. (J I Brewing. 2012;118(4):361-367) such as bitterness, citric acid, total acids, free amino nitrogen, final attenuation, or foam stability. The calibration models are established with enhanced nonlinear techniques based (i) on a new piece-wise linear version of PLS by employing fuzzy rules for local partitioning the latent variable space and (ii) on extensions of support vector regression variants (𝜖-PLSSVR and ν-PLSSVR), for overcoming high computation times in high-dimensional problems and time-intensive and inappropriate settings of the kernel parameters. Furthermore, we introduce a new model selection scheme based on bagged ensembles in order to improve robustness and thus predictive quality of the final models. The approaches are tested on real-world calibration data sets for wort and beer mix beverages, and successfully compared to linear methods, showing a clear out-performance in most cases and being able to meet the model quality requirements defined by the experts at the beer company. Figure Workflow for calibration of non-Linear model ensembles from FT-MIR spectra in beer production .

Concepts: Acid, Brewing, Fourier transform, Citric acid, Beer, Fermentation, Nonlinear system, Brewery


Local beer breweries in Burkina Faso absorb a considerable amount of urban woodfuel demand. We assess the woodfuel savings caused by the adoption of improved brewing stoves by these micro-breweries and estimate the implied welfare effects through the woodfuel market on private households as well as the environmental effect. We find substantial wood savings among the breweries, 36% to 38% if they fully switch to an improved stove. In absolute amounts, they save about 0.176 kg of fuelwood per litre of dolo brewed. These savings imply huge reductions in CO2-emissions and reduce the overall demand for woodfuel, which is predominantly used by the poorer strata for cooking purposes. We provide estimates for the price decrease that might result from this and show that the urban poor are likely to benefit. Thus, the intervention under study is an example for a green growth intervention with pro-poor welfare gains - something green growth strategies should look for.

Concepts: Africa, Brewing, Burkina Faso, Brewery


To identify a biological preservative that can protect beer from microbial contamination, which often results in the production of turbidity and off-flavor.

Concepts: Enzyme, Brewing, Microorganism, Beer, Fermentation, Malt, Hops, Brewery


A novel prolyl endopeptidase gene from Aspergillus oryzae was cloned and expressed in Pichia pastoris. Amino acid sequence analysis of the prolyl endopeptidase from Aspergillus oryzae (AO-PEP) showed that this enzyme belongs to a class serine peptide S28 family. Expression, purification and characterization of AO-PEP were analyzed. The optimum pH and temperature were pH 5.0 and 40 °C, respectively. The enzyme was activated and stabilized by metal ion Ca(2+) and inhibited by Zn(2+), Mn(2+), Al(3+), and Cu(2+). The K m and k cat values of the purified enzyme for different substrates were evaluated. The results implied that the recombinant AO-PEP possessed higher affinity for the larger substrate. A fed-batch strategy was developed for the high-cell-density fermentation and the enzyme activity reached 1,130 U/l after cultivation in 7 l fermentor. After addition of AO-PEP during the fermentation phase of beer brewing, demonstrated the potential application of AO-PEP in the non-biological stability of beer, which favor further industrial development of this new enzyme in beer stabilization, due to its reducing operational costs, as well as no beer losses unlike regeneration process and beer lost with regenerated polyvinylpolypyrrolidone system.

Concepts: Protein, Carbon dioxide, Enzyme, Brewing, Beer, Fermentation, Malt, Brewery