97. Tales from the brewing analytics lab: Past problems rising again along with new issues to investigate

Darrin Smith (1), Gary Spedding (2), Amber Weygandt (2); (1) Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, U.S.A.; (2) Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services (BDAS), Lexington, KY, U.S.A.

Analytical
Poster

A number of quality issues have been raised recently that demand attention in the brewing community. This presentation will present some original data as well as provide a review of methods and noted literature that has previously addressed problems and suggest where research and development is still needed. Four areas to discuss will include: 1) Haze issues: Nasty globular chunks of floating matter (sometimes called “snow globes”) and mass gelatinous islands (“the blob,” aka “elephant snot”) of unidentified matter are cropping up in the craft beer segment, especially in hoppier beer styles and noted in beers treated via centrifugation rather than filtration. We have some answers and ideas but not the whole picture (for example unmalted black barley was associated with the so called “elephant snot” issue generations back). Uncovered forgotten literature that deals with these problems shows these are not new concerns. 2) Protein determination in beverages: A few years back, we evaluated new methods for protein determination, as did the ASBC. Unfortunately, the requirements leading to a potential replacement of the Kjeldahl method were not met. Discussion of this issue will be presented and suggest that an alternative is needed to truly and accurately determine total protein levels in beer. 3) Hold the fats: New FDA mandates are calling for fat determination in beers. We can discuss some of our findings that address this matter and suggest that a database be established to assist brewers and regulatory authorities. The total calories issue for beer will also form a part of this discussion. 4) Malt testing: A desperate need for malt testing facilities in the United States and Canada is present right now. We will discuss potential avenues to resolve this problem, especially now with the rise in craft malting and some prospects here within the industry. 3) Hold the Fats: New FDA mandates are calling for fat determination in beers. We can discuss some of our findings that address this matter and suggest that a database be established to assist brewers and regulatory authorities. The total calories issue for beer will also form a part of this discussion. 4) Malt Testing: A desperate need for malt testing facilities in the US and Canada is present right now. We will discuss potential avenues to resolve this problem especially now with the rise in craft maltings and some prospects here within the industry

Darrin Smith received a B.S. degree in chemistry from Missouri Western State University (Saint Joseph, MO) and then attended the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) to gain a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry. Since 2003, he has been employed at Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, KY), where he predominately conducts analytical chemistry and instrumentation lectures and labs. His area of expertise is the analysis of samples utilizing chromatography and mass spectrometry methods.