Microbiological Contamination in Breweries

  • J. S. Hough
  • D. E. Briggs
  • R. Stevens
  • T. W. Young

Abstract

There has always been a measure of disagreement among brewers on the degree of microbiological control needed in breweries. On the one hand, there are those who wish to eliminate all micro-organisms from the brewery except for pure culture yeast and thereby help to achieve a consistently satisfactory quality of extremely uniform beer. There are however those who, while wishing to restrict rampant growth of other micro-organisms, nevertheless emphasize the distinctive, desirable flavours which these organisms can on occasion impart to beer. As with wines and ciders, outstanding flavours in beers are often associated with the metabolic activities of a mixed microbial population. Because there is no detailed knowledge available on achieving a desirable balance of strains, usually involving both bacteria and yeasts, such a balance can be achieved only fortuitously. A change in the proportions of the organisms in the balanced mixture may, and usually does, lead to beer with inferior taste and aroma. It is particularly true of modern beers of comparatively low original gravity (say under 10° Plato and SG 1040), undergoing a very short maturation treatment. This is because in stronger beers the bacterial strains are inhibited to different degrees by (i) low pH values, (ii) high concentrations of alcohol, (iii) high contents of hop resins, and (iv) in some cases the yeast strains used.

Keywords

Surfactant Steam Iodine Chlorine Lysine 

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Copyright information

© J. S. Hough, D. E. Briggs, R. Stevens, T. W. Young 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Hough
    • 1
  • D. E. Briggs
    • 1
  • R. Stevens
    • 2
  • T. W. Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryThe University of BirminghamUK
  2. 2.School of PharmacySunderland PolytechnicUK

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