Analysis of the control factor concerning beer filterability and establishment of the method for controlling filterability

Technical Session 20: Finishing and Stability Session
Tomoyuki Nakahama, Suntory Liquors Ltd., Ohra-gun, Gunma, Japan
Co-author(s): Seisuke Takaoka, and Haruyoshi Sotome, Suntory Liquors Ltd., Ohra-gun, Japan

ABSTRACT: Beer filterability is one of the most important indicators concerning productivity, cost, and quality for most breweries. Although analysis for improving beer filterability has been carried out for a long time, the technique for completely controlling beer filterability has not yet been established. Thus, we have analyzed the factors concerning beer filterability in our brewery looking for the critical control factor. As a result of a long-term investigation, we have finally found that the critical factor is the amount of micro-particles (under 3 µm in diameter) in lager beer. If other factors, for example beta-glucan, etc., are controlled, beer filterability can be explained by the amount of micro-particles. In the analysis of the behavior of micro-particles in the brewing process, normally micro-particles are decreased during cooling to –1.0°C after VDK rast, but in the case of bad filterability, most micro-particles did not decrease at all. Furthermore, from the result of component analysis, it was found that the micro-particles consisted of not only beta-glucan but also protein. In order to maximize filterability we designed the malt recipe and mashing conditions considering both cytolysis and proteolysis. We also constructed the filterability prediction technique from the amount of micro-particles by utilizing the advantage of the simple and rapid measurement method. Using the predictive results, filterability can be stabilized by optimizing the filtration design so it contributes to the improvement of productivity and the reduction of production costs.

Tomoyuki Nakahama is a senior assistant brewmaster in the Suntory Tonegawa brewery. The main subject of his work is development of brewing technology. He graduated from Tokyo University with an M.S. degree in agricultural chemistry, and he was engaged in functional analysis of unique genes and proteins (sPLA2s) in a Japanese traditional mold, A. oryzae. He joined Suntory Ltd. in 2006. He now works on improvement of the filtration process, especially for the optimization of brewing conditions.