Scribe Reports

Opening Session

  • Jeff Cornell opened the meeting, standing in for President Fred Strachan. After brief Board introductions, the recommendation of Christina Schoenberger for the office of Vice President was approved. Jeff also reviewed the ASBC mission and vision and spoke to the importance of volunteerism as the “engine” of how we grow and develop our capabilities as an organization.
  • Christine White then took us through some highlights of the Tucson meeting, the 75th ASBC Annual Meeting. In addition to setting the stage for the days to come, she took the opportunity to thank the many people involved in putting together a program with such strong content.
  • Next, Cindy-Lou Lakenburges took to the podium to announce award winners, a true highlight of the morning. Dr. David Ryder was brought on stage to introduce and present the Award of Distinction to Patrick Ting for his many accomplishments and contributions in the field of hop chemistry and to ASBC. Following that, Cindy-Lou presented the Award of Distinction to Steve Nelson who recently retired from the role of ASBC Executive Officer. Steve has been instrumental in the support and evolution of ASBC in the 22 years he was in that role. Finally, the Eric Kneen Memorial Award was presented to Dr. Eric J. Samp of MillerCoors for his outstanding paper, “Possible Roles of the Mitochondria in Sulfur Dioxide Production by Lager Yeast,” published in the Journal of the ASBC, Vol. 70, No. 4, pp 219-220.
  • Our opening session was capped off by a dynamic and engaging keynote speech by Susannah Thompson, Navigate International Consulting, titled “What’s NEXT: 4 Steps for Innovating for the Future.” Susannah shared her experiences with the practice of innovation and armed us with some powerful tools we can apply to our own innovation and ideation processes.

All About Cider: A Tale of Microbes from a Cider Master’s Perspective Workshop

All About Cider: A Tale of Microbes from a Cider Master’s Perspective Workshop Bruce Nissen, Crispin Cider Master, and Jason Pratt, MillerCoors, gave an informative presentation about cider production and a sneak-peak into cider-making at Crispin.

  • A “hard cider” is defined as a still wine primarily from apples or apple concentrate and water
    • Apple juice (or the equivalent amount of concentrate reconstituted to the original Brix of the juice prior to concentration) must represent more than 50% of the volume of the finished product
    • Containing no other fruit product nor an artificial product that imparts a fruit flavor other than apple Containing at least 0.5% and less than 7% alcohol by volume
    • Cider containing less than 50% apple juice is taxed at a rate equal to still wine at less than 14% alcohol, but it can still be called a cider on the label
    • Hard cider excise tax rate = $0.226 per gallon; wine excise tax rate = $1.07 per gallon (14% ABV max); beer excise tax rate = $0.584 per gallon
  • Cider is fermented like wine and finished like beer—it’s wine for beer drinkers and beer for wine drinkers
  • The cider-making process from orchard to bottle consists of the following basic steps:
    • Fruit selection
    • Juice pressing
    • Must preparation
    • Fermentation
    • Blending
    • Filtration
    • Carbonation
    • Packaging/pasteurization
  • Apple juice can be sourced in different forms, each having pros and cons—apple juice concentrate, pasteurized juice, reconstituted juice, and fresh, unpasteurized juice. Juice aromatics can vary greatly depending on its form.
  • The analytical parameters evaluated in juice include Brix, total acidity, pH, yeast/mold, and sensory characteristics. The microbiological load of apple juice is important in cider production and is dependent on type/physical state of fruit, apple cultivar, storage temperature, and length of storage time.
  • Yeast strain has a dramatic impact on flavor, and selection is style-dependent. At the Crispin cidery, white wine yeast is the base yeast, but other strains, including Belgian Ale, Irish Ale, Sake, Belgian Wit, and Pilsner yeast, are employed. In contrast to brewing, yeast used for ciders is not repitched.
  • Fermentation at Crispin generally takes 2.5-3 weeks in controlled temperature conditions. Process parameters that are monitored include alcohol, Brix, pH, and free sulfur dioxide.
  • At blending, various ingredients may be added to add flavor, complexity, and/or stability to the final product. Some of these ingredients include fresh apple juice, water, artificial color, potassium sorbate/benzoate, natural flavors, and artificial flavors.
  • Cider may be filtered or not, and there are several means of yeasts removal, which any brewer would recognize. Carbonation is added in the tank prior to packaging and finished in the final package. Crispin products are pasteurized under 30 PU.
  • The workshop was concluded with a sampling of six Crispin ciders, each with a unique and delicious flavor signature!

Continuous Learnings on Barrel-Aged Beers: A Journey through a Fishbone Diagram Workshop

  • The purpose of the workshop was to explore the viability of the concept of membership-constructed online Fishbones.
  • Greg Casey first gave an overview of the online Fishbone References for Applied Brewing Scientists on the ASBC website. Currently the ASBC Fishbones largely focus on producing lager-style beers and are structured by process: malting processes, brewing processes, packaging processes, and distributing processes.
  • To expand the scope with topics unique to craft-style products, Greg challenged the audience to generate a list of responses of interest for barrel-aged beers. From the list, the major themes were the barrels and their process, such as age, processing, and pretreatment of barrels.
  • The topic was then refined to the effect of the barrel on the flavor profile. Issues raised included barrel material, sealants, pretreatments, tasting, turns of the barrel, assaying for microflora, inoculum, sensory attributes, and the consumers’ lexicon.
  • The next steps are to capture the topics from the workshop in a fishbone format and post it on the ASBC website in a collaborative site where the membership can contribute additional learnings throughout the year. The content will then be reviewed and expanded during a workshop at the 2014 meeting in Chicago. Ideas for additional categories of beer and responses of interest can also be submitted for construction of new fishbone diagrams.

Gluten Workshop

  • Gluten is a general term covering a number of proteins—in barley it is hordein.
  • Celiac disease affects 1.8 million people, with an estimated 1.4 million additional people undiagnosed. The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet.
  • The method of detection for gluten should tie closely to the level of sensitivity of the person.
  • Beer can be brewed with barley and enzymatically treated to reduce the gluten concentration to low levels.
  • There are also a number of gluten-free grains that can be used to brew beer (e.g., millet, sorghum, rice, maize, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, teff). The beer will have interesting flavors but will not necessarily have the predominant flavors that Americans are familiar with.
  • The TTB is waiting for the FDA final ruling before publishing gluten labeling requirements in beer.

Hops: The Age-Old Seasoning and Flavoring “Soul of Beer” Workshop

Michael Qian presentation:

  • Flavor chemistry of hop aroma compounds
    • Maturity and cultivar lead to changes in oil levels
  • Hydrocarbons make little contributions to beer aroma
    • Lost during dry hopping
  • Linalool, geraniol—impact compounds (R-linalool)
  • Terpene alcohols exist as hop glycosides
  • Yeast biotransformation plays a major role

Tom Shellhammer presentation:

  • Essential oils increase throughout maturation period—regardless of variety
  • Late hop harvest = better aroma in beer
  • HSI climbs as they stay on the vine
  • Farm, variety, annual, all are variables
  • Willamette more dynamic than Cascade in terms of hop oils
  • Location × time × variety interaction
  • Sensory: consumers like typical hop harvest with cascade

Ruslan Hofmann presentation:

  • Condensate recovery during hop kilning—possible aroma compounds
  • Heat recovery increases efficiency of kilning process
  • Valuable compounds lost and recovered on carbon filter

Mark Zunkel presentation:

  • Hop Flavor Database as part of ASBC MOA
  • Very complex relationships and threshold data
  • Reference ASBC website in future for more information

Indigenous Spirits Journey Workshop

Distilled spirits consultant Steve Wright led workshop attendees on a spirited journey into the popular distilled beverages of North and South America. Beginning in Canada, passing through Central America and finishing in Chile and Peru, Steve discussed the production methods and taste characteristics of well-known traditional distilled beverages of various countries. Product samples were included to enhance the learning experience.

  • Canada and the United States – Whisk(e)y
  • Mexican State of Jalisco – Tequila
  • Caribbean islands – Rum
  • Brazil – Cachaça
  • Peru and Chile – Pisco

The Americas are home to many distinctive distilled spirits products whose origins and production methods are steeped in tradition. Many generations of distillers have refined the production practices and crafted the original primitive spirits into world-class spirits categories and world-class brands.

The detailed report on the discussion is posted in the annual meeting proceedings.

Personalized Genomics for Brewing Yeasts Workshop

  • Troehls Prahl started the workshop by providing a sensorial demonstration of the impact of yeast strain on beer flavor. Wort that had been fermented by two different yeasts was provided to delegates to demonstrate some of the potential yeast-dependent flavors that can be produced.
  • Barbara Dunn continued by describing diversity in relation to the possible origins of brewing yeast strains. She described how modern lager strains are most likely derived from an interspecies hybridization event between a Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain and a strain potentially belonging to the species S. eubayanus. Furthermore, Barbara showed evidence to suggest that this event may have happened more than once, with the formation of lager subgroups known as Saaz and Frohberg; most lager production strains belong to the latter group. Finally, Barbara described how the genetic differences between strains offer an opportunity for rapid differentiation or identification of yeasts.
  • The workshop was concluded by Kevin Verstrepen who discussed the impact of yeast genomics on brewing yeast stability and the potential for new flavor production. Kevin provided evidence to show that many brewing strains can often develop alterations in chromosome length (chromosome length polymorphisms or CLPs) that can lead to changes in performance. However, the likelihood of developing these is lower than for other “wild” yeasts such as Brettanomyces spp. Kevin also discussed the future opportunities of metagenomics (biomining of the “total” genetic information in cell populations) to discover novel enzymes that could be used for the production of specific flavors, such as those involved in ester synthesis. Finally, Kevin briefly described how studies on the yeast genome may shed light on human evolution, as the use of yeast for food production has often mirrored civilization development and human migration patterns.