Wilbert Heijne (1), Hans Jansen (1), Marcel Jansen (1), Jozé Mutsaers (1), Sylvie Van Zandycke (2); (1) DSM, Delft, Netherlands; (2) DSM, South Bend, IN, U.S.A.

Finishing and Stability

Every brewer wishes to present their product at its best, even at the end of its shelf life. Brewers spend a lot of time and resources on producing beer that is bright since the first thing a consumer notices is the appearance. The challenge the brewmaster is facing is to keep presenting the highest quality beer, while meeting the requirements for consistency and efficiency, as well as sustainability of production, that are (albeit indirectly) demanded by the consumer these days. A lot of factors and process steps have to be managed and controlled before a beer can leave the brewery completely bright and stable. Beer brewing is a biological process involving raw materials with variable quality (impacted by weather and season), but also dictated by yeast strain and process. Beer turbidity or haze, initially or occurring during the shelf life of the packaged beer, can be caused by many substances and deviations from ideal process conditions and may present a challenge to diagnose, as well as to identify the root of the problem and resolve the issue. This paper discusses the many causes of beer haze and instability, with special focus on the organic substances that originate from malt, hops and yeast, such as the (haze-sensitive) proteins, polysaccharides including beta-glucans, arabinoxylans, starch, as well as polyphenols derived from both malt and hops. Many types of haze involve light scattering by specific substances or even particulates that arise in the final product before, but also after, packaging. Proper raw material conversion is key to clear beer and is impacted by many steps in the brewhouse. Also issues occurring from yeast management and specific strains used in relation to sometimes stressful process conditions may play a key role. These factors may be better diagnosed with the latest analytical techniques such as, but not limited to, microscopy and spectrometry, thus leading to adequate root-cause analyses in the brewery. Our observations and conclusions are based on a collection of beer samples with particular haze defects from all over the globe. Based on the latest scientific research and analytics, we propose best practices to deliver a bright beer, and highlight the most state-of-the-art beer stabilization approaches; with this, brewers will be able to greatly increase their capacity using existing equipment, while enjoying significant savings in energy and raw materials and reducing extract losses. The sustainability of beer brewing can be significantly improved with the latest technology implemented.

Born the grandson of a brewer, Wilbert studied molecular science in Wageningen, Netherlands, and specialized in biotechnology, biochemistry and bioinformatics. Wilbert joined DSM in 2005 in R&D to study industrial yeasts and fungi to improve food enzyme, biofuel and antibiotic production. Currently, Wilbert is dedicated to brewing as global coordinator of product application for DSM enzyme solutions. He manages the technical customer service and connects product innovations to the needs of the brewing industry.