How’s the beer?
The taste is the identity, the brand and the core asset of a beer. Consistency is essential.
Technological advances in chemical analysis have elucidated the mechanisms governing the taste of beer.
The key determinants of flavour are taste and aroma. These sensations are caused by the activation of receptors in the olfactory bulb and taste buds located in the nose and mouth respectively. The nature of this activation by beer is governed by the precise chemistry of the liquid.
Key parameters of beer
When alcohol falls out of is desired range it can have a significant impact on the taste of the beer. We offer analysis in line with the AOAC Methods (GC-FID), a much more accurate quantifier as compared to the conventional specific gravity test.
Organic acids are key indicators of flavour and fragrance. Moreover, they can also have an impact on the overall stability of the taste of beer as undesirable organic acids can catalyse staleness. We offer an analysis screen of the major organic acids of significance.
Iso-alpha acids derived from hop analysis provide the characteristic bitter taste of beer. Our measurement with a UV-Visible spectrophotometer measures the bitterness to the International Bitterness Units (IBU) standard. Further analysis of alpha and beta acids in hops through detailed HPLC analysis is also offered.
The colour of beer is it’s face. Even though it can be judged by the eye, we can offer a more accurate result on what the colour of the beer is and whether it is consistent with previous beers produced.
Analysis of carbohydrates is important at various stages of the beer production line. Monitoring of fermentable sugars at the mashing step is important for estimating the alcohol production downstream. Analysing the carbohydrate profile at the end of the production line can be a good indicator for taste –particularly sweetness. We can offer analysis solutions at various steps of the production line.
A whole host of flavour components are derived from the Maillard reaction, for which amino acids are the key substrate. Knowing what amino acids are present in the malt, can indicate whether certain flavours such as caramel will appear in the beer.
Vicinal diketones (e.g. diacetyl) are removed from the brewing mix during the maturation process, as they provide unwanted buttery flavours. Henceforth screening for vicinal diketones can indicate whether a beer has matured, as well as providing cues on the efficiency of the process itself.
Esters are the most significant taste component in many beers, particularly ales and wheat beers. An example is Isoamyl acetate which is responsible for the banana-like flavour found in beer. Testing for esters can guarantee that the taste of beer is goodto hit the shelf.
Other testing parameters
Raw materials testing
Cereal grains go through a process called “malting”, where the grains are made to germinate to develop the enzymes required for the breakdown on starches in the mashing process. Unwanted impurities may be produced in the malting process, and end up in the final beer product. ACS is able to screen for unwanted compounds such as phenols, S-methylmethionine (SMM), N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), 3-monochloropropanediol, 4-Methylimidazole and Acrylamide.
The flowers of the plant Humulus lupulus is the source of hops which are added to the brewing process. The chemical components of the hops play a large influence on the flavor of the beer. ACS can screen for chemical components such as alpha acids, beta acids, terpenes and flavinoids of hops.