Turning up the heat on bad tasting beer

IBERS researchers have collaborated with scientists from Dijon, France to try to solve the problem of bad tasting beer.

According to the research paper – beer brewers face a tricky problem. The high level of activity in the yeast used to produce beer generates a lot of heat during the brewing process raising the temperature at the bottom of brewing vats. Unfortunately yeast often suffers damage to their structure at these high temperatures, and this damage gives the beer a bad taste. beer 6 (3)

The research shows that how much food is provided to the yeast during exposure to hot temperatures is the key to keeping the yeast healthy.

Employing a new approach to this problem – flow cytometry – which uses laser technology to automatically measure cells in a liquid, Dr. Hazel Davey from IBERS, said:

“This technique enabled us to study hundreds of thousands of cells in a few seconds, allowing us to identify damaged yeast cells and work out which conditions improved their survival. We showed that damage can sometimes be reversed in the right conditions. Our lab strain of yeast recovers well if provided with nutrients during the hot conditions, whereas the brewers’ yeast shows better recovery in the absence of nutrients.”