Brewing microbiology

Brewing microbiology

Clients are able to select a level of service according to their requirements: the 'basic' service will consist of a 1-plate analysis giving a basic answer; a more detailed result will be obtained by choosing the 'intermediate' service based on a 2-plate analysis; the 'advanced' service will give the most comprehensive result with samples being analysed on 4 media.

The cost for the analysis will depend on the level of service selected. Additionally, two rates of discount will apply if more than 4 or more than 19 samples are submitted.

A simple report showing the total number of micro-organisms detected will be issued. If required, a more in-depth interpretation of results (e.g. presumptive identification of organisms, advice as to actions to take) can be provided by the brewing experts at Nutfield for an additional charge.

Brewing microbiology services we offer include:

Brewing yeast management

Yeast strain characteristics can change during prolonged use. Such changes can alter process performance and subsequently the quality of the beer produced. Campden BRI Brewing Division can help you to check the quality of your culture so protect your brand from risk of change.

We offer the best in yeast culture management, storage and despatch facilities to ensure our customers have a safe and stable deposit of their brewing yeast strains.

  • Long-term liquid nitrogen yeast storage system
  • Yeast despatch service to routinely supply breweries with new cultures
  • Strain characterisation by Chromosome DNA fingerprinting.
  • Microbiological purity checks of yeast cultures
  • Identification of number of yeast strains and their ratio

Cellar and Dispense Hygiene

The importance of good cellar management is widely understood within the brewing industry and it has long been recognised that poor dispense hygiene is detrimental to beer quality. Many products and systems are now available in the market which claim to improve dispense hygiene and to save money.

The comparative evaluation of the efficacy of such systems is often carried out in operating bars where results maybe susceptible to many uncontrolled factors and where it is not always possible to incorporate essential measurements such as microbiological assays and sensory analysis.

In response to the industry's need to critically evaluate competing products, Campden BRI has established standard methods for evaluating cellar and dispense hygiene procedures.

  • Does cleaner damage dispense compoents?
  • Cleanability
  • Taste taints and appearance.
  • Test in Trade

Campden BRI 'Model' Biofilm and Test Protocols

Most hygiene problems associated within beer dispense systems are caused by the occurrence of a slimy coating of microorganisms, or, biofilm. To allow reproducible product evaluation, it is essential to be able to artificially generate such a biofilm. Campden BRI have generated such a system, allowing trials to be developed to evaluate the cleanability and hygienic design of dispense systems or components. Using this system also allows comparative studies to evaluate the efficacy of cleaning procedures, agents and preventative equipment.

Campden BRI Dispense Hygiene Test Facility

Campden BRI now has a purpose built test bar facility and has introduced a portfolio of standard protocols. The standard tests provide both in-house scientific trials and intrade field evaluations of products, systems and components and are based both on sound scientific principles and extensive experience of evaluating dispense products.

Fermentation research services

The Campden BRI fermentation suite is a state-of-the-art facility for the investigation of all aspects of brewery fermentation. For example, our small scale reactors enable flexible and sophisticated control of a wide variety of operating conditions.

The suite is used for the following types of applications:

  • Optimisation of any aspect of commercial yeast fermentation
  • Evaluation of stress responses in yeast fermentation
  • Feasibility studies for new product development
  • Feasibility studies for new equipment development, e.g. on-line viable cell counters
  • Evaluation of genetically modified yeast strains
  • Development and optimisation of yeast propagation
  • 'Vitality' testing of yeast populations

Any of these approaches can also be combined with our pilot plant facilities, our yeast molecular biology expertise and our comprehensive sensory science and analytical services in order to meet with your exact requirements.

Microbiogical auditing

Risk management is critical to business success. Poor hygiene standards ultimately result in product spoilage leading to expensive product recall and damage to a brand image.

Campden BRI's microbiological auditing service is specifically designed to minimise this risk, thus:

  • Reducing costs of trade returns
  • Improving product quality and consistency
  • Enhancing customer image through independent impartial auditing

Case studies

In order to secure supermarket beer contracts, a brewery was asked to provide independent evidence of hygienic manufacturing conditions. We carried out microbiological quality analyses, which indicated high quality operations. This greatly assisted the brewery's efforts to win contract business.

A brewing company was experiencing substantial returns due to microbial spoilage. A Campden BRI audit identified the contamination sources. Process changes were duly implemented to improve hygiene, resulting in reduced returns of about ca. 40%.

Yeast molecular biology services

Campden BRI has a state-of-the-art facility for the investigation of aspects of brewing yeast genetics and molecular detection methods for microbes. We use a number of molecular applications to provide a range of services for our clients, which include:

  • CHEF Karyotyping: Chromosomal characterisation of brewing yeast
  • Real Time qPCR for detection and identification of contaminants

These are complemented by our brewing yeast management and fermentation research services to provide a complete one-stop shop for all aspects of brewing yeasts.

For further information or prices please contact us:

Submit a sample

For guidance on how and where to send samples, please see our sample guidance page

Sample guidance

Brewing training courses

Explore our brewing related courses including; Brewing – an introduction and HACCP for craft brewers

View courses

Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation

The Campden BRI group companies listed below are both accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO17025:2017 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope of methods, specific to each site, as detailed in the schedules of accreditation bearing the testing laboratory number. The schedules may be revised from time to time and reissued by UKAS. The most recent issue of the schedules are available from the UKAS website www.ukas.com

Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207