Turbid Beer

Avoid such Risk by Continuous and Targeted Routine Control

(Naturally) Turbid beer is produced by many breweries in different types as a speciality product. But turbid beer also may be a source of complaint – in the case when beer spoiling bacteria or yeasts proliferate in the finished container. The good news: With regular and targeted process control, turbid beer can be avoided. If a contamination with a beer spoiler is known, it is essential to localize the source of contamination instantly to prevent spoilage of the following batches.

The Problem

Naturally beer is regarded as a microbiological stable product so the group of real beer spoilers is quite limited. Only such microorganisms which are satisfied with the poor offer of nutrients, which have adapted to the low pH and besides are able to live without oxygen may proliferate and lead to turbidity in the finished beer. Most problematic is a contamination with slow growing bacteria or yeasts. Those often may stay hidden some weeks in a latency period without proliferation before they suddenly cause area wide turbidity within a few days, mostly in all containers of a lot.

The Solutions

Out of the bacteria group, there are mostly the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus backii, L. lindneri or Pediococcus, rarely also appearing Pectinatus or Megasphaera, which cause time-delayed beer spoilage. Those lactic acid bacteria often are noticed only by producing visible turbidity, while they stay neutral in odor and taste. The two latter genera are easily detectable by their penetrating odor resembling decay, sewage, or vomit.

From the group of spoilage yeasts there are mainly occurring Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus or Dekkera (Brettanomyces). It may take even moths until a contamination with Dekkera breaks out. In case of yeast contamination there is always a high risk of burst. The reason: Yeasts – as the brewer’s yeast does – are often producing high levels of CO2 during fermentation.

When tracking a contamination through the process line, PCR analysis is by far the most helpful method. Only with its comparable results – species of spoilers and their concentration ratio – a reliable localization of potential contamination sources is possible.

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PIKA Services

Microbiology Analyses

We are fast and competent in doing routine analyses as enrichments, determination of colony counts and the differentiation of microorganisms – service and quality are most important for us. Of course we respond to your requirements and always deliver prompt and reliable results – if necessary, even through weekends.

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DNA Analyses with PCR

Spoilt product or positive enrichments are further discriminated – fast and specific by PCR analyses the same day as the samples are received. We further identify unknown bacteria, yeasts or molds from product or the production area within 3 to 5 days by DNA sequencing.

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Broad Process Consultancy

Our work does not end at the analysis result, we further advise you how to deal with a contamination and propose the next steps to minimize the risk for further batches in your production line. You can also count on us when optimizing your routine quality control measures.

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PIKA Products

FastOrange B

PIKA FastOrange is a nutrient medium which was developed especially for the detection of beer spoiling microorganisms in beer and through the whole production process. Following the one-for-all principle, it can be used for enrichment of all brewery samples.

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FastOrange Yeast

The enrichment medium FastOrange Yeast was specifically developed for use in the food and beverage industry as well as in breweries and wineries. In this medium both yeasts and molds are growing.

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PCR Kits B

PIKA Detection Kits B were developed for routine control of products and the process line. With Screening Kits, groups of different bacteria which can spoil a product are specifically targeted together. And so even the costs stay within limits.

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PCR Kits H

Our Detection Kits H are optimized for the analysis of beer as well as of sugar containing food and beverages. With only one easy, feasible test the whole spectrum of yeasts and molds can be checked in one single analysis.

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PIKA Weihenstephan – your partner in microbiology for beverage production
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