The following is a list of current research projects that are being investigated as part of state or industrially funded programs.
One of three still unexplained phenomena in the beer and beverage industry is the gushing of beer when correctly opening the container. One research focus is on how to suppress the microorganisms that are transported from the field or that are present during steeping.
Turbidity is desired in Kellerbier and cloudy Hefeweizen beers but unwanted in previously filtered products. Several issues are being studied at the Research Center: how to obtain stable permanent turbidity, how to avoid turbidity arising, and what is the source of turbidity?
Modern manufacturing methods
One ultimate aim of this work is the continuous brewing method. However, this requires the ingredients used to consistently be the same quality, which is not always a given with natural products. For this reason, the path is leading towards grist fractionation to ensure the necessary minimum requirements of malt ingredients.
Another extraction route is being sought using dispersion units which should increase the yields and transfer rates of the used ingredients of malt, unmalted grain, and hops.
Non-alcoholic beers are, and continue to be, a perennial issue. As yet it has not been possible to produce a beer that comes close to normal beer in terms of taste and odor. At the Research Center, we have developed and tested different technologies for this purpose, and compared these with the large, certified tasting panel using modern sensory methods.
Alternative extract providers
Barley and its malt is a very high percentage of the beer's extract provider. There is also a variety of other extract providers and a very large variety of functionalities that these alternatives can offer. Besides economic aspects, this relates to characteristics such as color, foam, mineral, vitamin, gluten, purine content, etc..
Alternative fermentation methods
Fermentation is a key parameter at the Research Center. Specifically, the interaction between the substrate and the fermenting microorganism. And always with an overview of the entire system and the required product quality. In addition to alcohol-producing organisms, the properties of acid-forming organisms are also tested to discover if they have further functionalities such as additional gluten or purine decomposition.
Sensory perception is a special focus at the Research Center. In addition to studying the impact of different flavors, research is also undertaken into the impact of external stimuli on sensory perception.
One of the major topic areas continues to be filtration and, in particular, filterability. Research projects are not only based on alternative filtration aids but also on suitable predictors.
A very rapidly developing fermented beverage is fermented apple juice (cider). A special feature is the high degree of acidity of the original substrate. The Research Center is using different strategies, for example, to substantially reduce the sensorialy detectable malate content.
Barrel ageing is an elegant method of influencing the flavor of beer (as well as other grain-based products). The application to date is almost entirely empirical. At the Research Center this topic is systematically addressed in relation to flavor and fermentation.
Molecular biological, physiological and brewing technological characterization of brewery yeast strains – utilizing brewing yeast strain diversity
Every yeast strain is different and each yeast strain can be used to produce a unique beer. Established and “newly isolated” yeast strains are characterized according to a newly developed standardized characterization formula in terms of phenotype and genetics, with a focus on the fermentation properties.
Isolation and characterization of novel Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces brewing yeasts from various origins (yeast pursuit)
The Research Center collects yeast strains from around the world, including from abandoned brewery cellars, old beer bottles, used brewing equipment, indigenous beverages, historical brewing ingredients, etc. Those strains are then characterized and standardized according to a specially developed formula.
Yeast viability and vitality determination
Yeast fitness is at the core of optimum beer production. The live/dead ratio (viability) of yeasts and their metabolic activity (vitality) can be measured in the most diverse methods. The main goal is to select the best methods for specific practical issues. The Research Center is always investigating new methods and has also implemented several established procedures as accredited methods of analysis.
Optimizing yeast management
Every yeast propagation system needs to be optimized and adapted to the specific business and yeast strain. Similarly, yeast harvesting, preservation and cultivation processes also need to be individually tailored. The yeast always needs to be “well treated” in the complex brewing process. The Research Center is available to work together with you on improving your yeast management.
Species identification and strain differentiation of spoilage microorganisms – method development
Novel beer and beverage spoilage bacteria emerge time and again. Often their spoilage potential increases over time. Identification at a species and strain level provides tools to localize and evaluate harmful organisms. On this basis, individual stage-by-stage controls can be established or modified.
Specialist culture medium development
Novel beer and beverage spoilage bacteria emerge from time to time. Some of these bacteria require unique culture requirements or incubation conditions. In this case the Research Center Weihenstephan develops specifically adapted culture media to detect specific bacteria or bacterial fractions.
Rapid detection method development
The Research Center develops rapid detection methods to qualitatively and quantitatively detect harmful and beneficial bacterial from the most diverse substrates, also optimizing sample preparation for the individual problem.
Microorganism deactivation strategies
Bacterial deactivation using anti-microbial substances, disinfection, temperature, high pressure, sterile filtration and other physical effects is part of technical beverage routine. Some bacteria are more difficult to deactivate than others. The Research Center develops individual control strategies and also investigates bacteria in terms of their resistance to specific deactivation strategies.
Starter culture selection for specific innovative fermentation processes
The Research Center collects yeast strains, bacteria and isolated molds from around the world from brewing ingredients, abandoned brewery cellars, old beer bottles, used brewing equipment, indigenous beverage processes, and historical brewing ingredients. These microorganisms are purified along with the “established strains” and form the basis for alternative, innovative fermentation methods. These methods create fermented beverages with the most varied properties (non-alcoholic beverages, intensely flavored beverages, beverages with specific ingredients etc.).