Wild Yeast and Bacteria (Intentionally) in the Brewery: Preventative Measures for Cross-Contamination

MBAA TQ http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/TQ-53-3-0803-01 | VIEW ARTICLE
Nicholas R. Mader. International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland; and Fremont Brewing Company, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
As more breweries continue to develop wild yeast and barrel-aging programs, the risk for cross-contamination increases substantially. An informational survey administered to breweries that produce both conventional (Saccharomyces cerevisiae or S. pastorianus) and wild beers (Brettanomyces spp. or mixed culture) dissected common methods used to prevent cross-contamination. Feedback from 16 breweries of various production sizes addressed each brewery’s standard operating procedures to evaluate similarities and differences carried out in the following aspects: yeast propagation/handling/pitching, cellaring, filtration, carbonation, packaging, and quality assurance/quality control. From this information a baseline for preventing cross-contamination with an adherence to quality is established for breweries of all sizes. Further, brewery-focused chemical and hygiene suppliers provided insight toward sanitation and sterilization procedures, as well as eliminating beer spoilage (or enhancement) microorganisms such as Brettanomyces. Emerging technologies that improve quality assurance are also discussed in more depth.