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P-73. Practical application of qPCR for monitoring and improving brewery sanitation

Presenter: Leon W. Fyfe, Craft Brew Alliance
Coauthors: Jamie DeMerritt, Craft Brew Alliance, Portland, OR; Danielle Wedral, Pall Corporation, New York; Dave Schleef, Pall Corporation, Portland, OR

The growth of unpasteurized and unfiltered craft-style beers has increased the urgency around monitoring and improving brewery sanitation. The need for quicker methods, such as qPCR, provides an alternative method for detection of beerspoiling microorganisms before product is released into the marketplace. Traditional methods for detecting beer spoilers are limited and require a minimum of 5 to 7 days for results. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR) techniques, brewers can detect potential beer spoilers more quickly with higher sample throughput, as well as identify the type of spoiler they have detected. The authors will compare traditional plating methods with qPCR and describe how this information has been used to improve brewery sanitation in a large craft brewery. Actual examples from the brewery will be cited where traditional methods alone either were impractical or incapable of enumerating especially hard to detect bacteria, whereas the use of qPCR was able to identify the spoiler, as well as help identify opportunities for improved sanitation and new critical control points.

Leon Fyfe left academic research in 2011 and assumed the role of brewery microbiologist for the Craft Brew Alliance in Portland, OR. Leon’s pursuit of a life in science started after an honorable discharge in 2005 from a 12 year career as a United States Marine. Leon graduated from Washington State University with a degree in biology and is currently a graduate student in the School of Molecular Biosciences. Leon has taken an active role in the MBAA Northwest District as a member of the Technical Committee. He continues his passion for high-quality craft beer through the spirit of education and collaboration.

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