Brewing Intensification Through the Lens of the Craft Brewer

Graham G. Stewart. International Centre for Brewing and Distilling (ICBD), Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH14 4AS.
Traditionally, beer brewing has been a conservative, slow process. As a result of financial and efficiency pressures on the industry, lean manufacturing concepts have progressively been adopted. This has resulted in the development of brewing intensification procedures by a number of major brewing companies. The craft brewing sector of the industry (the definition of which is currently unclear) did not consider that the introduction of various aspects of brewing intensification was advisable or even necessary until recently. However, the current exponential growth of this sector has presented it with a number of capacity problems that have resulted in many of these breweries adopting brewing intensification concepts. Initiatives being adopted include increased rates of wort fermentation and final attenuation, high quality yeast viability and yeast vitality, decreased maturation times, enhanced beer quality and stability, and a plethora of high-gravity brewing procedures. All of these practices, if adopted, must ensure that beer quality is protected and that the procedures also enhance production efficiency. Aspects of these procedures are discussed.

Keywords: Brewing intensification, Esters, High-gravity brewing, Stress, Wort sugars, Yeast management

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