Mattia, AKA half of our Italian Job, has only been at Uiltje for about a year. In that time he’s already made his way up from packaging employee to an excellent lab master (our very own Dr. Raptor if you will…). Why do we do lab work at Uiltje? And why is it so important? We asked him!
“There are lots of types of bacteria present in beer, but luckily most of them either die in the presence of alcohol or when hops are added to the beer. The bacteria that I am interested in finding are called Lactobacillus, Megasphera, and Pectinatus. These bacteria influence the taste, the smell and the overall quality of the beer as time passes. Other bad acting micro organisms, which are alcohol resistant (for example wild yeasts, and other types of yeast like Brettanomyces bruxellensis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. diastaticus) can have the same negative effects on the final product.
To keep the quality of our beer high and under control, each beer is sampled and analyzed during every step of production: during fermentation, during the lagering period, and after the beer is packaged.
Other work in the lab includes deep checking with a microscope and water analysis. Deep analysis is done with a microscope, when I’m not sure whether the outcome of the main tests is correct. So basically I check again if there are any bacteria or other microorganisms to be found in the beer. If the result with the microscope is positive, there is an infection (aka the beer is f*cked) and I must look for the source of the infection itself. This procedure is harder to explain, but it comes down to checking every single tank and every single transfer of all beers.
Water analysis relates to the presence of microorganisms that are not too dangerous for the beer. It’s simply useful for the general hygiëne of the whole brewery!”
Got any questions regarding the lab work? E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org!