Three Microbes that will F$%& Your Beer Up!!!
This presentation will talk about three microbes – two bacteria and one yeast – that can cause major issues for your beer and your brewery’s reputation if these contaminants hit the shelves in your brands.
The first is Pectinatus frisingensis, an under-known strict anaerobe, which means it can’t survive the presence of oxygen. Despite their sensitivity to oxygen, once they find a niche in your brewery, they can survive for months, even years. Growing slowly in the beer, issues with sewer-like aromas from sulfur metabolites can be seen across multiple sensitive brands.
The next is Levilactobacillus brevis (formerly Lactobacillus brevis), the most common spoilage Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB). Commonly known to carry hop resistance and drop the pH, some strains have unusual impacts beyond just souring the beer.
Finally, we will dive into dealing with Saccharomyces cerevisiae variant diastaticus, or “diastaticus” for short. Sometimes used intentionally for Belgian and Saison style beers, diastaticus contamination in other brands will cause off flavors at minimum, and in extreme situations, exploding packages!
In addition to covering the impact they can have on the beer, some of the techniques that are used in the lab to find and detect these organisms to keep your beer safe will be described. This includes recommended media for isolation via plating, the basics of PCR testing, and commonly identified areas of concern in the brewery. By the end of the talk, you should understand why it is important to look for these microbes as well as the tools you will need to do so.
Matt Linske is the Manager and Lead Microbiologist for Brewing and Distilling Analytical Services, LLC (BDAS), where he helps producers with both hunting down troublesome microbes and routine testing. Since he started with BDAS in 2012, Matt has helped to grow the business, leading an expansion to a second facility in Denver, CO in 2019, which he currently manages and operates. Over his career, Matt has been an active volunteer with several industry professional groups and has given presentations at conferences with the American Society of Brewing Chemists, Brewer’s Association, and Master Brewers Association of the Americas. As the industry evolves, he continues to help producers detect and face the shifting challenges presented along the way.