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Brewing Science Laboratory
Brewing Science Laboratory

"I highly recommend this book to any brewer looking to start or grow quality into his or her brewery operations."
—Dana Sedin, PhD, ASBC President, 2018-2019, New Belgium Brewing Company, Quality Assurance

  • Provides a great introduction to the importance of a brewery laboratory for brewing science students and novice brewers and a handy reference manual for experienced professionals

  • Offers practical advice for establishing a laboratory and QA program and a solid foundation of scientific information supported by many helpful tables, diagrams, and photos


Item No. 96360
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Have you ever considered how your favorite beer always tastes the same, even though different bottles come from batches brewed months or even years apart? One of the most important characteristics of a good beer is consistency, and consistency is a key element in quality. Breweries achieve consistency through work done in the lab.

Laboratories serve a vital role in quality assurance (QA) and beer production. They check product quality, perform routine analyses on various stages of the production line, and eliminate health hazards. Labs also evaluate beer for consistency and trueness to specific requirements laid out by the brewery. Large breweries use their labs for research experiments to discover new technologies, methods, and ways to improve production. A lab with a proper quality program can prevent product recalls and even keep a brewery from going out of business.

In The Brewing Science Laboratory, authors Sean E. Johnson and Michael D. Mosher provide a solid foundation of scientific information plus the practical knowledge needed to create and operate a successful brewery laboratory. Utilizing an easy-to-understand format and a conversational tone, the authors introduce the fundamentals of chemistry, microbiology, and sensory. This approach is not only ideal for brewing science students and novice brewers, who may not be familiar with these topics, but also for more experienced readers, who will appreciate reviewing the basics.

Johnson and Mosher also explain the steps in implementing a QA program and present both the associated costs and the science behind the analysis. In addition, the authors address how to work within an established laboratory, how to perform proper laboratory techniques, and what instruments and equipment are needed to provide accurate and precise measurements. Readers will also learn about data management, laboratory safety, and laboratory capabilities. And throughout the discussion, the authors offer practical advice to brewers—for example, when to buy which instruments when following a tight budget.

The authors also introduce ASBC tools such as the Beer Flavor Wheel, the fishbone diagrams, and the ASBC Methods of Analysis to familiarize readers with the resources available to maintain quality, consistency, and safety. Chapter 15 contains streamlined versions of 30 ASBC methods that provide concise directions for preparing reagents, step-by-step instructions on conducting analyses, and reproducible worksheets on which to record data. Throughout the book, key terms are highlighted in the text and defined in the adjacent margin, and all the terms are compiled in a glossary.

The Brewing Science Laboratory was written for students interested in entering the brewing industry as quality control technicians. However, the information it provides will be valuable to small brewery owners and even more advanced brewers interested in increasing their laboratories’ output. As both a textbook and a reference manual, The Brewing Science Laboratory is an ideal resource for brewers of all experience levels.

The Brewing Science Laboratory

Chapter 1 Introduction

Overview of the Brewing Process

Maintaining Quality
Measuring Quality
Investing in Quality

Chapter 2 Implementing Safety and Quality

What Is HACCP?
Implementing a Successful HACCP Program
American Society of Brewing Chemists

ASBC Methods of Analysis

What’s Wrong with My Beer?

Common Off-Flavors
How to Attack Off-Flavors
Using New Ingredients (or the Same Ingredient from Another Supplier)

Chapter 3 The Brewery Laboratory

The Brewery Laboratory

Overview of the Lab
Do You Need a Scientist?
Who Performs QA Procedures?

The Design of a Brewery Laboratory

Space Requirements
Supplies and Chemicals
Laboratory Safety
Fire Safety
Common Instruments

A Brewery on a Budget

The Essentials Are Based on Your QC Requirements
A Lab for Under $10,000
A Lab for Under $1,000

Chapter 4 The Chemistry Behind the Analysis

Essentials of Chemistry

Atoms and Radioactivity
Drawing Atoms
Ions: Atoms with Charges
Combining Atoms
Writing Chemical Formulas
Collections of Atoms
Calculating Ions in Water
Chemical Reactions
Line Drawings
Organic Molecules in Brewing

Chapter 5 Essentials of Biology and Biochemistry

The Barley Seed
The Hop Cone
Wort: The Perfect Growing Environment
Types of Microorganisms
The Yeast Cell
Basic Metabolism

The Krebs Cycle
Oxidative Phosphorylation
Requirements for Metabolism

Chapter 6 Working in the Lab

Laboratory Glassware

Types of Glassware
The Meniscus
Using Graduated Glassware
Using Volumetric Glassware
Filtering Liquids

Handling Chemicals

Obtaining the Mass of a Solid or Liquid
Obtaining the Volume of a Liquid
Preparing a Solution from a Solid
Preparing a Solution by Dilution
Distilling Liquids

Handling Microbes

Sterile Versus Sanitized Versus Clean
Glassware Used in the Micro Lab
Proper Use of the Microscope
Petri Dishes and Agar
Broths and Growing Yeast

Chapter 7 Instruments and the Laboratory

Instruments in the Laboratory

Instruments Versus Equipment
Pros of Using Instruments for Analysis
Cons of Using Instruments for Analysis

Laboratory Conditions for Optimal Instrument Operation

Electrical Power

Instrument Upkeep and Maintenance

Chapter 8 Reporting Your Results

Graphing with Microsoft Excel or Another Spreadsheet Program

Entering Results
Standard Curves
Plotting Results, Cumulative Sum Charts, and Trending

Tables and Record Keeping

Using Functions

Macros and Advanced Excel Functions

Programming 101

Chapter 9 Sensory Analysis

Keeping a Sensory Notebook
Appearance: Making a First Impression
Flavor: Training the Palate
Aroma: A Key Component of Taste
The Sensation of Tasting
Aroma and Overall Flavor

Sensory Thresholds
Sensory Overload

How to Set up Your First Sensory Panel

Trusting Your Panel

Types of Sensory Analysis

Triangle Test
Paired Comparison Test
Tetrad Test
Threshold Test

Performing Sensory Analysis

Chapter 10 Colorimetric Analysis

Eyes Are the Instrument

People as Instruments
Testing for Presence Versus Testing Against a Standard

Making a Reference Chart

Colorimeter Setup
Minimum and Maximum Concentrations

Colorimetric Methods

Chapter 11 Spectrophotometric Analysis

What Is a Wavelength?

Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, and Beyond
Relationship to Colorimetric Methods

General Instrument Design

Fixed or Single Wavelength
Continuous Wave
Fourier Transform

Infrared Analysis

Pros and Cons of Infrared Analysis
Using Infrared Analysis in Brewing

UV-Vis Analysis

Pros and Cons of UV-Vis Analysis
Using UV-Vis Analysis in Brewing

Chapter 12 Chromatography

Polar Versus Nonpolar

London Dispersion Forces, Dipole–Dipole Forces, and Hydrogen Bonding
Mobile and Stationary Phases

General Instrument Design

Thin-Layer Chromatography
Gas Chromatography
High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

Chapter 13 Other Instruments in the Brewery Laboratory

Density Meters

Gravimetric Density Meters
Coriolis Density Meters

Foam Measurements

Chapter 14 Microbes

Early Research and Inventions
Sterilization Revisited
Microbes and the Brewing Process
Making Media

Broths, Plates, and Slants

Growing Microbes

Liquid Media
Solid Media
Aseptic Sampling
Membrane Filtration

Identifying Bacteria

Reading Plates
Gram Stainings
Polymerase Chain Reaction

Chapter 15 Data Sheets for ASBC Methods of Analysis

ASBC Malt 4: Extract
ASBC Malt 6A: Diastatic Power
ASBC Malt 6B: Diastatic Power (Rapid Method)
ASBC Malt 15B: Grist—By Manual Sieve
ASBC Hops 6A: α- and β-Acids in Hops and Hop Pellets—α- and β-Acids by Spectrophotometry
ASBC Hops 13: Total Essential Oils in Hops and Hop Pellets by Steam Distillation
ASBC Hops 15: Iso-α-Acids in Isomerized Hop Pellets by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography 1993
ASBC Hops 17: Hop Essential Oils by Capillary Gas Chromatography–Flame Ionization Detection
ASBC Wort 5: Yeast Fermentable Extract
ASBC Wort 12: Free Amino Nitrogen (International Method)
ASBC Wort 22: Wort and Beer Fermentable and Total Carbohydrates by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
ASBC Wort 23A: Wort Bitterness—Bitterness Units by Spectrophotometry
ASBC Wort 23C: Wort Bitterness—Iso-α-Acids in Wort by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
ASBC Beer 4A: Alcohol—Beer and Distillate Measured Volumetrically
ASBC Beer 4C: Alcohol—Alcohol Determined Refractometrically
ASBC Beer 4D: Alcohol—Ethanol Determined by Gas Chromatography
ASBC Beer 10A: Color—Spectrophotometric Color Method
ASBC Beer 11C: Protein—By Spectrophotometer
ASBC Beer 13C: Dissolved Carbon Dioxide—Manometric/Volumetric Method
ASBC Beer 22A: Foam Collapse Rate—Sigma Value Method (Modified Carlsberg Method)
ASBC Beer 23A: Beer Bitterness—Bitterness Units (International Method)
ASBC Beer 23C: Beer Bitterness—Iso-α-Acids by Solid-Phase Extraction and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography
ASBC Beer 25D: Diacetyl—Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer Method
ASBC Beer 38: Magnesium and Calcium
ASBC Yeast 4: Microscopic Yeast Cell Counting
ASBC Yeast 6: Yeast Viability by Slide Culture
ASBC Yeast 9: Morphology of Giant Yeast Colonies (International Method)
ASBC Yeast 11B: Flocculation—Absorbance Method
ASBC Sensory Analysis 7: Triangle Test (International Method)
ASBC Sensory Analysis 18: Tetrad Test



“I highly recommend this book to any brewer looking to start or grow quality into his or her brewery operations.”
—Dana Sedin, PhD, ASBC President, 2018–2019, New Belgium Brewing Company, Quality Assurance

60-Day Evaluation for Instructors

Educators may review The Brewing Science Laboratory for consideration as a course textbook.

Educators inside the U.S. - Examine the book free for 60 days with no obligation to purchase. You will receive the book along with an invoice. If you choose to keep the book, but not adopt it for your class, simply pay the invoice. If you choose to adopt the book for your class, keep the book with compliments of ASBC when you write “Complimentary Desk Copy” on your invoice and return it with a photocopy of your bookstore order or bookstore requisition form for 10 or more copies of the textbook. If you decide not to adopt the book for your class and you do not wish to keep the book for your personal use, simply return the book with a copy of your invoice and write cancel on the invoice.

Educators outside the U.S. – Purchase the book online now and if you choose to adopt the book for class, e-mail or mail a photocopy of your bookstore order or bookstore requisition form for 10 or more copies of the textbook and ASBC and ask ASBC to provide a refund for the book. If you decide not to adopt the book for your class and you do not wish to keep the book for your personal use, simply return the book with a copy of your invoice within 60-days of the order date and write cancel on the invoice. You will receive a refund for the price of the book.

Contact ASBC Customer Care to request a 60-day examination copy.

Call 1.800.328.7560 U.S. and Canada (+1.651.454.7250 elsewhere) or send an e-mail to

Please include name of course, name of institution, your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and the name of the book.

Publish Date: 2020
Format: 8.5” x 11” spiral-bound softcover
ISBN: 978-1-881696-36-0
Pages: 358
Images: 122 images
Publication Weight: 3 lbs

By Sean E. Johnson and Michael D. Mosher

The Brewing Science Laboratory

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