We’ve compiled some of the most common questions about our laboratory and quality services. If you can’t find the informaiton you’re looking for on our website, please get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss requirements and any questions you have.

What do I need to provide for an ABV analysis?

It is essential to know the alcohol content of a finished beverage before it goes to market for duty purposes and to satisfy HMRC requirements. Completing this analysis on a regular basis can provide valuable data to the consistency of the product with any deviating results providing early indications of possible complications such as fermentation problems, or inefficiencies in the mashing process.

We can carry out the analysis on beer, cocktails, wines, cider, liquors, kombucha and a range of other beverages.

We require a 330ml sample and it generally takes 2 to 3 days on receipt for results to be ready. The customer receives an official Brewlab report confirming the result. Sample pots are available on request.


What do I need to provide for a Microbiological analysis?

Understanding the microbiological hygiene of your brewery and products helps prevent contamination and potential flavour faults. Samples can be submitted from any part of the brewing process and can identify where any potential infection is occurring.

We require a 20ml sample for a four-plate analysis plus yeast count. It generally takes 7 days on receipt for results to be ready. The customer receives an official Brewlab report confirming the result. Sample pots are available on request.


Why should I consider using Brewlab’s secure yeast storage facilities?

This service will isolate your strain(s) of yeast to provide backup and regular consistent supply of your specific yeast. This will mitigate any risks associated with yeast contamination and will allow you to maintain recipe formulation and brand consistency.


What are the advantages of using liquid yeast culture from Brewlab?

This service will provide a contaminant free yeast culture of high count and viability suitable for the size of your brewing needs. This will mitigate the costs associated with maintaining an in-house yeast propagation plant, saving you valuable time and money. Innovative and differentiated cultures such as lactic acid bacteria are also available.


What are shelf life trials and what do I need to provide?

This service assesses characteristics of your product and can demonstrate how it will behave once in package for a defined period. We can trial microbial activity, flavour and colour stability.

This can be carried out on various packaged beer including bottles and cans. It costs £38.99 and we require a separate packaged product per analysis. The customer receives an official Brewlab report confirming the result.


What beverages do Brewlab offer analysis services on?

Brewlab can provide laboratory analysis for a range of beverages, not just beer! If you’re looking for routine or advanced testing on products like wine, spirits, cocktails, cider, liqueurs or kombucha please get in touch for a quote and timescale. If you have a different beverage, please get in touch as we may be able to assist.

Our testing can provide proof your products are on specification and as legally declared to HMRC. If you’re experiencing quality issues, we can help identify them and offer practical solutions.


What advanced services do Brewlab offer for my yeast?

Fermentation Studies

This service will define the optimal growth conditions for your yeast taking into consideration variable factors specific to your situation such as; oxygen levels, alcohol tolerance etc. This will provide you with accurate data on how your yeast performs in a given situation improving your operational efficiency.

Strain Screening and Isolation

Certain species of yeast and bacteria have to be identified to produce novel, differentiated beer types and consistent brewing recipes. This service applies cutting edge molecular biology techniques, allowing you to identify any particular bacterial or yeast strain so you can optimise recipe formulation and brewhouse efficiency.

Strain Characterisation

A detailed understanding of microbial fermentation characteristics such as flocculation and sedimentation is important for understanding fermentation efficiency and flavour development. This service applies microbiological techniques to genetically identify typical strain characteristics, allowing you to optimise fermentation processes and flavour production.

Specific Genome Analysis

The presence of specific genes in microorganisms can have a big impact upon fermentation, stability and flavour development. Targeting specific genes and their presence in your strains will allow you to further understand your yeast, allowing you to optimise fermentation processes making gains in efficiency.


What is a Brewlab Due Diligence Package?

Brewlab can work with you to tailor a custom analysis package that will ensure you brew consistently high-quality products to specification, every time.

Using information about your plant, equipment, products and schedule, the plan will cover all your brewing analysis requirements from basic chemical understanding through to advanced genomic microbiological control.

The plan gives you confidence and ensures compliance with industry codes of practice such as SIBA. It can cover HM revenue and customs requirements and demonstrate quality control and brewery standards to prospective trade clients.

Our Due Diligence packages qualify for a discount from our normal list prices.

You can choose how long the plan will last and the frequency of sample submissions. Once set up, Brewlab manages the plan for you and sends you sample pots with instructions.


What advanced analysis services do Brewlab offer?

Taste Profile

Taste profile is a form of organoleptic analysis that provides a comprehensive breakdown of the flavours and faults our professionally trained and respected tasters can pick up. The results are displayed in a clear and easy to understand manner using a spider graph; rating the strength of the flavours and faults picked up. A brief description of the beer is also provided on the document put together by the head taster; this can be used to help provide accurate descriptions of your beer to the market as well as ensuring that the product is correct to desired specification.

Gluten

A gluten intolerance or sensitivity is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat and certain other grains. If you have a gluten intolerance, it’s important to avoid foods that contain gluten.

Dried, germinated barley, what is referred to as barley malt, is a major ingredient in any kind of normal beer. As beer is brewed, the malt goes through various stages, being mashed, boiled and fermented. At each stage, the gluten content of the malt drops, so the final bottled result has much lower levels than the raw malt.

The gluten levels in a product can be labelled as follows.

<20 are classed as gluten free, <100 are classed as low in gluten.

Nutritional Analysis

The nutrition facts label is required on most packaged food in many countries. Most countries also release overall nutrition guides for general educational purposes. Nutrition facts labels are only one of many types of food label required by regulation or applied by manufacturers.

Heavy Metal

Heavy metal contaminants are one prevalent type of water pollutant. They are persistent in the environment once discharged and removal from source waters is necessary to ensure a clean drinking water supply.

The problem of heavy metal pollution arises from several sources. Heavy metals such as uranium can naturally exist in ground water. Lead can be present as a result of lead solder in copper piping. Mercury and cadmium can be a result of power plant emissions.

Additionally, a variety of industrial processes can produce problematic heavy metal concentrations in discharged water from factories that are harmful to humans and can contaminate agricultural land.

Diastaticus

This contamination results in fermentation of dextrin sugars and gushing of bottles, casks and kegs due to excess carbonation. It often takes weeks to show and is a hazard as beers have often been released to trade before it is evident. Contamination is most evident in live cask and bottled conditioned beers but may be present in filtered beers if hygiene is compromised during filling. Our test uses advanced DNA PCR methods to detect low levels of contamination and can be rapid to give you direct feedback on products and reassurance on your brewing environment.

Acquire the skills and knowledge you need to succeed

From a one-day taster session to a nine-week intensive residential course. Whatever your brewing aspirations, Brewlab training is internationally recognised as one of the best ways to acquire the skills and knowledge you need.

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