Whatever your brewing challenges, our expert team are on-hand to help you through them.
Check out the services we offer below or contact our support team now on +44 (0)191 549 9450.
Project Support Services
As customer tastes and choice grow, breweries, distilleries and entrepreneurs must continually innovate in order to gain or maintain a competitive edge. But bringing new beverages to market can be costly, both in terms of time and resources.
Whether you are looking to compliment your existing range with a new innovative beverage, or incorporate new ingredients for the first time, our specially-trained project support team can help fast-track new recipes to production scale quickly and at reduced cost.
Working with you we can:
- Support focus group tasting sessions.
- Develop technical brewing/distilling specifications.
- Implement new recipes at production scale.
- Produce small-scale batches for market testing.
Our brewing systems enable product development for breweries seeking small scale product batches for analysis and marketing. 30, 100 and 400 litre production units provide for scale-up from initial trials to small scale commercial production. We offer packaging options that include bottle, cask, keg and mini keg with rough and sterile filtration options. Our team are experienced in using innovative ingredients and specialist yeast strains for recipe development. Brewlab is also accredited for gluten free production.
“We were recommended Brewlab by a contact in the beer world, as we were looking to create a premium low-calorie lager. The service we received from Julio and the rest of the team was top notch. Julio guided us through the process, providing expert advice and teaching us more about the brewing process throughout. We selected one of the three variations produced and provided feedback based on product testing we had carried out. This feedback was then incorporated into the brewing document, which we were able to use to scale up production with a commercial contract brewer. We are really happy with the result and our customers seem to agree! Even now when we look to tweak our recipe or create a new batch, we reach out to Julio for any advice and he has been a trusted sounding-board throughout. We really couldn’t have got to where we are now without Julio or the rest of the team and we would highly recommend Brewlab’s services!”
We have developed distilling systems and products for a range of markets producing test batches using novel ingredients and recipes. We can analyse your raw materials and spirits and provide relevant information to perfect products and achieve quality targets for successful developments.
Contact our project support team now on +44 (0)191 549 9450.
Problems inevitably arise in brewing and Brewlab has an extensive resource of experience to rapidly identify options to investigate and solve your issues. In many cases these are microbiological whereby identifying a contaminant microbe is important so the correct treatment may be made. Our laboratory uses classical and molecular biology DNA techniques to identify contaminants and also to type your yeast strain for future comparison. Identification also assists due diligence and provides information to determine if problems have a common source.
Some problems arise from ingredients such as hydrophobin proteins on malt inducing gushing in a bottled beer and can be identified by advanced techniques. In other cases, mutation may cause a yeast strain to show anomalous characteristics. Again, we can use appropriate techniques to identify the cause.
Example case studies:
A brewery experienced over-attenuation in certain beers but not in others causing excess carbonation in bottle. Analysis of the range of beers indicated a contaminant dextrin digesting yeast present in the problem beers and originating from the yeast supply. Sourcing purer yeast provided an immediate solution.
A “worm” of slime found in a dispensed beer following a customer complaint suggested a beer line contamination. Observation of the sample indicated a community of microorganisms including lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Samples of the dispense system demonstrated the presence of a biofilm due to poor cleaning.
Brewlab conducts research into brewing topics, particularly ones relevant to small scale production. We are partnered with breweries, institutions and suppliers to develop initiatives and unique products.
Example research studies:
A long-term research project conducted in collaboration with the John Innes Research Centre has investigated the potential of the historic Chevallier barley variety. Initial work with the University of Sunderland identified the strong disease resistance of the variety and a further PhD investigated how this could be transferred in a breeding experiment to more modern varieties. The potential of Chevallier was determined using Brewlab’s production brewery providing information to support the release of the variety to the brewing trade.
Beer filtration can cause a major reduction in protein and a subsequent effect on head retention as well as blinding filters and slowing processing. Brewlab worked with a major filter producer to investigate this problem. Assessing the specific adsorption of proteins on filter materials allowed the development of materials and processes to optimise filtration and limit the effects on beer quality.
Beer line hygiene
Dispense of beers is a major area of product contamination and is critically dependent on the hygiene of the beer lines. Brewlab worked with a major manufacturer of beer lines to assess the hygiene of different polymers on biofilm production and allow the development of better dispense systems.
Brewlab can support clients of all sizes in the set-up, development and operation of their business concepts.
Our business plan support and advice includes:
- Identification of correct brewing equipment of optimum size with an estimation of costs for business plan.
- Application for Brewing License.
- Operational costing estimates for brewing premises including utilities and waste streams.
- Profit margin analysis from raw material estimates and estimated cost of production.
- Sales volume prediction and sales mix.
- Tap room set-up costing and legislative requirements.
- Identification, costing and selection of contract packagers where required.
Our brewery set-up support and advice includes:
- Sourcing and Purchasing of Brewing and Service equipment to meet all requirements of the Business Plan.
- Preparation for and installation of Brewing and Service equipment.
- Pipe layouts and engineering sourcing.
- Recipe Formulation, trial brews at Brewlab and scaling up on site.
- In-house support and training on operation of equipment and best practice.
- Duty submission requirements, HMRC
- Quality System set-up. On-site and contracted QA.
- Taste Evaluation service, tasting plans and on-site training.
- Sourcing of raw materials, chemicals, processing aids etc.
- Food Safety (HACCP) development and on-site staff training.
- Health & Safety policy and risk assessment writing. Staff training and recording. Site responsible person.
- Environmental policy, waste stream options.
- Product labelling requirements.
- Tap room personal license and premises license.
- Dispense equipment sourcing and operation.
- Access to market, on-trade and off-trade.
- Meet the Brewer events.
Ongoing support and advice includes:
- End of telephone instant support.
- Raw Material sourcing, tendering and contract negotiation.
- Supplier Auditing.
- Maintenance schedule creation and management.
- Engineering sourcing, consumables and spare parts.
- Trade effluent handling and relationships with water companies.
- Brewery Quality and Hygiene Audit.
- HACCP system review, internal audit schedules,
- Standard Application, pre-audits and staff training – SIBA FSQ, Brewlab FSQ, SALSA, BRC etc.
- Health & Safety audits, site safety audits, staff training. RIDDOR fulfilment, HSE visits.
- Equipment upscaling, process and packaging equipment sourcing.
- New Product Development, trial brewing, packaging requirements.
- Borehole Investigation.
- Identification of potential contract brewers and / or packagers.
- Project Management.
- Product labelling checking.