beer fingerprinting program 103017

We want to try a beer experiment with you as our first pilot program…what happens when you make a detailed analysis of your beer and the yeast starter you used to make that beer (what we call the “beer fingerprint” that captures unique data), then compare the results with a beer flavor profile?

Our philosophy is that beer can be improved by identifying key relationships between variables (taken from the beer and yeast analysis) and flavor over time (we recommend 6-12 months for meaningful data).  Now we don’t know exactly which variables are going to be important for your beer, but we can help you figure this out.  For example, if you make the same beer every month, you could use this program to identify why the beer in August was so damn good. Which variables contribute to making your best beer? The information learned can be translated to revise your process for all your beers, not just this one. 

Here’s how it works:

1. Send us one bottle or can (other containers of similar volume are fine) of your beer and at least 100 mL of the yeast starter used to make that beer.  Send us the yeast as soon as you’ve pitched it and the beer whenever that is ready, or we might be able to do a free pickup.  Instructions here.

2. We do a full analysis of your beer and yeast by running the following tests (see the Analytical, Microbiology and Molecular Biology, and Yeast Health and Fermentation pages on our website for details) below:

BEER tests

Analytical
Alcohol By Volume (ABV)
Int’l Bitterness Units (IBU)
Color (SRM)
Fermentable sugars
Free Amino Nitrogen
Lactic Acid (D+L)
pH
Starch
Sulfur dioxide
Diacetyl (tested quantitatively via a 3rd party lab using the ASBC 25B method)

Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Selective plating contaminant testing (quantitative and comprehensive)
Contamination identification of three contaminant colonies if you have any (you can pay to do more)

YEAST tests

Yeast Health and Fermentation
Yeast viability (percent of the population that is alive)
Yeast vitality (percent of the population that is metabolically active)
Glycogen test
Respiratory (petite) mutant test
Population diversity

Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Selective plating contaminant testing (quantitative and comprehensive)
Contamination identification of three contaminant colonies if you have any (you can pay to do more)

3. You do a flavor profile on your beer (preferably with a BJCP judge or certified cicerone) and can write down your notes using this AHA/BJCP beer scoresheet as a guide.  Obviously it would be awesome to test every possible beer flavor and off-flavor with high tech equipment, but this is a pilot program and we need support to make that happen someday.  So…we will also do a beer flavor profile on your beer with some friends anonymously, but keep in mind that everyone tastes beer differently and this is not our expertise.  You can request our tasting report if you’re curious.

4. You will get a detailed datasheet / lab report from us for your beer and yeast sample.  Expect to see some graphs and nerdy brewing science photos.

After seeing trends over time, you can then begin to ask questions such as:

  • Why was that beer in August so damn good and was it because I used a fresh batch of viable and vital yeast?
  • Is the higher than expected diacetyl in my beer due to contamination or yeast health or did I not do the diacetyl rest for long enough?
  • How did this barrel aged beer get so sour and why are my taste buds shrinking?

Until November 10th, the introductory price for doing a full analysis on one beer and yeast sample is only $300 (the normal price is well over $500), then the price will increase.  We hope you enjoy the program and get meaningful results.  Cheers!

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