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Beer Quality and Analysis Series: Microbiology and Beer Analysis | Quality Assurance

With one of the top fermentation science research programs in the world, Oregon State University is proud to offer a comprehensive series of world-class beer brewing science courses for professional and advanced hobbyist brewers: Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer and Quality Assurance.

Our online Beer Quality and Analysis Series course teaches you the fundamentals of basic microbiology and its role in the brewing process, and gives you the tools to analyze and evaluate beer to influence quality control in a production brewing setting.

Learn the Science of Beer

Designed for professional and advanced hobbyist brewers, Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer is an intensive learning experience, covering the fundamental techniques & microbiology essential to making the perfect brew.

Dive into six weeks of online course material that emphasizes yeast, yeast handling, identification of wort/beer spoilage organisms using microscopy, staining and differential media.

Once you have a handle on the science of beer, you'll craft your capability to analyze beer quality by evaluating the aspects of quality control in packaged beer. Additionally, data analysis and interpretation will be addressed where it pertains to a production brewery setting.

What You'll Learn

  • Microbiological techniques and American Society of Brewing Chemists Methods of Analysis used in brewing QA/QC labs.
  • Fundamental techniques for isolating, enumerating, staining, and screening brewing yeast and contaminants.
  • Official methods that can be implemented in a brewery lab.
  • How to use modern equipment to analyze wort/beer and evaluate process quality
  • Official methods used to evaluate beer production in a QA/QC lab.
  • Scientific principles behind packaged beer quality and analysis.
  • Ways to implement and analyze statistical data as it relates to brewing quality beer.
  • Quality assurance vs. quality control as it applies to a brewery.
  • Lessons from discussions with hop and barley breeders from Oregon State 

Microbiology and Beer Analysis for the Brewer

Below is the expected learning topics:

BASICS

  • Microscopy basics
  • Aseptic techniques
  • Isolation of pure cultures
  • Gram staining
  • Differential media

YEAST

  • Yeast counting
  • Assessing yeast viability
  • Forced fermentations for estimating attenuation
  • Yeast propagation
  • Data analysis and interpretation

ETHANOL

  • Wort gravity via hydrometer, densitometer and refractometry
  • Ethanol – via density + refractometry and Beer Alcolyser
  • Beer calculations – Extract of original wort, real degree of fermentation, carbohydrates, calories
  • Diacetyl measurement

PACKAGE

  • Package gases (TPO, CO2, headspace air)
  • Dissolved oxygen in beer
  • Package fill height
  • Beer clarity and color
  • IBUs in beer

The program concludes with a focus on quality assurance and brewing ingredients.

Understanding the differences between quality control and quality assurance will be the theme of the morning session. Both lecture and reading material will be used to develop skills around basic statistical analyses that can be used in a quality lab setting. With the help of statistics, a quality technician can assess the control of a brewery. This information is vital in process control with regards to maximizing product quality and output as well as minimizing waste and downtime.

A Practical Understanding of State-of-the-Art Brewing Production at Scale

While advancing your skills, you’ll explore the craft brewing culture of Oregon. We’ll show you how local breweries incorporate innovative practices, and how Oregon State’s long-running research in beer’s raw ingredients continues to influence the brewing industry today—including the Cascade hop, a type developed by the university’s researchers that’s become the most often-used hop variety by craft brewers.

Upon completion of the Beer Quality and Analysis Series, you will receive a digital badge. Share your digital badge on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms to show friends, colleagues and potential employers what you’ve learned!

calendar
New dates coming soon!
location
Online
price (2)
$1,500 (+ $60 registration fee)

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Question: What are the prerequisites? ~ Charlie D.
Answer: Though there are no specific prerequisite courses needed to participate in this class, this is a program designed for professional and advanced hobbyist brewers who want to learn the science of brewing.
Question: Is this a BJCP course? ~ Joe S.
Answer:

This course is not specifically affiliated with the BJCP program.

Question: Are there any required materials for this course?
Answer: There is one required textbook for this course. The book is Standards of Brewing by Charles Bamforth.
Question: Does the course come with a printed certificate of completion or only an online badge?
Answer: Yes, this upon completion of this Beer Quality Analysis course you will receive a certificate online that you can print out at your convenience.
Question: How quick does this beer science class fill up?
Answer:

Historically, this Beer Quality class reaches max capacity a few days before it starts.

"This course was a great way to refresh some familiar topics and expand my skill set and network! I found it especially valuable being able to discuss with industry experts such as Dr. Shellhammer and Dr. Curtin. Interacting with professors who could answer my questions about the specifics of what we did in the lab and topics we discussed in the classroom was invaluable. I also thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the barley/malting labs."

Audrey Ragle

This program helped get me hired at two different breweries. It helped me understand the approach of quality first. I recommend this Beer Quality program to a lot of people. It's reasonably priced, gets your foot in the door and trains you in skills that are required at larger breweries. Anyone can monkey around a tiny brewery, but the class gives you the tools to work in a brewery that can afford more than one full time production employee.”

Nik Stevens

This program developed new skills and understanding for essential equipment related to my field. It also boosted my confidence and credentials, and I landed a brewer position at an admired brewery a year later (Of note, I wasn't looking for a new job until about a year later, and got the first job I applied to). The program covered all the essential information, equipment and tools. It was nice to be able to talk to people in the industry and attain real experience and knowledge. I also enjoyed that I was able to prepare online prior to going to Corvallis.”

Joyce Lau

The instructors were fantastic. I have been implementing what I have learned in my job as head brewer.”

Ben Mork

Instructors

Tom Shellhammer
Beer Quality and Analysis Series

Tom Shellhammer is the Nor’Wester Professor of Fermentation Science in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Oregon State University, where he directs the brewing education component of the fermentation science program and teaches courses about brewing science and technology, beer and raw materials analyses, plus the history, business and technology of the wine, beer and spirits industries.

Jeff Clawson

Jeff Clawson is the Pilot Brewery and Food Processing Plant manager in the Department of Food Science and Technology at OSU. Additionally, he oversees the pilot brewing activities involved in all brewing research projects conducted at OSU. Jeff’s approach to teaching is via experiential learning, which encourages students to learn by doing, and he promotes a very hands-on, technical understanding of sensory analysis, beer and the brewing process.

Scott Lafontaine

Scott Lafontaine is a graduate research assistant at Oregon State University and a member of Dr. Thomas Shellhammer’s laboratory. Scott received his Master of Science in Chemistry at Oregon State University in 2015, and his Master of Science in Biotechnology in 2012. Scott is a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists and a member of the Master Brewers Association of Americas.

Past Students' Work

Take a look at some recent projects our students have created.