Food Beverage Filtration

Identifying the Cause of a Beer Quality Issue | Case Study

Identifying the Cause of a Beer Quality Issue_Beer and Hops_Parker Bioscience Filtration

As the brewing industry is becoming more competitive, breweries of all sizes realize the importance of producing a higher quality product while keeping an eye on the bottom line at the same time. When production issues arise that jeopardize production efficiency and final product quality, immediate corrective action is critical. 

When a small brewery, which was using sterile filtration to protect beer quality and flavour, discovered that its final product was not up to standard, they called Parker Bioscience Filtration's technical support group (TSG). The TSG team works with partners in the brewing industry to solve complex challenges involving beer quality and production efficiency.

The brewery had identified that after a beer had been passed through a filtration system following a clean-in-place (CIP) cycle, the product had little or no head. Clearly, this was of significant concern.


How did Parker support the brewery?

Parker Bioscience Filtration’s TSG team observed that the brewery was using a caustic detergent containing de-foaming surfactants for CIP of its three-stage filtration system at 60°C. This solution breaks down organic matter, including fats and is therefore commonly used in brewing applications. The antifoaming surfactant components help to control any soaps and surface-active derivatives which may form, especially in processes which feature high mechanical action – such as a CIP process.

The Parker team analysed both the used filters (Parker PEPLYN NG prefilters and BEVPOR BR membrane filters) and a sample of the caustic detergent solution used in the CIP process.

It was found that while the de-foaming surfactant within the solution was soluble at an ambient temperature, it became colloidal at elevated temperatures. This was apparently due to a significantly higher turbidity measurement at 60°C compared to 45°C. After filtration of the solution through a 10µm and 1µm PEPLYN system, turbidity measurements showed a significant decrease.


Identifying the root cause

Testing showed that the colloidal de-foaming surfactant within the caustic detergent solution had been trapped and retained by the PEPLYN filters. When the beer was then passed through the filters, the residual de-foaming surfactant present on the filters removed the head from the beer.


The solution

TSG supported the brewery on-site while a new CIP regime was successfully trialed and implemented. This CIP regime did not cause residual de-foaming surfactant to be present on the filters, ensuring that the beer product retained its head after filtration.

Visit our website for more information about brewing industry products and solutions.

Amy Miller_technical support scientist_Parker Bioscience Filtration

Katy Angus_research scientist_Parker Bioscience Filtration

This post was contributed by Amy Miller, technical support scientist and Katy Angus, research scientist, Parker Bioscience Filtration, United Kingdom

Parker Bioscience Filtration offers filtration solutions to protect the quality and taste of beverage products. By working with our application experts, manufacturers can develop a tailored solution to ensure their beverage is free from contamination, full of flavour and visibly clear. 


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