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Analysis of volatiles in Beer, Malt and Wort using the Scion three channel “Off-Flavor” Beer analyze

For breweries, quality control of their product is very complex. The quality of expected taste and smell of beer is at the end determined by people’s tongue and nose. Disadvantage of these highly selective and sensitive sensors is the capability for quantitation. This is required to ensure a constant quality of the product independent on the production time in the year and production location. In order to maintain a constant quality, analytical equipment like Gas Chromatography (GC) is used to identify and quantify key-flavors. A number of components need to be present with a maximum and minimum concentration to guarantee the typical flavor of the beer. Other components may not exceed a concentration level to avoid an “off–flavor”. Therefore a batch-to batch product conformance test is applied using a reference beer to validate the beer quality. Besides their contribution to the flavor, the information on component level of “off-flavors” is also highly valuable in order to identify the cause of an exceeding concentration, like a too high dimethyl sulfide (DMS) content, indicating among others the possible presence of a bacterial infection. Flavors and Off-flavors include a wide range of different chemical groups including alcohols, esters, acids, vicinal diketones and sulfides. This application note describes the headspace analysis of flavors and Off-Flavors in beer using a three channel 456-GC based analyzer.

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