Store craft beer in a cool place and consume it as fresh as possible

January 14, 2019

A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) shows that craft beer should be kept cool and consumed as fresh as possible. After three months, cold stored beer already loses more than one third of an important hop odorant which characterizes the typical aroma of many craft beers. Storage at room temperature causes the concentration of this substance to decrease even more significantly.

Martin Steinhaus and Klaas Reglitz from the Leibniz LSB@TUM recently published their findings in the journal BrewingScience, doi.org/10.23763/BRSC18-13STEINHAUS.

Craft beer is not only popular in the US

Craft beer plays a big role, especially in the US, but is also becoming increasingly popular in Germany. Not only the craftsmanship, but also a strong hop aroma distinguishes many craft beers from mainstream beers. Brewmasters achieve the latter by an additional, late addition of hops to the young beer. In this so-called "dry hopping", a substance with the complicated name 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one plays a special role. Its odor is reminiscent of black currant berries. Just a few nanograms (ng) of the odorant per liter are enough to significantly influence the beer aroma. As previous analyses of the two scientists show, some new American hop varieties in particular contain larger amounts of this substance. These include varieties such as Citra, Eureka, Simcoe and Apollo.

What changes when the beer ages

For the first time, the aroma researchers Steinhaus and Reglitz have quantitatively determined how the content of the odor active compound changes during beer storage. To do this, they used a highly sensitive method, especially developed for the analysis of this substance. The researchers examined both filtered and unfiltered dry-hopped craft beer. During the study period of six months, the researchers stored the beer consistently at 5 and 20 degrees Celsius.

At the beginning of the investigation, the filtered beer contained 22 ng/kg of the odor active hop compound. The concentration in unfiltered beer was slightly lower at 15 ng/kg. After three months at 5 degrees Celsius, the content had decreased to 59 and 67 percent of the original content. For the beer stored at 20 degrees Celsius, the losses were significantly larger. The concentrations even decreased to 30 and 40 percent in this case. After a further three months storage time, the concentrations in all samples had decreased even more, in some cases to only 2 ng/kg.

"Anyone who prefers a beer with a strong hop aroma should not store craft beer for long," concludes Reglitz, who studied Brewing and Beverage Technology in Weihenstephan.

Craft beer and German Purity Law

"We have always had craft beers in Bavaria. They are brewed according to the German Purity Law. This means that the brewer must not use anything other than malt, hops, water and yeast," says Steinhaus, the principal investigator of this study. Reglitz adds: "In order to create unique beers with a special character but without any additional ingredients, you need extensive knowledge. For example, you need to know which odor active compounds are present in the different hop varieties, how high their content is, how they affect beer aroma, and how they change during the brewing process and storage."
-end-
Publications:

Reglitz K, Lemke N, Hanke S and Steinhaus M (2018) Brewing Science 71: 96-99. On the behavior of the important hop odorant 4-mercapto-4-methylpentan-2-one (4MMP) during dry hopping and during storage of dry hopped beer doi.org/10.23763/BRSC18-13STEINHAUS https://www.brewingscience.de/index.php?tpl=table_of_contents&year=2018&edition=0011%252F0012&article=92220 The full article can be requested from PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus or Dr. Klaas Reglitz.

Read also:

Reglitz K, Steinhaus M (2017) J Agric Food Chem 65: 2364-2372. Quantitation of 4-methyl-4-sulfanylpentan-2-one (4MSP) in hops by a stable isotope dilution assay in combination with GC×GC-TOFMS: method development and application to study the influence of variety, provenance, harvest year, and processing on 4MSP concentrations

Contact:

PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus
Section I
Head of the Work group
Sensory Systems Chemistry
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich
Lise-Meitner-Str. 34
85354 Freising
Germany
Tel.: +49 8161 71-2991
Email: martin.steinhaus@tum.de

Dr. Klaas Reglitz
Section I
Work group
Sensory Systems Chemistry
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich
Lise-Meitner-Str. 34
85354 Freising
Germany
Tel.: +49 8161 71-2931
Email: k.reglitz.leibniz-lsb@tum.de

Press Officer:

Dr. Gisela Olias
Press and Public Relations
Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich
Lise-Meitner-Str. 34
85354 Freising
Germany
Tel.: +49 8161 71-2980
Email: g.olias.leibniz-lsb@tum.de
http://www.leibniz-lsb.de

The Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) has a unique research profile. Its researchers combine methods of basic biomolecular research with analytical methods of bioinformatics and analytical high-performance technologies. Their goal is to decode the complex ingredient profiles from raw materials to the final food products and to elucidate their function as biological active molecules on humans. Based on their studies, the scientists develop products, which are as healthy as they are tasty. These foods will help to provide a sustainable and sufficient stream of food for future generations. In addition, the new scientific findings will be used to develop personalized nutritional concepts that, for example, help people with food intolerance without compromising quality of life and endangering their health.

The Leibniz LSB@TUM is a member of the Leibniz Association, which connects 95 independent research institutions. Their orientation ranges from the natural sciences, engineering and environmental sciences through economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes devote themselves to social, economic and ecological issues. They conduct knowledge-oriented and application-oriented research, also in the overlapping Leibniz research networks, are or maintain scientific infrastructures and offer research-based services. The Leibniz Association focuses on knowledge transfer, especially with the Leibniz Research Museums. It advises and informs politics, science, business and the public. Leibniz institutions maintain close cooperation with universities - among others, in the form of the Leibniz Science Campuses, industry and other partners in Germany and abroad. They are subject to a transparent and independent review process. Due to their national significance, the federal government and the federal states jointly fund the institutes of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Institutes employ around 19,100 people, including 9,900 scientists. The entire budget of all the institutes is more than 1.9 billion euros.

Leibniz-Institut für Lebensmittel-Systembiologie an der TU München

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Store craft beer in a cool place and consume it as fresh as possible
A new study by the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (Leibniz-LSB@TUM) shows that craft beer should be kept cool and consumed as fresh as possible.

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