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The YSI 2900 Series – Brewed to Perfection!

Many of the uses of modern scientific instrumentation can be highly specialised. It is always reassuring therefore to see highly sophisticated and brilliantly engineered machines being put to a use that everybody can understand and appreciate. The instrument in question is the impressive YSI 2900 Series of Biochemistry Analysers and the use is beer brewing (one of many diverse applications).

As even the most temperate amongst us will know, beer contains alcohol, ethyl alcohol (ethanol) to be exact. This alcohol is produced by yeast fermentation.

Fermentation in beverage production usually refers to the metabolic process by which carbohydrates are converted to alcohol and carbon dioxide. In beer making the carbohydrate is usually provided by malted barley although wheat can be added alongside the barley with some top-fermented beers.

Corn beer (Chicha de jora) is produced in South America where maize is the staple cereal. Fermentation takes around two weeks and the amount of glucose and ethanol in the fermentate at different periods of the process will help define the beer and how well the brew is progressing. It is particularly important to monitor ethanol levels when producing alcohol-free or low-alcohol beer. This starts out as a normal alcoholic beer, which is then further processed, (typically ‘cooked’) to evaporate the alcohol.

The YSI 2900 Series of biochemical analysers is ideal for testing samples for both glucose and ethanol during brewing, as results are produced rapidly using YSI’s proprietary immobilised enzyme technology. The YSI 2900 Series is very versatile and thanks to the modular approach it is possible to measure up to six ‘chemistries’ from a wide range including glutamine, glutamate, dextrose, sucrose, xylose, lactate, lactose, methanol and hydrogen peroxide as well as glucose and ethanol.

You can download an application for ethanol in beer fermentation by clicking on the PDF icon on your right.

Date added: 2015-05-25 12:27:42