NNEK14004U Fundamentals of beer brewing and wine making

Volume 2014/2015
MSc Programme in Food Science and Technology

Theme 1: Raw material for beer brewing
The taxonomy of the barley genus will be covered with a focus on the phylogenetic structure of the genus. Examples and prospects for (re)introduction of valuable traits in barley cultivars from wild relatives will be discussed. Molecular and biochemical aspects of grain filling, starch accumulation, amylase expression is covered in relation to malting and the development of technical enzymes for malting. Hops, types and cultivars.
Theme 2: The vine and the grapes
The biochemical/physiological basis for canopy management. Grape anatomy, extraction, designing technical enzymes as extraction aids. Analysis of non-volatile components of wine and must.
Theme 3: Pest, disease and infection
Diseases and infections and their vectors. Resistance genes, and how to use these in breeding and engineering.
Theme 4: Flavor and aroma compounds - sensory science
Metabolomics of natural products in must and wine; analysis of volatile compounds, and identification of signature aroma and flavor compounds for different grape varieties. Oxidation, aging and promotion of wine maturation by enzymes.
Theme 5: Natural products: pigments and flavors
Regulation of pigment biosynthesis. Yeast and process derived aroma compounds. Aroma compound assays of predictive value. Technical enzymes as extraction aids. Glycosylation of pigments and aroma compounds. Beta-glucan sequestering of natural products, and the engineering of heat-stable beta-glucanases.
Theme 6: Fermentation
The molecular biology of baker’s yeast. Barley malt and the biochemistry of the fermentation process. Malolactic fermentation. Metabolomics of the fermentation process. PCR-identification of yeast strains and the effect of strains on taste and flavor.

Learning Outcome

The primary outcome will be a sound knowledge of the biochemistry that underlies beer brewing and winemaking and the analytical techniques that support production.

•    Demonstrate an ability to apply cell biology understanding to properties and processes in grape and grain of relevance to wine and beer
Describe biochemical pathways leading to important components of beer and wine
•   Describe biotransformations of compounds during fermentation.
•   Demonstrate overview of spectroscopic and chemical analytical techniques used to guide production.
•   Understand the molecular basis for resistance against pests and disease.

•    Students with biotechnology background will be able to apply their knowledge for the development of new technical enzymes and ingredients used in beer and winemaking while the students with food science or horticulture background will employ these tools diligently.
•    Apply their knowledge of yeast and malolactic bacteria for strain development, selection and use.
•    Implement existing spectroscopic or analytical methods, or develop new methods for monitoring components, processes and biotransformations in beer and winemaking.
•    Apply their understanding of pest and resistance genes in plant breeding.

•    Work independently and make intelligent use of scientific literature also from fields outside brewing and winemaking
•    Be theoretically prepared and qualified for applied courses in brewing and winemaking

Primary scientific papers and reviews will accompany all lectures, demonstrations and exercises. These papers define the curriculum and are thus exam relevant.

A bachelor degree in biotechnology, food science, horticulture or equivalent an education.
Any bachelor degree (biology, chemical engineering, horticulture ....) that endows the student with basic knowledge in biology, chemistry and biochemistry
The core teaching is comprised of lectures delivered by a wide range of speakers, including invited international guest lecturers. These are supplemented by journal clubs and practicals in the form of demonstrations and tastings.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 4
  • Lectures
  • 50
  • Practical exercises
  • 9
  • Practical exercises
  • 122
  • Theory exercises
  • 21
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 minutes
Exam registration requirements
Participants will do groupwise miniprojects. Oral exam is individual. It is a requirement that the miniproject report has been submitted before the deadline
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Exam period
Exam week at the end of block 1, typically first week of November
Criteria for exam assesment

First half of the exam regards the miniproject report; second part regards a randomly drawn paper from the curriculum. The purpose of the miniproject report examination is firstly to ascertain accountability of the report as whole and secondly to gauge the student's ability think analytically and scientifically about the subject matter of the miniproject. The latter also applies to the examination based on a scientific paper. This measures the students understanding in other areas than that of the miniproject.