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Wort Boiling and Fermentation

Course code


Course type



Level 11



Senior course leader

Jane White



Course Aims

This course aims to:

Production Process

  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the selection, breeding and development of hop varieties, their biological and chemical structure and their harvesting and storage
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the science and technology of the brewing processes and operations, from wort boiling through to the end of primary fermentation
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of yeast (Saccharomyces sp), the science of fermentation and how yeast is managed in the brewery
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of the microorganisms which may be considered to be contaminants in the brewing and distilling processes, and introduce those that may be utilised in a growing number of beer styles

Product Quality

  • Introduce the concept of beer properties: flavour and physical stability, analytical methodology, and flavour assessment.
  • Understand the overall processes involved in the production of alcoholic drinks and be able to critically assess how their processing influences the organoleptic and analytical properties of the final products.

Health and Wellbeing

  • Understand the legal definitions of alcoholic drinks and the legislation governing their production and sale.
  • Explore the medical evidence for and against alcohol in the human diet and the concepts of safe, moderate and excessive drinking.

Practical Experience

  • Carrying out a project related to the pilot plant
  • Designing and specifying product recipes for the production of a particular beer type
  • Provide experience of the critical evaluation of the organoleptic properties of products.
  • Development of microbiological skills and methods of detection for microbial contaminants
  • Enable students to work as a team and to develop team-working skills
  • Provide students with expertise in project report writing
  • Important - for IDL students these learning outcomes will be met during their summer school experience (compulsory attendance during the course of their studies prior to graduation).

Learning Outcomes

Outcome Category (see details below)

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Interpret data from current scientific and technological research on brewhouse and fermentation processes
  • Evaluate and compare the processing aids and, raw materials, used in hopped wort production and fermentation using current scientific research
  • Judge alcoholic beverages through the use of recognised flavour assessment techniques, applying the correct statistical analysis in the presentation of data.
  • Use appropriate techniques to identify microorganisms in the brewing and distilling industries and determine how final product quality may be protected.
  • Critically evaluate medical evidence on alcohol in diet against the historical perspective, and interpret within the framework of traditional definitions and relevant legislation
  • Interpret brewhouse and fermentation data, discussing their significance, draw conclusions and argue their implications for the industrial process

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Write a brewing report developing skills for writing academic papers and professional reports.
  • Appreciate the role of alcoholic drinks on the health of society, and on an individual basis, assessing their own roles in the publics perception of the alcohol industry
  • Organise a flavour evaluation session, interpret the results and present the relevant conclusions.
  • Learn to work alone and in teams, manage time and prioritise workloads.

Learning outcome categories

Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills
Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research-Informed Learning)
Industrial, Commercial and Professional Practice
Autonomy, accountability and working with others
Communication, Numeracy and ICT

Course Availability

This course is available at the following locations:

Location Study Period
September (Semester 1)
September (Semester 1)

Related programmes

This course can be taken as part of the following programmes:

Programme Code Title
Brewing and Distilling, MSc
Brewing and Distilling, PgDip
Brewing and Distilling with Entrepreneurship, MSc
Brewing and Distilling with Entrepreneurship,, PgDip
Course Version: 2.0