100th plenary meeting in Bitburg

The 100th meeting of the Central European Brewing Analysis Commission (MEBAK) took place on April 21, 2023, at the invitation of Bitburger Brauerei GmbH in Bitburg. In attendance were 22 members and four guests, including renowned experts such as Prof. Dr. Bianca May from Geisenheim University, John Brauer from the European Brewery Convention (EBC), Dipl.-Ing. Robert Jell from Erdinger Weißbräu Werner Brombach GmbH, and Dr. Florian Lehnhardt from the Weihenstephan Research Center for Brewing and Food Quality (BLQ).

The participants discussed a variety of topics from the field of brewing technology and exchanged their experiences. Special attention was paid to the isothermal mash at 65 °C, for which new specifications are required. It was decided that MEBAK and EBC should not make a recommendation regarding the mash procedure, but that there should be a joint meeting with all stakeholders and a joint final statement to avoid duplicate analysis with both mashing procedures in the future.

Another topic discussed was the measurement of bitter units in dry-hopped beers (Method B-400.17.110). The members agreed that currently no method recommendation can be given by MEBAK regarding the measurement of bitter units in dry-hopped beers, since the photometric measurement of IBU values does not always agree with the HPLC results of iso-alpha acids. Since the sensory impression of bitterness in the case of dry-hopping can rarely be expressed exclusively with photometric IBU or dissolved iso-alpha acids, MEBAK advises to only use this type of evaluation with caution.

Dr. Lehnhardt gave a presentation on "Formation and release of aging-relevant aldehydes in light full beers," which was a highlight of the meeting. He was unanimously accepted into the MEBAK after his presentation.

The reports of the working groups were also presented. The WG Online reported on the online method collection, which is now also available in English as of January 1, 2023. The Cereals & Malt WG reported on a new method for variety identification of barley using optical recognition. Further WG reports came from the WG Hops, the WG WüBiBiMi, the WG Microbiology, the WG Water, WG GuP and the WG Sensor Technology.

MEBAK is now also represented on LinkedIn and invites all interested parties to follow it and keep up to date with current developments and activities.

The next MEBAK meeting will take place in fall 2023.

100th Meeting in Bitburg