Craft Beer Laboratory Skills 2: Microbiology

Craft Beer Laboratory Skills 2: Microbiology

Students in this introductory class will learn the importance of the microbiology lab to the brewery. In this class, we will explore the basic microbiological techniques used to evaluate and maintain yeast cultures for brewing. We will also cover some techniques for sampling, culturing, identifying, and enumerating common brewery contaminants. Specific examples of enriching, selective, and differential media will be discussed. Participants will gain hands-on training and experience in media preparation, inoculation techniques, basic microscopy, Gram staining, yeast assessment, and cell counting.

This course must be taught at a BioNetwork location.

Level: Intermediate
Lecture Hours: 4.00
Lab Hours: 4.00
Total Contact Hours: 8.00

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Topics Include

  • Lab safety
  • SOPs and standard methods
  • Brewery contaminants
  • Sterile technique
  • Media preparation
  • Membrane filtration and plating
  • Gram staining
  • Microscopy

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize important features of a microbiology laboratory safety program.
  • Be familiar with SOPs, ASBC methods, and the importance of clear, standardized instructions.
  • Explain the rationale for environmental monitoring and for isolating, propagating, and examining microorganisms in a brewery environment.
  • Be familiar with aseptic technique.
  • Understand the applications of general, selective, and differential growth media used in the laboratory.
  • Be familiar with common brewery contaminants, including wild yeast, Pediococcus, and Lactobacillus.
  • Gain experience with routine microbiology techniques used in the brewing laboratory.
  • Be introduced to rapid and/or automated microbial analyses, including taxonomic, biochemical, and genetic assays.


Current and prospective brewery quality control laboratory staff