Issue 4 - March 2019

Foreword By Sandra Stelma

Sandra Stelma,
Member of the EBC Executive Team


It is my pleasure to do the foreword for this issue of the EBC Newsletter ahead of the 37th EBC Congress in Antwerp.

First a short introduction- my name is Sandra Stelma, I work for Diageo based in Dublin, at St James’s Gate, home of Guinness! I have worked in brewing research and beer production my entire career, I started off in South Africa before moving to Europe 10 years ago. Finally, I moved to Dublin almost 4 years ago where I work with my team to provide the technical support behind product innovation. At this time and on behalf of Diageo I joined both the EBC and The Brewers of Europe.

As part of the EBC Executive Team I am very much involved in the technical programming of the upcoming EBC Congress- a process that runs over months where the team review and select the best submissions and arrange this into the best possible program for all attending- no small feat, we keep trying to improve what the Congress has to offer!

The EBC Congress is for the first time combined with The Brewers of Europe Forum for its second edition. Both events open on the Sunday evening (2 June 2019), the combined events run through all of Monday and Tuesday (3 and 4 June) while the EBC Congress program goes on for the Wednesday (5 June) and closes out on the Thursday (6 June) with the technical tours- finishing in time to travel home later in the day. The entire program will be packed full of a wide range of topics with something there for everyone hopefully. There will be plenty of parallel sessions (choices!) and the team is working hard to make sure this runs smoothly.

The ambition is the provide once again the technical depth and quality that the EBC Congress is known for while broadening the scope through the added facet provided by the Brewers Forum which takes a broader look at the brewing industry. There is still time to register for one or both events. And in case it’s not clear and you still need to book your hotel- the venue is the Flanders Meeting & Convention Centre on Koningin Astridplein- right at the Antwerp Central Station.

The Congress is the most important event on the EBC calendar and as such it dominates also this foreword, but there are plenty of other activities that the EBC is involved in. EBC Analytica is now live and available via BrewUp as are many other useful resources so it is worth taking a moment to look around the site as the new portal to all matters EBC and The Brewers of Europe.

Please find the 4th issue of the EBC Newsletter below, we are always interested to hear constructive feedback so we can keep improving it.


EBC at work

Feedbacks from last EBC ET call

The EBC Executive Team organized its quarterly call on the 21st of February 2019 to review the preparation of the 37th EBC Congress, including the scientific programme and the poster exhibition and the practical arrangements. Members seem very enthusiastic about the quality of presentations and the quality of selected posters. Compared to previous years, there will be more posters exhibited during the Congress. Members also discussed the involvement of experts in the activities of the EBC Analysis Group’s sub-committees: following the meeting that was hosted at The Brewers of Europe end of November 2018 (Issue 3 of the EBC Newsletter provides more details), new experts joined the activities of the EBC and he Executive Team noted its appreciation. The EBC also discussed the two publications currently drafted for the EBC: the Manual of Good Practice on Filtration (which also reports back about the EBC Symposium on Filtration from June 2018, see Issue 1 and Issue 2 of the EBC Newsletter) which is nearing completion and the EBC Compendium on Basics Quality Analysis and Quality Control for beer whose drafting is well-advanced. These two publications should be available later on in 2019 in printed version. The EBC Executive Team will meet next during the EBC Congress.

Feedbacks from last EBC AG call

The EBC Analysis Group, under the chairmanship of Lene Bech, organized its quarterly call on the 19th of February 2019 to review the advancement of work since its last meeting with experts on the 26 and 27 of November 2018. Whilst an updated method (Method 7.4, see below) has been published on BrewUp earlier this year, chairs and experts of the sub-committees have continued the developments of a series of methods, be it under the Sub-Committee Barley & Malt, the Sub-Committee Beer & Wort, the Sub-Committee Hops or the Sub-Committee Microbiology. New experts have also joined the activities of the different sub-committees and actively take part in the work: this development was noted and encouraged by members of the EBC Analysis Group. The Chair of the Sub-Committee Sensory, Ms Jensen, informed members the Sub-Committee Sensory will soon have a first conference call to take stock and set priorities for the next few months. Experts wishing to join the Sub-Committee Sensory can find more information on its activities in the Issue 3 of the EBC Newsletter. Members of the EBC Analysis Group also agreed on the next physical meeting that will take place on the 1st and the 2nd of June, in Antwerp (Belgium) preceding the EBC Congress (2nd to 6th of June 2019):

  • Meetings of the Sub Committees Barley & Malt, Beer & Wort, Hops and Microbiology will be organized on the 1st of June with selected experts being invited;
  • The EBC Analysis Group will meet on the 2nd of June and experts having attended the Sub-Committee meetings the previous day will be invited to join.

In case you are interested in the activities of one of the EBC Analysis Group Sub-Committees, please have a look at Issue 2 of the EBC Newsletter!

Call for Participants in Ring Trial – Sub-Committee Microbiology

 Do you want to become an active member in the development and improvement of the standardized EBC methods? The Sub-Committee Microbiology is actually seeking participants for the following trials:

ASBC FastOrange 2nd Collaborative Study, International Method on Detection of Spoiler Yeasts

  • Status: already started
  • Skills needed: microbiology lab,
  • Work expected: Streak different strains on Agar plates, monitor growth by appearance, color, and size of colonies

International method on EBC Method 4.2.5. Detection of Wild Yeast, Cu-differentiation

  • Status: planned to start by end of 2019
  • Skills needed: microbiology lab,
  • Work expected in ring trial: Streak different strains on Agar plates, monitor growth by appearance, color, and size of colonies
  • We are also seeking for 2 volunteers to help planning and structuring the ring trial in theory

 New International Method: Detection of contaminants by real time PCR

  • Status: trial to be planned in 2019, ring trial to start early 2020
  • Skills needed: microbiology lab, real time PCR thermocycler – up to 2 labs can be equipped with a loaner instrument
  • Work expected in ring trial: Isolate DNA from different samples, analyze by real time PCR
  • We are also seeking for 2-3 volunteers to help planning and structuring the ring trial in theory

If you are interested, please contact the European Brewery Convention at or Mrs Gudrun Vogeser, the Chair of the Sub-Committee Microbiology, directly at

EBC news and publications

Updated Method 7.4 (as announced and launched early February – text already available)

Back in January this year, subscribers to the EBC Newsletter and to the BrewUp news alert must have received an email informing them about the recent update of the EBC Method 7.4 “Lead Conductance Value of Hops, Powers and Pellets”.

This Method now contains two updated chapters (“Procedure” and “Precision”) and is available on BrewUp. The updates cover the “Procedure” and “Precision” chapters. In the “Procedure” chapter, the extraction parameters are more specified and the method of conductometric titration has been harmonized with Method 7.5 “Bitter Substances in Hops and Hop Products: Lead Conductance Value and Total Resin, Soft Resin and Hard Resin”. The “Precision” chapter now reflects the recent results of a collaborative trial on both hops and pellets carried out in 2018 covering a broader range from low to high alpha varieties as typically used today.

The European Brewery Convention thanks Martin Biendl, chairman of the Sub-Committee Hops, and the experts involved in this update, as well as Trevor Cowley, our Technical Editor.

 This forms part of the EBC stepped-up activities on the front of the Analytica EBC: new Methods are in development and will be published on BrewUp in the coming months and some Methods will be updated to keep up with the latest brewing science developments.

EBC Events

Programme of the EBC Congress 2019 unveiled!

The EBC has put together a balanced programme which should satisfy the interests of all the participants. In summary, these are:

  1. Brewing raw materials, their improvement and selection as well as brewing behaviour,
  2. Wort production technologies and best practices,
  3. News on yeast and fermentation,
  4. Beer maturation, filtration and further downstream processing,
  5. Consumer perceptions and trends in testing (sensory, instrumentation, etc.)

As for the congress in Ljubljana in 2019, the subject of hops in all its forms, agronomic, climate-change related, aroma and bitterness analysis, as well as its mode of addition to the wort or beer by innovative brewers will once again be very much in the forefront. What is new are subjects connected to the use of wood. For one, using wooden barrels to ameliorate and create complex flavours when maturing beer in wooden barrels. And then, of course, the use of special saw-dust in kieselguhr replacement trials. That is also part and parcel of the topic of “wood” in brewing and a topic closely related to sustainability. Another thing to point out is the resurgence of the subject of malt, or more precisely, malting technology. In the last few years there were not that many submissions on that particular subject. There will be a good selection of malting papers to look forward to, going some way to addressing the predominance of hops at those type of conferences, including the EBC.

Continuity with previous congresses will be provided by having a beer and brewing materials analysis session and a session on beers styles which will make prominent mention of especially non-alcoholic beer. Terroir is a concept which has spilled over from our colleagues in the wine industry and there are indications that terroir as applied to barley and hops could be at least as important in brewing, too.

All in all there will be over 50 technical presentations and close to 130 posters at the joint EBC congress plus Brewers Forum. It also means that Brewers Forum delegates can attend lectures and inform themselves via the posters of the latest in brewing science.

Lastly, the organising team under the guidance of the EBC President, Tiago Brandão, is looking at putting a senior brewing scientists panel discussion together to reflect on achievements in brewing technology. This will then conclude the 37 EBC congress.

Register for the EBC Congress and The Brewers of Europe Forum 2019

You can register for the EBC Congress here:

Come along and bring your team!

EBC Congress 2019, european brewers event

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