Beer Analysis and Quality Management


Programme fact file

Programme title: Beer Analysis and Quality Management
Qualification: 10 credits 
Start date: Jan 2017 
Duration: 4 months 
Maximum places available: Limited  
Fees: £570 Home and EU students /£1,330 International students 
Available on weekends/evenings: No  

School of Biosciences 

Programme overview

Course description

Beer quality is a key performance indicator of the entire brewing and packaging process. This course examines the key quality parameters, where and when in the process they are typically measured and the instrumental analyses which are most commonly applied. These measurements are then linked into the Quality Systems which must be put in place in the modern brewery to achieve 'Designed in Quality' and a 'Right First Time' production culture. 

Programme detail

Course details

E-learning materials are sub-divided into units as relevant for each module; the units of ‘Beer Analysis & Quality Management’ are:

Unit 1: Beer Quality: What do we wish to measure?

An introductory unit which considers the properties of wort and beer that should be measured as a part of Quality Management.

Unit 2: An Introduction to Instrumental Analysis

Basic principles of instrumental analysis are introduced (covering aspects such as instrument sensitivity, selectivity, resolution, signal to noise, reproducibility, reference methods & standards…) alongside the basic statistics of frequency distributions. These are applied to illustrate how quality specifications can be set and how these relate to the precision of measurement available. The principles of Proficiency Testing (used to validate results from an analytical facility) are introduced.

Unit 3: The Brewery Analysis Lab

This Unit takes the form of an interactive 'virtual lab' containing information about the key analyses conducted within a brewery analytical facility. As well as giving details of the analytical techniques employed there are suggestions as to where and when in the process measurements are customarily taken and representative values for parameters are given.
Beer analyses include: Ethanol (ABV, SG, OG, etc.); Beer colour & flavour attributes; Bitterness (IBU); VDK; DMS; acidity; bulk composition (protein/ carbohydrate/ ash/minerals) dissolved gases (CO2/O2); foam stability/ head retention; viscosity measurement.

Unit 4: In-line analyses

In-line measurements are increasingly important in the modern brewery using sensors capable of monitoring process conditions precisely in real-time. Hence the feedback loop for data utilisation can be automated. Here we introduce typical applications within the brewery and their principles of operation.

Unit 5: An Introduction to Quality and Specification

In this unit you will learn how beer and process specifications are formulated and how these may be used to monitor and assess product and process quality. Examples of typical values will be provided and their interpretation will be discussed.

Unit 6: Quality Control versus Quality Assurance

This unit compares and contrasts the strengths and weaknesses of quality control and quality assurance, the two commonly used approaches to managing product quality.

The e-materials will include:

  • Definitions of quality control and quality assurance.
  • The appropriateness of each quality system for different types of brewery.

Unit 7: Accreditation of Quality Systems

This unit describes how the effectiveness of quality systems may be assessed and verified using external accreditation.

The e-materials will include:

  • National and international standards for assessing process and product quality.
  • Internal and external audits.
  • Implications of non-compliance.

Unit 8: Asset Management

In this unit you will discover how the management of the equipment used in the brewing process is integrated with the quality system so as to ensure current and future product quality.

The e-materials will include:

  • What is asset management?
  • Integration of product and process management.
  • Managing revenue and capital expenditure.

Unit 9: Integrated Quality Systems and Brewery Management

In this unit you will discover how the outputs from quality systems may be integrated with the management of many aspects of the entire brewery operation.

The e-materials will include:

  • Software based systems for the management of process and product quality.
  • Integration of raw material supply, process and product demand.
  • Continuous improvement.
In addition to the e-learning, there is a 2.5 day residential.


About Sutton Bonington Campus

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The University of Nottingham,
Sutton Bonington Campus,
Sutton Bonington,
LE12 5RD


About Sutton Bonington


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