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Make our laboratory YOUR laboratory.  Send us YOUR beer!  

 

The Short’s Brewing Company Quality Lab is now up for grabs (kind of). Due to an increase in capacity and some fancy new equipment, we’re now happy to be able to offer the same advanced lab services we use, to small breweries, wineries, cideries, and of course homebrewers! Our beer analysis services can help brewers to refine their recipes and create more consistent, quality products. Services include alcohol and calorie content determinations, IBU, pH, various microbiological tests and more! Check out our full list of services below.

 

Short’s lab services are professional and confidential. Results from contracted lab services will never be shared internally or externally. If you have any questions, please contact us! (Select ‘Quality’ in the drop down menu of the contact form).

 

To place an order, print and fill out this ORDER FORM. Mail or drop off the form, sample, and payment (cash or check) to 211 Industrial Park Dr., Elk Rapids, MI 49629. Sorry, no credit cards. Turn around times vary and are listed on the order form. Samples can be delivered to Short’s production facility from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday excluding holidays.

 

We look forward to testing your beer!

 

ORDER FORM

 

 

IBU


International Bitterness Units testing will determine how bitter your beer is.  The information from this test is useful for measuring batch consistency, determining utilization of the hops you are using and can help with hopping protocols.

 

Price: $20

Required Sample Size: 8 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods: Beer 23-A (Isooctane extraction)

 

 

Alcohol, Calorie and Extract


This analysis provides: alcohol by volume (ABV), alcohol by weight (ABW), density, apparent extract, real extract, calories, real degree of fermentation (RDF) and apparent degree of fermentation (ADF). ABV is essential for TTB label submissions, and all of this information can be used to determine if you hit the right efficiencies in your mash and if your beer fermented properly according to gravity values.  

 

Price: $25

Required Sample Size: 8 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products, collected using aseptic technique.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods: Beer 2-B (By Digital Density Meter); Beer 4-G (Near-Infrared and Original Extract Content)

 

 

Color


Color analysis provides beer color values according to the Standard Reference Method (SRM) and the European Brewing Convention (EBC).  Many factors can affect the color and clarity of your beer, such as changes in grain and/or adjunct suppliers, so tracking this value can help you to confirm consistency from batch to batch and troubleshoot any potential problems with ingredients. Values reported are L* A* B* colorspace, EBC, SRM and Lovibond.

 

Price: $10

Required Sample Size: 8 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods: Beer 10-A (Spectrophotometric Color Method)

 

 

pH

 

This value changes throughout the fermentation process and can affect flavor and microbial growth. This helps to monitor fermentation performance and knowing this throughout the process can help with consistency and can help with troubleshooting finicky fermentations.

Price: $10

Required Sample Size: 8 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products collected using aseptic technique.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods: Beer 9 (Hydrogen Ion Concentration)

 

 

Batch Analysis

 

IBU, alcohol/calorie/extract, color and pH tests.

Price: $50

Required Sample Size: 16 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods:

Beer 23-A (Isooctane extraction)

Beer 2-B (By Digital Density Meter); Beer 4-G (Near-Infrared and Original Extract Content)

Beer 10-A (Spectrophotometric Color Method)

Beer 9 (Hydrogen Ion Concentration)

 

 

Dissolved Oxygen

 

Knowing the dissolved oxygen (DO) content of your finished product is important for product quality and consistency.  Oxidation is an additive process and knowing the oxygen content of the finished product can help maximize shelf life and limit off flavors from developing in the bottle or can.  

Price: $20

Required Sample Size:  Finished bottle or can of almost any size (no growlers or crowlers).

Sample Type: Finished product only.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

Methods: HACH Orbisphere 3100 portable oxygen meter

 

 

Carbonation and Headspace Oxygen

 

Knowing the carbonation of your finished product can help you determine carbonation loss caused from your filler.  This is also important for product quality and consistency.

Price: $20

Required Sample Size:  Finished bottle or can of almost any size (no growlers or crowlers).

Sample Type: Finished product only.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

Methods: Modified Nagel-Zahm device

 

 

Microbiology (LMDA/WLD/WLN/HLP)

 

Samples collected during brewing and packaging can be cultured to detect contaminants. It is important to monitor what is in your beer at every step of the brewing process in order to detect possible areas of contamination.   Using special media – some developed by companies with the brewer in mind – we can gather information that will tell us a lot about yeast health, whether your beer contains beer spoilage organisms and whether those organisms are acid producing bacteria or wild yeast.  Keep in mind, this method will not pinpoint exactly which organism(s) are causing issue in the brew, but for a little extra cost this method does allow us to isolate any unwanted organism(s) and then that sample can be sent off to a lab that has PCR capabilities. However, this method does reveal a lot about what is in your brew and can illuminate if and where further action needs to be taken, without PCR.     

Price: Ranges from $40-$120 depending on scope/target.  Price will be decided after initial consultation.

Required Sample Size:  Finished bottle or can OR 8 oz sample collected using aseptic technique.

Sample Type: 8 oz sample collected using aseptic technique.

Turnaround Time: Approximately three business days.

ASBC Methods:

Microbiological Control 1. Aseptic Sampling

Microbiological Control 2. Detection of Microorganisms

Microbiological Control 5. Differential Culture Media

 

 

Complete QC Package (+)

 

IBU, alcohol/calorie/extract, color, pH, TA, DO, carbonation and headspace oxygen and microbiology testing.

Price: $150-$205 depending on the scope and size of microbiological testing

Required Sample Size:  (3) finished bottles or cans OR (2) finished bottles or cans + 8 oz sample collected using aseptic technique.

Sample Type: Finished product only for DO and carbonation and headspace oxygen, and one 8 oz sample for other analyses.

Turnaround Time: Approximately three business days.

Methods: All of the methods described above for the tests listed.

 

 

Complete QC Package (-)

 

– IBU, alcohol/calorie/extract, color, pH, TA, DO, and microbiology testing.

Price: $100-$190 depending on the scope and size of microbiological testing.

Required Sample Size:  (3) finished bottles or cans OR (2) finished bottles or cans + 8 oz sample collected using aseptic technique.

Sample Type: Finished product only for DO and carbonation and headspace oxygen, and one 8 oz sample collected using aseptic technique for other analyses.

Turnaround Time: Approximately three business days.

Methods: All of the methods described above for the tests listed.

 

 

Titratable Acidity

 

Titratable Acidity – or TA, is an approximation of the Total Acidity of a solution expressed in units of gram per liter (g/L).  It is generally considered a better way to measure perceived acidity in sour beer, wine or cider than pH alone.  

 

Price: $20

Required Sample Size: 8 oz.

Sample Type: Wort, fermenting and finished products.

Turnaround Time: Approximately two business days.

ASBC Methods: Beer 8-A (By Potentiometric Titration)

 

 

Aseptic sampling instructions from tank or lines

reference: Adapted from ASBS methods Beer 1-B (Aseptic Sampling from Tanks and Lines)

 

Materials:

Butane or propane torch

Spray sanitizer

Sterile cotton swabs

Sterile sample flask, bottle or tube with cap

Sterile sampling needles (if tanks are equipped with diaphragm sampling ports)

Alcohol, (70% ethyl or isopropyl)

 

Flush sampling port by letting beer/cider/liquid flow out of it freely for 5-10 sec with valve fully open.  Sanitize the sampling port with spray sanitizer. Swab the sampling port with sterile cotton swab in 70% alcohol. With a butane or propane torch, flame all surfaces of sampling port that will come into contact with beer sample.  Continue flaming until the surface is dry. Let beer flow through the sampling port long enough to cool the previously heated surface.  Collect sample in a sterile flask or tube (we use several sterile 50 mL centrifuge tubes from Amazon or Cynmar to collect our samples we use for micro testing.  Otherwise, we just sanitize a 250 mL bottle and collect sample in that for all other tests), using aseptic technique for removal of cap and its replacement (Note 1).  Where a diaphragm port has been installed, pierce sterilized diaphragm with a sterile needle and let beer flow through it into sterilized sample flask (Note 2).

 

Note 1: Hold the tube or flask in one hand while removing the cap or flask cover with the other, making sure to keep the bottom of the cap facing downward so dust/particulate will not settle onto the cap.  Sample tubes or flasks should also be large enough to hold the required sample size without overfilling.  You do not want foam or liquid to come out of the flask or tube. A sample flask of ample size also makes it easier to mix the contents of the flask thoroughly just before plating or making other tests.

 

Note 2: The external surface of the diaphragm must be sterile before inserting sampling needle. Precautions must be taken to be sure that the pad covering the diaphragm is in full contact with it and that it contains sufficient alcohol or other antiseptic to keep the outer surface of the diaphragm moist and sterile.  

 

 

Aseptic sampling from finished products:

 

ASBS Method Beer 1-C (Aseptic Sampling from Finished Products)

If the finished product is what you would like to have tested, there is no need to risk contamination by sampling from it yourself.  Please instead just send us the finished package and we will sample from it here.

 

ORDER FORM

 

 

Contact

 

Questions about our tests? Sampling techniques? Anything?! Please contact us! (Select ‘Quality’ in the drop down menu of the contact form).