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In this module, we set up a fermentation of grains by yeast with hops to brew beer (D1). We make media and pour plates to grow and identify microbial contaminants (D2). Two weeks after setting up the primary fermentation, we prime and condition the fermentation (D3). While we wait for the priming and conditioning to finish, we do a bioinformatics analysis of microbial communities turning ethanol (a product of fermentation) to n-caproic acid, (D4), to illustrate the power of metagenomic sequencing in resolving microorganisms and their potential physiology. Then we identify and examine the microbial contaminants cultured in the primary fermentation (D5). When the beer is finished, we perform a sensory analysis (D6) followed by a field trip to the Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield, MA, where we will tour their brewing facilities and microbiology lab.
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DeAngelis, Kristen and Prado, Cecilia, "Microbiology 562: D. Batch Fermentation Module" (2017). Microbiology Educational Materials. 1.
Developed with support from Klaus Nusslein, Sue Leschine, and the UMass Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty Development. With thanks for helpful comments from the UMass students in Microbio 562 fall of 2017.