Nat Fryar is one of our three technical committee on tour with our scoping study. Nat was lucky to visit the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis. The water tanks, and the teaching-and-research winery they support, are showing students and winemakers throughout the world how to reduce processing costs, improve wine quality, and protect the planet’s dwindling natural resources. This is an interesting way to use technology and for dry places on the planet like Australia, it is really important knowledge. One of the great stops on the journey as our team explore the best of fermentation opportunities overseas.
Tom Lewis on the other hand, well, he has learned that microbrewery in Germany is about size! The German definition of a microbrewery is less than 1,000,000 L / yr.And.....well...apart from size, it is all about the microbes. He has discovered in Munich that the increasing effectiveness of bottling systems at eliminating oxygen from bottles is increasing the incidence and influence of off-flavour producing bugs. As strict anaerobes, these were in earlier times not such a problem, but are now rearing their ugly and off-smelling/ off- tasting / slimy heads (this last one makes beer pour like honey) in greater numbers. There's also evidence that they are becoming more tolerant to higher ethanol concentrations, and so are broadening the range of products they are tainting.
Tom also met with Dr Mathias Hutzler of the Weihenstephan Research Centre for brewery and food quality. An amazing setup. A private centre within a university. Income mainly from analytical services and interpretation. Competitive neutrality law requires them to be more expensive than private competitors, but they succeed due to quality and experience.
Anna Carew has not only been checking out all things fermentation, she has an interesting observation at the use of buildings and space. Fermented beverage production has supported the rescue and repurposing of valuable architectural heritage for new ventures. The oldest brewery in the world. And a University-based brewing and yeast research and consulting centre just across the quadrangle. How cool is that?
Apart from the architecture, Anna has been learning about IOC Analytical Services Epernay where they process 40,000 Champagne samples each year. They have a mobile Champagne processing service with a fleet of 25 trucks which are fitted out from the equipment bank.
Just to make sure it is not all about fermented beverages, Anna has also been to Ostehjornet cheese shop where they have 150 distinct outcomes from milk meeting microbes - imagine the aroma!
Check out the learnings captured on Instagram - great questions and learnings. THANKS TEAM
Keeping you informed with what is bubbling under in the world of fermentasmania. Also puns.