18.02.2019 change 18.02.2019

Researcher is working on beer brewed with forgotten Polish varieties of hops

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High-hopped beers brewed exclusively with Polish ingredients, prepared using forgotten Polish varieties of hops, are being developed by a scientist from the University of Agriculture in Krakow. The brewing technology will also be environmentally friendly.

According to estimates, around 2 billion hectolitres of beer are produced annually worldwide, about 60 bottles per one inhabitant of the Earth. The largest amount of beer - about 140 l per person per year - is consumed in the Czech Republic; in Poland it is about 100 l per person.

Dr. Marek Zdaniewicz from the University of Agriculture in Krakow reminds that for a very long time, until 2011, lager-style beers dominated the Polish market. They are less aromatic drinks. Hopping, which gives beer its aroma, is delicate.

"It is different in the case of ales, produced in the upper fermentation. They include increasingly popular wheat beers or, for example, Indian Pale Ale" - says Dr. Marek Zdaniewicz.

The scientist has just started work on developing typically Polish types of ale. He works with an interdisciplinary team composed of a chemist, microbiologist, engineer and technologist.

"The development of production technology of typically Polish styles of beer is a very ambitious undertaking, mainly in terms of science and practical application. Until now, little attention in research has been paid to Polish, high-hopped beer styles" - says Zdaniewicz. High-hopped beers are not very common, because they require a more time-consuming process, which is rewarded with a deeper aroma.

The priority for Zdaniewicz is to use Polish varieties of hops in the final stage of brewing, including Marynka, Izabela or Oktawia. "There are other, old, almost completely forgotten varieties that we try to obtain from growers" - adds the scientist. "We want the results of our work to improve the taste of beer" - the scientist assures.

Zdaniewicz believes that scientists should cooperate with brewers on the development of new beers. "It is difficult to imagine a large corporation, or a small brewery, to begin research on a new beer style using its production installations during the beer season. We can afford to do that in our laboratories, where we have pilot lines for beer production" - he adds.

The scientist emphasizes that an important aspect of his research on beer production is production technology that will not generate too much pollutants in the form of sewage. "My research will contribute to the introduction of eco-innovation in brewing plants" - he assures.

"The small amount of current Polish beer production literature means that beer enthusiasts often have limited opportunities to expand their knowledge. For that reason, this year the project website will provide practical information not only for entrepreneurs, but also for beer enthusiasts" - says Zdaniewicz. More advanced know-how related to technology will be made available on a license basis.

"Approx. 3 new beers premiere in Poland almost every day. Small restaurant breweries, medium-sized craft breweries, as well as powerful brewing companies all have their share in the creation of such a large number of new types of beer" - he says. He adds that Polish hop-making has a very high position in the world. "Our hops, however, still remain unresearched, and its potential unappreciated" - the scientist says.

Zdaniewicz has been doing research on brewing for years. For the needs of his doctoral project he worked in a brewery in Żywiec, then at the University of Leuven in Belgium, where he worked in much smaller brewhouses, and later also at Stanford University. For his latest research, he received a grant funded by the National Centre for Research and Development as part of the LIDER programme.

PAP - Science in Poland, Szymon Zdziebłowski

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