OSHAWA, Ont. — Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) received a $133,000 grant to purchase a beer-analysis system for its Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation (CCBI).
Awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada through its Community Innovation Program, the system will help the school’s researchers and consultants determine the core parameters of a beer — including alcohol content, original extract, real extract, degree of fermentation and dissolved oxygen — from a single sample.
“Ontario’s craft-brewing industry is experiencing major growth,” says Chris Gillis, manager of Applied Research Business Development at ORSIE. “However, it’s becoming increasingly clear that in order for this growth to continue, small and medium breweries, which make up 80 per cent of existing craft-beer producers, need to deliver the quality and consistency demanded by consumers. We feel the solution is a scientific, technically sound approach to brewing in order to achieve better control over the end-to-end processes, which the new brewing-analysis system will allow us to do.”
The beer-analysis system will also be used for applied-research projects with craft brewers so they can better understand how their brewing processes function. The equipment — supplied by Anton Paar, a well-known manufacturer of high-quality lab instruments — gives the college an industry-standard system to join the ranks of the LCBO and other large breweries.
“We’re looking forward to engaging our students in the applied research that will be undertaken using the new equipment,” says Dr. Elaine Popp, vice-president of Academic at Durham College. “Being able to work with the best instrumentation and systems hands-on enhances the overall learning experience.”