What’s brewing in a beer is startling complexity | NBWA: America's Beer and Beverage Distributors

Beer contains three complex organic ingredients: grain, hops and yeast. However, through the brewing process, these all interact with one another creating hundreds of chemical derivatives that can impact taste. Stefan Pieczonka, a Technical University of Munich researcher is pursuing what he calls a “Ph.D. in beer.” He worked with T.U.M. chemist Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin to run 400 beer samples through a high-powered mass spectrometer to tease apart mixtures of chemicals and identify them.

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