Established in 2022 as a research and teaching facility with support from the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials and the Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology, the Microbrewery will facilitate integration and collaborative efforts between process/chemical engineers and agriculture, food and wine scientists in the barley breeding, malting and brewed/fermented beverage space.
The Microbrewery, located on Hartley Grove at the Waite Campus, features $100K of new equipment, including:
- six 200L fermenters with separate glycol chillers and temperature controls
- a 500L cooling water system
- a 270L brewing system including hot liqour, mash lauter tun and boil kettle
- a clean-in-place system for the fermenters to clean and sanitise between fermentations.
This facility will play a key role in both teaching and research. As the centrepiece of the new Winter School elective course in Brewery Engineering for both Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) and Master of Engineering (Chemical) students, as well as a core course for the new Food and Beverage Engineering major in the Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) course, the Microbrewery will provide a unique, hands on experience in brewing process operations – providing practical insights into:
- Biochemical reactions
- Process engineering
- Yeast/enzyme kinetics
- Heat transfer
- Clean in place systems
- Fluid and particle mechanics.
Research opportunities will include the exploration of machine learning for prediction of the best combination of variables for optimal product outcomes. For example, based on different: raw ingredients (such as malt, hops, yeast and water), process variables (such as temperature and time), and beer styles. Small-scale testing will also be possible for industry partners and clients. Further, the facility enables scale-up of experiments (from lab/benchtop). As an important asset in potential industry partnerships, this will enable and optimise ARC Linkage and CRC-P grant opportunities with SMEs as well as the larger and more recognised local industry players such as Coopers Brewery and Big Shed Brewing Concern, where University of Adelaide staff in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials and the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine already have well-established relationships.