14 janvier 2015 Bruno

WB-MIX PROJECT

WB-MIX project began in 1997. The aim was to provide a method to produce a Belgian type white beer by privileging production flexibility allowing a quick response to new markets demands.

WB-MIX is the result of a market survey, a marketing strategy, fundamental search on flavours (beers and spices), adjustment of search results to the consumer (tastings) and the follow-up of beers produced by this way since 1997.

WB-MIX-1 formula setting was carried out after making a survey of the reasons of the success of white beer in Belgium that passed from being a village beer in 1978 to be currently produced at the rate of 1 000 000 Hl/year. This success is due to the fact that a whole rising generation liked this low bitter beer flavoured with spices. It was an alternative to classical beer taste, between beer and soft drink. Moreover, the product was well differentiated by its turbid aspect giving rise to a fashion trend similar to that which occurred with a popular Mexican beer in colourless bottle and served with a lemon piece in the bottle neck. The Belgian type white beer pleased the people who did not like so much normal beer and who wanted to drink another thing than soft drinks.

Our target was thus a person who did not like traditional beer and who was not a white beer expert. We analyzed 60 white beers (see Table below). On these values basis and the results of tasting pannels established according to our target definition, we composed a series of WB-MIX. Then we made consumer tests (hypermarkets) in countries with low culture of white beers. WB-MIX-1 came out due to its high « drinkability ». This formula can however be customized according to the own criteria of the brewer.

The use of WB-MIX offers several advantages in comparison with the traditional method which involves the use of spices in the brewhouse and « special » yeast strains producing the metabolites which impart to beer typical white type flavour and taste (essentially phenolic compounds: vinylguaïacol, eugenol, acetovanillone, etc.):

1) The use of WB-MIX avoids production problems involved in the use of spices in the brewhouse:
– microbiological problems due to the presence of a whole series of exotic microorganisms on spices ;
– aromatic character variations from crop to crop and from one provider to another ;
– deterioration of spices aromatic properties during storage ;
– extract yield variations of spices aromatic compounds in the boiling kettle.

2) WB-MIX use avoids production problems related to the use of a different yeast strain to produce the metabolites that impart the typical white beer taste since similar compounds to these typical metabolites are found in the specific spices contained in WB MIX.

3) The use of WB-MIX gives a higher taste reproducibility because all the aromatic compounds of the mixture coming from spice CO2 extracts are standardized so as to have always the same concentration in this mixture.

4) High reproducibility of beer turbid aspect.

5) New white beer production start-up can be done very easily since we can use as base beer a beer already produced in the brewery (the unique requisite being a low bitterness: 10-12 EBU).

6) The use of WB-MIX offers high production flexibility allowing a fast response to the market.

7) All the ingredients of WB-MIX are 100% natural and can be mentioned on the label of beer like vegetable extracts or natural flavours or spices or beer aromatized with spices (Benelux AR 31 March 93 beer Article 4 § 2).

8) This production way allows to produce a Belgian type white beer without alcohol (0,5% v/v).

WB-MIX is a composition and not the result of a distillation from which we can not control the components individually. The spices are extracted with CO2 and are standardized with regard to most representative component of each spice. The concentration of one spice can be modulated precisely independently from other spices. This allows to obtain an excellent reproducibility of the WB-MIX formula.

WB-MIX is the result of a market survey, a marketing strategy, fundamental search on flavours (beers and spices), adjustment of search results to the consumer (tastings) and the follow-up of beers produced by this way since 1997.

Results of chromatographic analysis of 60 commercial white beers :

Values in ppm
mean
60 beers
minimum
60 beers
maximum
60 beers
flavour/
taste
propanol-1
isobutanol
isoamyl alcool
2-phenyl alcool
ethyl acetate
isoamylacetate
ethylcaproate
ethylcaprylate
ethylcaprate
phenylethylacetate
18,80
36,50
58,00
33,00
32,00
4,00
0,12
0,25
0,05
0,98
11,30
19,80
41,00
13,00
13,00
0,70
0,06
0,04
0,01
0,09
52,10
59,80
102,00
64,00
54,00
9,00
0,20
0,37
0,26
2,24
fusel
fusel
fusel
rose
solv/fruity
very fruity
fruity/wine
fruity/wine
fruity/wine
rose/honey
Values in ppb
mean
60 beers
minimum
60 beers
maximum
60 beers
flavour/
taste
phenol4
guaïacol
4-vinyl phenol
4-vinyl guaïacol
eugenol
isoeugenol
4-vinyl syringol
4-OH-benzaldehyde
acetovanillone
vanillin
40
120
970
1500
70
38
310
125
153
110


10
280


96


110
360
7390
3710
215
156
586
318
474
450
phenolic
phenolic
phenolic
cloves
phenolic
cloves
smoke
phenolic
vanilla
vanilla

 

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