Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Food Science and Nutrition


Food Science and Nutrition


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Luis Castro

Advisor Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


High gravity (HG) brewing has become the most used strategy for maximizing fermenter productivity in commercial brewing. While HG brewing has many benefits, the additional stress placed on the yeast due to the higher concentration of fermentable sugars in the wort can negatively impact fermentation performance and flavor compound formation. A proper dissolved oxygen (DO) level is vital to guarantee adequate yeast performance during HG fermentations. Dissolved oxygen is vital to yeast viability throughout the fermentation process, as yeast requires oxygen to synthesize vital cell membrane components needed for continued anaerobic growth and cell division. Previous research has demonstrated the importance of DO in wort for regular gravity fermentation and flavor compound production. However, the impact of dissolved oxygen during HG brewing on fermentation performance and how this will impact the production of flavor compounds have not been fully researched.

The objectives of this research were to analyze the impact of wort aeration timing and concentration on fermentation performance, flavor stability, and the formation of volatile flavor compounds, determined using gas chromatography. Gas chromatography analysis was modeled after the ASBC Method Beer-48. Flavor stability and staling was analyzed during aging under normal and accelerated conditions utilizing TBA analysis.

Pre-pitch oxygen treatments at levels greater than 8 ppm dissolved oxygen significantly increased attenuation when compared to the unoxygenated controls. Post-pitch oxygenation significantly increased attenuation, with DO treatments at levels of 8 ppm showed the most significant decrease in wort specific gravity. Aldehyde, ester, and higher alcohol production were all significantly affected by DO concentration. Aldehyde production decreased with increased DO concentration. Ester production increased from 0 to 8 ppm DO treatment and decreased at DO treatments greater than 8 ppm. Higher alcohol production increased from 0 to 10 ppm and decreased with DO treatments greater than 10 ppm. Greater concentrations v of DO resulted in greater TBA index values after normal and accelerated aging, with accelerated aging producing greater TBA index values than normal aging.