Brewing Microbiology and Microscopy Course
This hands-on course, completed either in a one and a half day or three day format, provides brewers with the essential techniques and protocols for managing yeast and bacteria in the brewing process. Ample time in the class allows participants to practice the techniques demonstrated and for viewing their results. No prior experiences necessary. Class size is small, limited to 12, allowing for personalized attention to each participant. Class meets in a fully equipped microbiology lab at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. This is not a course on how to brew beer.
Commercial craft brewers who are getting more involved in microbiological aspects of quality control, as well as home brewers who want to better understand aspects of production.
2018 Workshop Dates
1.5 Day Intensive Workshop:
Workshop availability is first-come, first-served.
- January 13-14 (Sat/Sun)
- March 31-April 1 (Sat/Sun)
- June 16-17 (Sat/Sun)
- July 10-11 (Tue-Wed)
- November 17-18 (Sat/Sun)
Day 1 (9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Lunch not included)
- Use of the Microscope
- Media preparation
- Aseptic technique
- Plate pouring
- Culture transfer
- Streak plate and pour plate techniques for single colonies
- Plating samples by filtration
- Detecting bacteria with selective media
- Biochemical tests to identify bacterial contaminants
- Yeast counts by dilution plating and hemacytometer
Day 2: (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.)
- Observe streak plates, pour plates, and dilution plates from previous day
- Simple staining and Gram-staining techniques
- Catalase and oxidase tests
3 Day Expanded Workshop:
Days 1-3 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Lunch not included)
- July 17-19 (Tues/Wed/Thurs)
This workshop is an expanded version of the 1.5 day workshop, and will cover topics including: beer spoilers, testing for bacteria and wild yeast; preparation of media, yeast culturing, and equipment needed for setting up a brewery lab. Students will have a chance to see some of their results during the class. The class will also demonstrate the use of the Invisible Sentinel DNA-based detection method for lactic acid bacteria and Saccharomyces diastaticus. The class will take place in a fully-equipped microbiology teaching lab. Part of the workshop will involve testing in a brewery setting.
Participants are encouraged to bring samples from their brewery for testing. An optional materials fee of $35 per sample will be charged for participants who wish to test their own sample with the Invisible Sentinel system (cash or check, payable to Barta Microbiology Brewing Services LLC). Participants do not have to pay the materials fee for watching the demonstration of the system.
About the Instructor
This course is instructed by Terese Barta, Ph.D., Department of Biology, at UW-Stevens Point. Terese has been teaching microbiology in the UW system since 1994. As a way to introduce her bacteriology students to a practical application of the field, she took up home brewing, and has been an avid home brewer ever since. While at the University of Wisconsin-Marathon Center, she began outreach to the community by teaching home brewing courses, and was instrumental in creating the Bull Falls Brewers, a home brew club in Wausau, Wisconsin.
In 2012, at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, after providing consulting work to a local microbrewery, Terese found a need for professional development opportunities in the brewing industry. She developed the Microbiology for Brewers program that year to target professionals in the brewing industry as well as home brewers.
Parking is free on the weekends. The July workshops are mid-week and metered parking is $.75 per hour (a three-day fee of $18). Parking permits have a reduced rate of $3 per day in the summer.
When registering online, you will have an opportunity to purchase a parking permit. Permits purchased with registration are emailed within one week prior to the event. If you do not purchase a permit with registration, but later decide to purchase one, contact Continuing Education and Outreach Customer Service to order one. Permits purchased on the day of, or the day prior to the event are not guaranteed.
Directions, Map and Parking Links
Directions Campus Map Parking Information
Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA) is the closest airport to Stevens Point and it is located in Mosinee (pronounced Mo-zin-ee), Wisconsin. Some Stevens Point hotels offer shuttle service to and from CWA. Check with the hotel to find out.
Rental Car Information
Cancellation and Substitution Policy
- Cancellations received 2 weeks prior to the workshop will receive a full refund.
- Cancellations received 1 week prior to workshop will receive a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee.
- No refunds will be issued for cancellation requests made less than 1 week prior to the start of the class.
Substitutions can be made at any time. Please notify us of any substitutions.