Yeast & Beer

  • Course Code

    CR_EPEXX_7 - Y0C

  • Field of Study


  • Type of Course:


  • Type of Qualification:


  • Type of Study:

    Part time

  • Application Closing Date:

Admission Requirements:

Candidates are expected to have at least a Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications
in Science or Engineering. Applications from students who have passed the IBD General Certificate in Brewing or the IBD General Certificate in Distilling and/or who have relevant industrial experience will be considered on an individual basis.


Process, Energy and Transport Engineering

Lectures and Labs will be delivered on Tuesday nights at 6.15pm in Room E15 (E-Block. See Campus Maps)


Lectures will be delivered by Ian Hamilton and Dr Brendan McCarra


Ian Hamilton has over 35 years of International brewing experience: from Malting through Brewing to Kegging, Canning & Bottling. This included circa 12 years in Africa, as well as senior roles in  Ireland and the UK. He has been responsible for production of Guinness, Budweiser and other global brands.


Ian is a Chemistry graduate of UCC, and a Diploma Master Brewer of the IBD (Institute of Brewing and Distilling, London).


Since 2014,  he provides consultancy and training to brewing clients, and Master Brewer services to Sullivan's Brewing Company (Kilkenny). Sullivan's ‘Maltings Irish Ale’ won International Champion Keg Ale 2016-2017 at the prestigious International Brewing Awards. Ian was recently elected a Fellow of the IBD. 

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Dr Brendan McCarra is a Principal Investigator at Shannon ABC and Lecturer in Biotechnology & Bioprocessing, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and Food Science and Technology (ITT).


Brendan received his Degree in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) and completed a MSc in Biotechnology, also at NUIG. He obtained his PhD for the investigation of the effect of biochemical inductors on autolysis of spent yeast Kluyveromyces marxianus and the production of flavoured compounds. Dr McCarra previously worked with the Quest International Group (Unilever) as Project Manager with responsibility for optimisation, automation and control of microbial fermentations for the production of natural flavours and industrial enzymes. He is currently a Lecturer at the Institute of Technology, Tralee where he lectures in Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, GMP and Food Science and Technology. He is also involved in supervision and delivery of Government funded training programmes including the Springboard funded Biopharma processing program in cooperation with the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training (NIBRT) facility and the Biopharma Training Facility, Cork. Other industrial programs include the Certificate in Validation and Certificate in Brewing and Distilling Operations in cooperation with CIT.


Dr Mc Carra’s appointment as Strategic Research Area (SRA) Leader at ITT in area of Natural Products & Environmental Management enabled him to play a vital role in the establishment of Shannon ABC and he is currently a Principal Investigator with expertise in the areas of yeast fermentations, enzyme applications & bioreactor technology. He has successfully received funding for the completion of Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnerships and a number of MSc and PhD projects and is currently cooperating with industry on Enterprise Ireland funded projects which include optimisation of brewing yeast fermentation processes and bioprocessing of natural bio-ingredients using enzyme technology. Dr McCarra remains an advisor to industry in relation to fermentation and biotechnology processes.


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This module considers aspects of brewing from the conversion of wort to the storage of beer. This is also preparatory module for the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, Diploma in Brewing, Yeast and Beer Examination (Module 2).



Module info >>




On successful completion of this module, you will be able to

  • select appropriate strains of yeast for brewing.
  • explain fermentation operations as they apply to breweries.
  • discuss maturation, cold storage and clarification of beer.
  • consider factors affecting beer flavour and quality.
  • complete a series of laboratory analyses relating to process and analytical measurements.


Indicative Content


Morphology, genetic characteristics, brewing characteristics, carbohydrate metabolism, production of flavour compounds, nutritional requirements, yeast cultures, measurement of yeast quantity and quality, yeast handling and management, physical behaviour of yeast.

Principal fermentation variables, wort strength, yeast pitching rate and temperature, fermentation temperature, wort DO, fermentable sugars and TN, alcohol strength, fermenter pressure, pH. Effect of fermentation variables. Fermenter, operational techniques, design and operation.

Maturation and Cold Storage
General principles, beer processing aids, additions (hops, sugars, caramels, enzymes etc.), clarification (sedimentation, centrifugation, filtration etc.).

Beer Properties
Hazes, foam, colour, gushing, flavour assessment techniques, flavour components and stability.

Spoilage and Quality
Types of spoilage organisms, detection methods, control factors. Quality management, hygiene.

Statistical analysis, yeast concentration growth and viability, process measurements (original gravity, alcohol content, dissolved carbon dioxide, dissolved oxygen, nitrogenous compounds, specific gravity, pH, Sulpher dioxide), analytical measurements (e.g. vicinal diketones, metals, inorganic cations, dimethyl sulphide, flavour components) using GC, HPLC. Sensory analysis. Site visits.



Certificate in Yeast & Beer, 5 ECTS credits at Level 7 on the National Framework of Qualifications.

  • Online application is currently closed.
  • Places on the programme are limited to 20 and places will be allocated to applicants in the order in which applications are received (assuming that applicants are suitably qualified and have provided/uploaded appropriate evidence of previous qualifications).
  • Please note that applicants will be required to pay the module fee of €500 online if a place is offered.  
  • Note: You will not be charged for applying for the module by clicking the 'apply now' button, you are only asked to pay the module fee if a place is offered to you and you wish to accept it.
  • Please attach and upload any documents such as transcripts, CV, other details relevant to the application.


Ian O'Sullivan

Breda Barber (For information relating to fee waivers and fee reduction eligibility)

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