Brewing on a Budget: Quality Control


Quality Control (QC) is essential for any successful homebrewer or professional, but complicated techniques and expensive laboratory equipment can make starting up a QC process or lab seem like a daunting task. In this course, you will learn the concepts behind essential QC tests, and how you can set up a lab on a shoestring budget in your home or brewery. This course will cover yeast storage, counting and viability, how to detect and identify microbial contaminants, and how to measure beer quality parameters, such as color, IBUs, carbonation and diacetyl. Through live, online lecture and small-group case study analysis, you will learn both theory and practical applications of several important beer quality tests. This course will arm you with the knowledge to design a routine testing plan at home or for any size brewery, and prepare you to establish a QC lab and start analyzing your own beer.

This course is designed and taught by Jon Hughes (PhD microbiology, UC Davis), founder of the QC lab and former Quality Assurance manager at Heretic Brewing Company (2013-2020).

Learning Outcomes

  • Design a QC laboratory to fit your needs
  • Analyze lab test results and determine the cause of defects in beer
  • Apply microbiological concepts to identify contaminants
  • Construct a routine testing plan for a brewery of any size


  • QC testing
  • Aseptic technique
  • Selective/differential media preparation
  • Record-keeping
Academic Units
Section Number
Instruction Method
Online class

Section Notes

This course is offered live via remote instruction using the Zoom platform. Log-in instructions to access the course are contained on your enrollment confirmation which will be emailed to you once you register.

A recording of this course will be available for a limited time for those who are unable to attend the live session. By enrolling in the course you agree to being recorded for the purposes of instruction.

The course is scheduled for Thursday, June 3, 3pm to 6pm (PDT).

This course is non-refundable.

Enrollment Policies

This course is non-refundable

Technical Requirements

Zoom will work with a wide variety of computers, mobile devices, webcams, and audio devices. The Zoom app is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as iOS, Android, and Blackberry mobile devices. To download the Zoom client for your device, visit: To test Zoom on your computer or device, visit: By enrolling in the course you agree to being recorded for the purposes of instruction.