Engineering enzyme activity in brewing


Companies / Organizations


Greater Copenhagen area

Backgound: A key process of brewing is the mashing process. In the traditional mashing process malted barley is mixed with hot water in order to activate a cascade of biochemical reactions. The most important biochemical process in mashing is the combined liquefaction and saccharification of starch to produce fermentable sugars.  However, climate change and the emerging markets in developing countries are driving up malt prices and challenging traditional brewing methods. This combined with new specific request from western consumers has resulted in an urgent need for new inventive brewing methods.

Specshell has developed a new inline analyzer technology that monitors carbohydrate formation and tracks enzyme activity during mashing.  The Specshell´s analyzers have already been installed in industrial breweries in all around the globe. Specshell works in close contact with the industry and universities to push the boundaries for what is possible in brewing by taking untraditional methods in use.

Project: Industrial mashing processes today uses a specific program of different temperatures to activate different enzymes and physiochemical processes at different times in the process. The student will systematically study new mashing approaches. The experimental methods in the project will include working with Specshell inline analyzer on a 20L pilot reactor, in combination with known enzyme scientific methods such as assay testing.

Requirements: The project will require that the student is skilled with hands on laboratory work, and preferably has completed some independent laboratory project. Specific knowledge on brewing and mashing enzymes is not a must, but brewing and beer interest it is a plus.

Place: The project will predominantly take place in Specshell’s facilities on Tempovej 14 in Ballerup

Project types: Special courses (13 week or 3 week), and/or Master project.


Please send an email expressing your motivation for the project and attached with your CV.

Company contact:

Aitor Lekuona, MScEng Enzyme and Brewing specialist,

Andreas Kunov-Kruse, PhD Spectroscopy and Kinetic analysis,

DTU contact:

Professor Jens Ø. Duus, NMR spectroscopy and Carbohydrates


Hands-on laboratory experience and brewing and beer interest

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Technical University of Denmark

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