Date of Completion

Spring 5-11-2013

Thesis Advisor(s)

William Mustain

Honors Major

Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering


Continuous processes have several advantages over their batch counterparts and are prevalent across the chemical engineering industry today. The process of brewing beer, however, remains a batch process. Transforming the brewing process into a continuous process could have many advantages including lowered process down-time, increased profits, and higher product homogeneity. This project looked into several aspects of the brewing process to gain insight into the potential for continuous ethanol fermentation. First, a kinetic model was developed for the enzymatic breakdown of starch to simple sugars in the production of wort from malted barley. Next, the growth kinetics of brewer’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was investigated to determine the appropriate age of yeast required in a continuous fermentation apparatus and the expected pattern of growth and development. Finally, a prototype of a continuous fermentation apparatus was constructed for the conversion of wort to beer by brewer’s yeast. The success of the continuous fermentation apparatus is not yet proven; it is recommended that further fermentations be carried out to determine if the apparatus is capable of lab-scale continuous fermentation.