Beer is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in Brazil. In this paper, wood aged beer was made with some Brazilian wood species, that is, chestnut, Cariniana sp., balsam, oak, and amburana. This maturation process can be done with wooden cubes, chips or in barrels. The main differences between the processes are related to the surface area of wood in contact with the beer as well as where it is stored. They provide different sensorial and visual characteristics, such as turbidity, colour, and their effects on drinkability. In view of the great variety of wood in Brazil, one may wonder about their application to this end; however, for the purpose of maturation it is crucial to collect data regarding the characterisation of several types of wood. Brazilian wood samples were analysed in order to use their cubes in a lager beer sample. Thus the objective of this study was the chemical characterisation of roasted wood so they could be applied as a technological innovation in the maturation process to produce wood aged beers. In order to do so, the wood’s physicochemical and sensorial effects on the beer were compared to their effects on a standard base beer. It was observed that they have characteristic flavours and aromas that come from the wood’s structural compounds, through the thermal degradation of lignin and holocellulose. The trained panel related increasing the complexity of the beer lagered with wood. Physicochemical and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analyses verified the samples’ sensorial results. According to the results, lagering with wooden cubes is an effective technique to be used in beer aging, influencing organoleptic characteristics.
Key words: Beer, wood aged drinks, wood aged beer, brewing technology, wooden cubes.
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