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I am graduating with a chemistry degree and I'm interested in going into the alcohol business. Or at least, making really, really good homebrew.
However, I don't know much about what chemists would test different alcohols for in the lab.

What sort of things do you look at when aiming to produce a quality beer, wine, sake, etc.? Especially interested in sake at the moment.
beer is mostly about getting ahead of microorganisms. If you have a process that is clean and after boiling sterile, save for yeast you add and your process is repeatable you can produce consistent quality and tweak recipies to your liking. Recipies for beer will include definitions for raw materials, that is barley malt and sometimes wheat malt, hops, selectively bred yeast, temperatures and times for mashing, duration, temperature and pressure for fermentation and more.
With the water treatment technology of today you can even get around one of the most significant issues in making a good beer: Good water.
Other things that are out of your control is the barley harvest and malting.
Things you'll he constantly checking for is:
Quality of materials coming in, microorganisms, water, stage of fermentation and so on.
t. brewing family business
just pH and things like specific gravities I'd imagine. Maybe some mass spec.

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