Modern beer production is a complex industrial process. However, some of its biochemical details remain unclear. Using mass spectrometry proteomics, we have performed a global untargeted analysis of the proteins present across time during nanoscale beer production. Samples included sweet wort produced by a high temperature infusion mash, hopped wort, and bright beer. This analysis identified over 200 unique proteins from barley and yeast, emphasizing the complexity of the process and product. We then used data independent SWATH-MS to quantitatively compare the relative abundance of these proteins throughout the process. This identified large and significant changes in the proteome at each process step. These changes described enrichment of proteins by their biophysical properties, and identified the appearance of dominant yeast proteins during fermentation. Altered levels of malt modification also quantitatively changed the proteomes throughout the process. Detailed inspection of the proteomic data revealed that many proteins were modified by protease digestion, glycation, or oxidation during the processing steps. This work demonstrates the opportunities offered by modern mass spectrometry proteomics in understanding the ancient process of beer production.
Keywords: LC−MS/MS; SWATH; beer; malt; post-translational modifications; relative quantification; wort.