PIKA - Experts in the Microbial Analysis of Beer, Wine and Beverages

PIKA Weihenstephan is a customer driven business providing test solutions, laboratory and consultancy services to the brewing and beverage industries.

Established in 2000, PIKA provides exemplary worldwide knowledge to a niche market. Dr Gudrun Vogeser, our General Manager, has exceptional knowledge and experience which our innovative methods are based on. She is chairing the Subcommittee Microbiology of the European Brewery Convention (EBC) and in this role constantly updating and harmonizing the brewing microbiology methods within the EBC, the ASBC American Society of Brewing Chemists), and the BCOJ (Brewery Convention of Japan).

This means we’re in a unique position to have the most up to date understanding of trends and issues within the industry and related testing methods. Consequently our testing solutions have been designed with you in mind, knowing what the most critical points within your testing process are, so our solutions can work in your hands. Our methods are standardized to ensure they are easy to use. One single process for all samples during the whole process control minimises the risk of error and reduces the amount of lab equipment required.

Based in Germany, PIKA has customers as far reaching as America and Australia, as far north as Canada and as far south as Chile. So, wherever you’re based, please continue to read more about how PIKA can support you and your business.

Addressing the Brewing and Beverage Industries

Wine spoilage
fruit juice spoilage
Milk spoilage

Our culture media and PCR test kits all originated from customer requests due to a gap in the market. For example, beer spoiler detection media were already available, but not all spoiler species were growing up to detectable concentrations. Also, these media were not PCR-ready, meaning that some give positive results in beer spoiler detection PCR. When it comes to PCR Kits, PIKA was one of the first companies bringing beer spoiler test kits to the market. And until now, PIKA kits are the only ones which are specifically testing for the acknowledged spoiler bacteria species only. The PIKA LP beer spoilage screening and identification kits only detect the strains relevant to beer, giving you peace of mind that your results are stable enough to be actionable.

Our direct experience and knowledge of beverage testing means the PIKA portfolio is specifically intended for the niche beverage industries including the testing of beer, wine, fruit juices and dairy.

With multiple points of possible contamination across the production of all beverages, such as the fruit before harvest, the hops, the added water, any flavourings, the process machinery, faults in the filling line, insufficient cleaning and the final packaging, beverages are highly prone to spoilage. Even pasteurized beverages are at risk.

Early detection of spoilage organisms before product is released is critical as their presence can have a huge financial impact for the business as well as a negative impact on brand reputation. Spoilage organisms can lead to turbidity, flocculation, off-odors and tastes, change in color, reduced attenuation rates and blown containers. Accurate and reliable testing is critical.

Culture media for spoilage organisms

Flexible Testing Workflows And Services To Suit You

FastOrange Broth
FastOrange Media Plate
4everyone PCR detection kit

By using test solutions from PIKA Weihenstephan we can help ensure your products are of the highest quality and any anomalies are detected early to allow you to respond appropriately and quickly. That’s because every medium and every kit from PIKA has been developed specifically with the beverage industry in mind.

Our whole portfolio is compatible as all products match perfectly to each other. PIKA products are outstanding due to their simplicity in handling and extreme reliability. Our testing range combines traditional testing methods using FastOrange®, along with real time PCR molecular testing solutions using our 4everyone Detection Kits. This gives you flexibility and choice based on your requirements.

The PIKA spoilage testing range is intended for:

  • Microbiological monitoring
  • Troubleshooting and tracing of a contamination source
  • Detection of weak spots and contamination risks
  • Product release based on microbial data
  • Hygiene and environmental monitoring
  • Valuation of microbial stability / shelf-life determination
Wine quality

The PIKA Approach

Each analysis you do by yourselves saves you time and money – all our tests are low cost, simple and effective, even for use in the smallest breweries. However, sometimes additional support and advice is required and that is where PIKA really makes the difference. We even have a technical page within our website containing Application Notes to address some of the common issued faced today.

Our work does not end with the analysis results – we give you further advice about the next steps you should take to protect the following batches in your company. For optimization of your microbiological quality control, you can also count on us and use the sound knowledge of our microbiologists. We will advise you individually, based on the latest knowledge.