It is key for brewers to monitor the quantity of yeast nutrients to ensure healthy yeast growth and fermentation efficiency. These nutrients are Nitrogen-containing components resulting from protein breakdown and are called FAN, also known as PAN Primary Amino Nitrogen.
The correct measurement of FAN levels is critical to brewers: too little FAN content and the yeast will underperform leading to low attenuations, too much FAN and the beer quality and stability will likely be impaired.
Existing methods to measure nitrogen-containing nutrients are often complicated and time-consuming.
Megazyme offers a quick, simple and accurate solution for the measurement of FAN in the form of a convenient assay kit called K-PANOPA.
This kit contains all the necessary components for the analysis, in addition a spread-sheet (Mega-Calc) to automate the calculation and an easy to follow instruction video are available on the K-PANOPA product page.
The ninhydrin method measures YAN, but its time consuming and quite complex, especially if you don’t have a scientific background. However, evidence suggests that a newer method called NOPA (alpha-amino nitrogen by OPA) gives almost the same result (99%), this method is quick and is available as a premade kit, in addition to that it’s also pretty cheap (£99.77/100 tests).
The kit I looked at is available from Megazyme (Ireland), the benefit of this kit, is that the reagents are stable, there is an easy method to follow and the website includes both a spread-sheet to automate the calculation and a YouTube ‘how to’ video.