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Universal Beer Agar (UBA) is a non-selective agar rich in nutrients that supports the growth and recovery of microorganisms of significance in the brewing industry. The medium isolates bacteria and yeasts, capable of growing under brewing conditions, which are of real significance for the brewer such as wort spoiling bacteria, common environmental bacteria (coliforms), and beer spoilers that require oxygen. Yeast extract is a source of vitamins, particularly of the B-group. Peptonized milk contains lactose as an energy source. Tomato juice is a source of carbon, protein and nutrients. Dextrose is a fermentable carbohydrate providing carbon and energy. Potassium phosphates act as a buffer system. Magnesium sulfate, Ferrous sulfate and Manganese sulfate are sources of ions that stimulate metabolism. Sodium chloride supplies essential electrolytes for transport and osmotic balance. Bacteriological agar is the solidifying agent. The incorporation of beer in the medium adds hop constituents and alcohol which eliminate many airborne contaminants not originating from pitching yeasts or beer, and therefore minimizing false positive results. Also, it stimulates the growth of beer spoilage organisms, such as lactobacilli, pediococci, Acetobacter, and Zymomonas spp. For the detection of bacterial contaminants in pitching yeasts, cycloheximide (1 mg/l) may be added.
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