When you have a glass of beer, two things may catch your attention right away, the foamy head and the bubbles. Carbonation is an important part of beer making and this can happen naturally or with beer carbonator equipment. Here is more on the process of carbonation, and the importance of the carbonator in the beer industry today.
What is Carbonation?
The tiny bubbles for a carbonated beverage come from carbon dioxide and this is where the name “carbonation” comes from. As beer ferments, levels of carbon dioxide naturally increase but many beer makers need extra carbonation and this is there the beer carbonator can be an effective tool.
Why More Carbon Dioxide?
Carbon dioxide in beer is a desirable trait for several reasons, such as:
* Increases the fullness or body of the drink
* CO2 is what gives beer that much appreciated (and often loved) foamy head, and the more CO2 the better the head.
* More body enhances the flavor of beer and this is one of the most sought after characteristics.
* Shelf life of beer can be increased with carbonation.
There are several ways in which beer can become more carbonated. For example, one of the oldest methods is known as priming or bottle conditioning. The brewer creates the beer and allows it to ferment in casks. To feed the yeast, sugar is added to the beer. This helps to increase CO2 content.
Bottle conditioning is often used by small breweries and those making home brew. It is cost effective because additional equipment is not needed. The beer can be ready to drink within two to four weeks time. Priming can increase beer’s shelf life but the stability of the brew cannot be guaranteed. In fact, over time, taste can be affected as yeast breaks down.
With this method, the beer is left in the tank after it reaches a certain point in the fermentation process. CO2 produced is then absorbed by the beer.
Blending or Krausening is a standard way or beer carbonation and does not require added sugar or other ingredients. The beer is allowed to completely ferment and is then blended with as much as 20 percent new beer. As the new beer is fermenting the additional CO2 is absorbed by the batch.
In this method, beer is artificially carbonated. However, a more modern method involves using a beer carbonator and is called inline carbonation.
In Line Carbonation
Using high tech mixing methods and gas injection, beer can be instantly carbonated. Electronic flow meters and pressure controls ensure the exact amount of gas for the kind of carbonating needed. In addition, in line carbonation equipment can easily be upgraded for nitrogenation. This method is cost effective, as well as efficient and fast.
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