How Carbon Dioxide is Used in the Brewing Process
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential ingredient in the production of beer. It is used for a variety of purposes, including carbonating the beer, pressurizing the kegs or bottles, and dispensing the beer. CO2 is also used in a number of other ways in the brewing process, such as cleaning and sanitizing equipment and protecting the beer from oxidation.
Carbonating, Pressurizing, and Dispensing the Beer
CO2 is added to the beer to give it its characteristic fizziness. The amount of CO2 added will vary depending on the type of beer being brewed. For example, lagers are typically carbonated with less CO2 than ales. The amount of CO2 that is added to the beer is measured in volumes. One volume of CO2 is equivalent to 2 grams of CO2 per liter of beer.
Keg and bottles are pressurized with CO2 to help keep the beer fresh and carbonated. The amount of pressure used will vary depending on the type of container. For example, kegs are typically pressurized with higher pressure than bottles. The pressure in the keg or bottle is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).
CO2 is used to dispense the beer from the keg or bottle. It is also used to create a creamy head on the beer. The amount of CO2 used will vary depending on the type of beer being served. For example, stouts and porters are typically served with more CO2 than lagers.
Other Uses of CO2 in Brewing
CO2 is also used in a number of other ways in the brewing process, such as:
- Cleaning and sanitizing equipment: CO2 can be used to clean and sanitize brewing equipment. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms that can spoil the beer. CO2 is a powerful oxidizer, which means that it can kill bacteria and other microorganisms by stripping away their electrons.
- Protecting the beer from oxidation: CO2 can be used to protect the beer from oxidation. Oxidation can cause the beer to lose its flavor and aroma. CO2 forms a barrier between the beer and the air, which helps to prevent oxidation.
Benefits of Using CO2 in Brewing
CO2 is an essential ingredient in the production of beer. It helps to ensure that the beer is fresh, carbonated, and flavorful. Some of the specific benefits of using CO2 in brewing include:
- Helps to remove oxygen from the brewing environment, which prevents spoilage.
- Carbonates the beer, giving it its characteristic fizziness.
- Helps to keep the beer fresh and flavorful.
- Creates a smoother, creamier head on the beer.
- Can be used to dispense the beer, which results in a more consistent pour.
- Can help to improve the flavor and aroma of the beer.
CO2 Usage In Large Scale Breweries – Operations and Packaging Operations
Large-scale breweries use CO2 in a plethora of ways while creating their beer on mass production, from using CO2 to purge oxygen before dry hopping, to using CO2 to move the beer through their lines, pressurized fermentation tanks, and packaging. Larger Breweries also utilize blending systems, this is all part of the process of dissolving CO2 in a liquid while the combination of the two is being pumped from one vessel to another. These systems are focused on large production, accurate CO2 saturation, rapid process times, and blending. CO2 in beer packaging is used for several factors those are including:
- bottle pre-evacuation and counter pressurization
- canning, bottling, and kegging
Canning operations can consume large amounts of carbon dioxide compared to kegging and bottling because the canning process requires purging the cans of oxygen before filling them with beer. The purging process uses a significant amount of CO2, that feeds into the breweries' bulk CO2 supply which in return causes them to use more CO2 when it comes to the canning operation as opposed to bottling and kegging operations.
CO2 Recovery and Storage at Large-Scale Breweries
Large-scale breweries often have the resources to invest in CO2 recovery and reuse systems. These systems capture the CO2 that is released during the brewing process and recycle it back into the brewery for use in carbonating beer, purging tanks, and other applications. This can help large-scale breweries reduce their CO2 emissions and save money on CO2 Costs.
Large-scale breweries often have dedicated CO2 Storage tanks, which can help them maintain a consistent supply of CO2 and avoid running out during peak production times, unlike smaller micro-breweries may not have the space or resources to invest in dedicated CO2 storage tanks, so many rely on on-demand delivery or smaller tanks.
CO2 is a safe and effective gas that is used in a variety of industries, including the brewing industry as one example. It is important to note that CO2 is a colorless, odorless gas that can be harmful if inhaled in high concentrations. However, the levels of CO2 used in the brewing process are well below the levels that would be considered harmful.
Greco Gas is a local supplier of CO2 in Pennsylvania and has bulk on-site CO2 filling services for portable liquid cryogenic containers and high-pressure cylinders and services along with serving in a plethora of industries including manufacturing, welding, food and beverage, construction, and more. Whether you need CO2 for shielding gas, production of methanol, plastics, polymers, or for brewing and packaging Greco Gas has you covered with an array of different grades of CO2 including:
- Coleman Instrument
- Coleman Grade – Liquid Withdrawal
- Bone Dry
- Food & Beverage
- Dry Ice
Contact Greco Gas today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you!