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Thread: when exactly is carbonation done in beer production

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    when exactly is carbonation done in beer production

    In the beer industry...….

    01. Is the carbon-dioxide released during primary or secondary phase of fermentation ever trapped and used to partially or fully carbonate beers? (I am not talking about krausening lagers). If partially used, and later carbonated to full levels would that not mean a mix of natural and artificial carbonation?


    02. Is carbonation introduced to the beer in the bright beer tanks, in which case do I assume these tans are maintained isobaricly until bottling?


    03. Is carbonation done in-line just prior to bottling in a single 2 part operation?


    04. I also understand that cans and bottles may be naturally conditioned with yeast at the time of filling with still beer


    04. Any techniques way I missed out above?


    Thank you folks

    (need this for education purpose)
    Last edited by perfection; 10-26-2019 at 01:09 AM.

  2. #2
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    01 - Gasses are continually produced throughout fermentation and a percentage of the gasses will be dissolved into the wort/beer at any given time. The basic principle is that there are three phases of yeast activity (not entirely accurate, quite simplified). Lag phase (environment acclimation, nutrient uptake), Log phase (cell replication & EtOH production), and stationary phase (diacetyl metabolism). Phases will overlap each other. Since CO2 is produced throughout fermentation, there is always a level of dissolved CO2 present in the fermented wort, so yes, some natural carbonation is present.

    02 - Yes, that is a commercial way of carbonating and holding for packaging. The tank does not need to maintain the exact pressure, per se, but the exact balance between temperature and pressure.

    03 - Yes, that is another way of carbonating beer. This is often done at the time of packaging. Typically you would require a buffer vessel to avoid consistency issues.

    04 - Yes, bottle conditioning is another way to carbonate beer. This is usually reserved to smaller operations, or limited special releases do to the extra labor involved, and the sediment in bottles. If the wort is fully fermented, then sugar must be added along with fresh yeast to the bottle. The bottle must remain in a yeast friendly environment until the sugar has been consumed by the yeast. The beer can be packaged prior to terminal gravity and achieve the same results, but extra care must be taken to avoid over carbonation and exploding bottles.

    05 - Nitrogenated beer is a bit more complicated in its principles.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Lexington, Virginia
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    Bottle Conditioning in Big Breweries

    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post

    04 - Yes, bottle conditioning is another way to carbonate beer. This is usually reserved to smaller operations, or limited special releases do to the extra labor involved, and the sediment in bottles. If the wort is fully fermented, then sugar must be added along with fresh yeast to the bottle. The bottle must remain in a yeast friendly environment until the sugar has been consumed by the yeast. The beer can be packaged prior to terminal gravity and achieve the same results, but extra care must be taken to avoid over carbonation and exploding bottles.

    Bottle conditioning is used at big breweries too, as it is done at Schneider Weisse to produce wheat beers:

    https://schneider-weisse.de/en/node/22

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fausto Yu-Shan View Post
    Bottle conditioning is used at big breweries too, as it is done at Schneider Weisse to produce wheat beers:

    https://schneider-weisse.de/en/node/22
    Correct, but most productions do not, which is why the word Usually is in italics.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
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    We are fortunate that our tanks are all rated to 2 bar.

    We 'spund' our fermentors to 2 bar (allow the fermentation to finish while building CO2 head pressure in the tank). This achieves about 2.5 vol CO2 in beer prior to transferring into conditioning (by gravity into a tank with same head pressure as fermentor). It is touched up to target carbonation during tansfer/filtration to packaging tank. Most of our kegged beers target 2.5 to 2.7 vol CO2. I find the bead size (size of bubble) is much finer in beer and wine products carbonated this way vs other methods.

    Pax.

    Liam
    Liam McKenna
    www.yellowbellybrewery.com

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