The beer brewing process has been around for centuries. In the past, beer brewing was a time-consuming process. But like so many other industries, brewers have turned to technology in order to streamline the process and make their products more consistent. Technology has helped make the beer brewing process more efficient and here are some ways it has affected the process:
A way that technology has helped beer brewing become more efficient is through the use of computerised systems. These systems help brewers keep track of every aspect of the brewing process, from the ingredients used to the temperature and pressure during each stage of brewing. This information can troubleshoot problems and make adjustments to the brewing process in order to improve efficiency.
Technology has also helped beer brewers improve the quality of their products. Quality control refers to ensuring that a product meets certain standards. In beer brewing, quality control measures might include testing the beer for alcohol content or measuring the nitrogen levels in the beer. This information can then change the brewing process in order to improve the quality of the beer
Nitrogen is often used in beer brewing, and it can be added to the beer during the bottling process. There are machines that can do this automatically. This helps improve the efficiency of the beer brewing process because it reduces the chance of human error.
Automation is one of the most important ways that technology has helped beer brewing become more efficient. Machines and computer systems can be used to control processes or perform tasks that human workers wouldn’t do. Automation has helped reduce the time and labour required to brew beer. For example, automated systems can help in the nitrogenation process of beer, which is the process of adding nitrogen to beer in order to create a creamy head.
With those technology aspects considered, let’s assess the process of how beer is actually crafted:
Enzyme Isolation and Malt Crushing
Grains are collected, they are then heated, dried and cracked to isolate the enzymes in beer.
The malt is passed through a mill, and as the final taste can be affected, it’s key to remember to crush the malt to the correct size.
The crushed malt is mixed with hot water, which creates a substance similar to oatmeal known as the mash.
A sugary liquid called the wort is created through the water, hydrating the malt, activating the enzymes and converting grain starches to fermentable sugars.
Separating The Wort From The Grain
To brew, the wort must be separated from the grain as well as possible. Mashout takes place where the temp of the mash is at 77°C to prevent enzymatic reactions.
Loose grain particles are then filtered to create a clearer wort. It is then rinsed with hot water to pull out most sugars as possible.
Cooking The Beer and Fermentation
The beer is cooked in a copper or brew kettle along with added flavours.
The wort must first be cooled between 15-20 °C. A lot of brewers use primary fermentation, this takes 3-5 days while the yeast converts most of the sugar into alcohol and CO2.
Secondary fermentation is used by smaller breweries, this takes 2 weeks or longer as the yeast works slower.
Making The Beer Ready For Sale
The conditioning process ensures the beer is ready for sale and lasts near to 2 weeks. This helps stabilise the flavour and aroma, so the taste is consistent when drinking.
The beer is filtered again to remove unwanted by-products. Once the filtering process is done, the finished product is created.
How Does Nitrogen Help Brew Beer?
While beer is stored, nitrogen is used to prevent air from entering because of temperature changes. As well as this, it can fill the headspace when the product is transported to another tank to prevent any pressure from being lost.
To clean brewing equipment, carbon dioxide is utilised along with a caustic solution. However,
a reaction between carbon dioxide and sodium hydroxide is likely.
As nitrogen and sodium hydroxide does not react when mixed, when carbon dioxide is replaced by nitrogen, the likelihood of a chemical reaction is reduced. This allows brewers to reuse cleaning solutions and avoid implosions of vessels.
When bottling beer, nitrogen helps reduce the risk of oxidation and increases its shelf life. It can also dry beer bottles when rinsed.
The beer brewing process is becoming more efficient with the help of technology. Brewers can now produce a higher quality product in a shorter amount of time. Technology has also helped brewers save money. Thanks to technology, beer brewing is now more efficient than ever before.