It’s no secret that beer is one of the world’s favourite beverages. And, in recent years, craft beer has seen a spike in popularity. With so many types and styles of beer available, it’s important that each bottle can be packaged and presented in a way that showcases the drinker’s experience. Using nitrogen in beer brewing is becoming more popular among craft brewers and beer enthusiasts.
Aside from just the beer brewing process (see more information here), we’ll look at how beer bottles are crafted and packaged with the help of nitrogen.
The brewing process can leave behind a lot of sediment and many other unwanted by-products, such as yeast, tannins, and proteins from the beer. Therefore, it’s important to filter your beer before bottling or packaging it.
Filtration will help to remove any unwanted particles from your beer, giving it a clear and bright appearance. It will also help to improve the beer’s flavour and shelf life, which will help you avoid any off-flavours in your final product.
The first step in packaging beer is to bottle it. Bottling beer is quite simple. First, the beer is transferred from the brewing vessel to a holding tank. From there, it’s pumped into the bottles.
Once the bottles are filled, they are capped and then placed on a conveyor belt that takes them through a rinser. The rinser removes any dust or debris from the outside of the bottle before it’s sealed.
After the beer is filtered and packaged, it’s ready to be shipped out and enjoyed! However, before you can enjoy your beer, it needs to go through a process called carbonation. Carbonation gives beer its fizzy, bubbly texture.
There are two ways to carbonate beer: naturally or artificially.
Bottle conditioning is a natural process whereby water and a type of sugar are added to flat beer before the bottle is sealed off. This leads to secondary fermentation that produces carbon dioxide and a small amount of alcohol. This means that the bottle conditioned beer will mature over time and bring a great taste in flavour.
Artificial carbonation is where pressurised carbon dioxide is injected into a substance. With water, it will form bubbles and the same principle applies to beer too. This method is often used for mass-produced beers that need to be carbonated quickly. This is done by injecting the gas into the bottom of the bottle. The gas then rises through the beer, giving it a carbonated texture.
Once the beer is carbonated, it’s ready to be shipped out and enjoyed!
Nitrogen is often used in the bottling of beer. Nitrogen is an inert gas, so it doesn’t interact with the beer or change its flavour. It also helps to reduce oxidisation, which can occur when beer is exposed to oxygen.
Nitrogen also gives the beer a creamy, smooth texture. This is because nitrogen bubbles are much smaller than CO2 bubbles. When beer is poured into a glass, the small nitrogen bubbles give the beer a creamy head. Nitrogen also gives the beer a smoother mouthfeel and a creamier head.
Nitrogen is a powerful oxidiser and can kill bacteria and other contaminants on surfaces. It’s often used in the food industry to clean and sanitise equipment.
Nitrogen is also used in the brewing process to clean and sanitise brewing vessels. This is because it’s less likely to leave behind any unwanted flavours or aromas in the beer.
Nitrogen can help to prolong the shelf life of beer by preventing oxidisation.
When beer is stored in a nitrogen-purged environment, it’s less likely to spoil or go bad. This is because nitrogen prevents oxygen from interacting with the beer, which can cause it to become stale. Therefore, beer that is stored in a nitrogen-purged environment will stay fresher for longer.
Nitrogen is a key element in the beer industry. It helps to carbonate and store the beverage, but it also plays a role in cleaning bottles and vessels used to create the beer.
By understanding how nitrogen works in the beer packaging process, brewers can create a better product that meets consumer demands. Nitrogen has unique properties that make it perfect for the brewing and bottling of beer.