The Belgium-based company AB InBev says it has developed a technique to generate gas bubbles needed for the malting of grains before fermentation without the need to boil the water and hops.
The company conducted four years of tests at an experimental brewery in Leuven, east of Brussels, and then on a larger scale in two plants in the U.K. The method it has developed does not detract from the taste of the finished drink, its says, while using less heat and water.
Bubbles are said to be crucial in determining the taste of a beer. Traditionally, gas bubbles in the early stages of brewing are generated through the natural cooking process, requiring bountiful levels of water and heat. AB InBev says, however, it is able to simulate the effects of boiling the brew.
The new method involves heating the brew to below boiling point and then blowing nitrogen or CO2 into the tank to create bubbles without changing the taste. The company claims that because the beer is brewed at a lower temperature in the early phase, it can also stay fresh for longer. The bubbles found in the finished product are still to be produced in the normal way, typically by the yeast’s digestion of sugars or by pressurisation in the kegging process.
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