Chapter 16

Beer Carbonation

Carbon Dioxide Sources

Carbon dioxide may be purchased from suppliers of industrial gases. In small breweries, it is generally delivered and stored as a bulk liquid at approximately 250 to 300 psi and at -12.2 degrees C (10°F) in an on-site bulk tank. Bulk tank options include the relatively small 600-lb vacuum-insulated Dewar tanks and the larger, mechanically refrigerated storage tanks with a capacity of 4 to 60 tons. Dewars are heavy, bulky, and difficult to handle, require a well-ventilated area in case of an accidental cylinder release, and require delivery and return of cylinders to the supplier.

Managing Carbon Dioxide Quality

The quality of carbon dioxide is generally managed by the supplier. For any brewer, the right choice of equipment and gas has a considerable effect not only on quality of beer but production efficiency as well. The use of food grade gas when brewing is required by law to ensure the ingredients quality is of high standard and the consumer health and safety is considered. Standards of purity are controlled by various regulatory bodies such as the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), International Society of Beverage Technologists (ISBT), European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S.

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