It would be hard to sell soda or beer without the use of a carbonation system. Adding carbonation in the form of CO2 is essential to the taste of soda as well as to the taste and aroma of beer. Without CO2, the sales of soft drinks would plunge, and beer would simply lose its character and possibly market share.
Scrutinize How Carbonation is Used
Therefore, when it comes to implementing beverage processing in a facility, you also have to look hard at the kind of carbonation system that is installed at your company. Many brewers of beer like forced carbonation systems over natural carbonation, as the process is much faster and produces a clear-looking beer. Bubbles cling to the glass, and no sediment is ever revealed. During carbonation, the yeast is removed and the beer is pasteurized. Therefore, the carbonation is quickly absorbed into the wort, or liquid, as it is added to the brew.
Some beer drinkers, however, like a beer to have a “bready” taste, and therefore enjoy beers or ales where natural carbonation is employed. Natural carbonation is a longer process as the beer is re-fermented. The yeast is not removed from the beverage, but instead is used to consume the sugar that is added to the brew. As the yeast ferments, carbonation is produced. A naturally carbonated beer produces sediment in the form of yeast, thereby making it a beverage that is less clear. A smoother taste, albeit bready, results when natural carbonation is used.
Soft Drinks and Carbonation
Soft drinks, on the other hand, are produced by a carbonation system that makes full use of CO2. The use of the word “soft” identifies the beverage as being non-alcoholic in nature. Today, the term “soft drink” refers to almost all drinks not considered “hard,” meaning they contain significant amounts of alcohol.
Even “Soft” Drinks Can Contain Alcohol
Carbonated systems produce soft drinks that are referred to as fizzy drinks (in England), minerals (in Ireland), and pop, coke, and soda (in the U.S.). Interestingly, according to research that was gathered in 2006, most soft drinks that are produced by carbonation systems contain some alcohol. The alcohol results from the fermentation of sugars in a non-sterile production environment.
Glass Maintains the Presence of CO2
Manufacturers of soda drinks, produced via carbonated systems, note that glass bottles are preferred over plastic containers. That is because air is able to diffuse through plastic materials, thereby allowing the escape of CO2. As a result, carbonated beverages that are stored in plastic containers do not have as long a shelf life as their glass counterpart.
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