Belgium: AB InBev invents method to brew beer without boiling

In an effort to reduce energy and to reach its sustainability goals by reducing its global CO2 emissions by five percent per year the world largest brewer AB InBev has invented a new method to brew beer without boiling. The patented technology, which was developed during the last four years at an experimental brewery in Leuven, east of Brussels, Belgium and was later tested on a larger scale in two plants in the U.K., heats the wort up to a temperature just below the boiling point and then emulates the gas bubbles during boiling by blowing carbon dioxide or nitrogen into the wort. The gas bubbles are needed to remove unwanted aroma components like dimethylsulfide (DMS) from the wort.

The idea behind the new technology is to perform all tasks, which are usually done at boiling temperature like coagulation of proteins, sterilization of the wort, termination of enzymatic processes, extraction of hop components and creation of certain aroma components while at the same time avoiding to convert liquid water into steam, which needs a lot of energy. In addition the new method reduces significantly the loss of evaporating steam.

“Our innovation is to heat everything up to just below boiling point, which provides 80% energy savings at this point in time. There is a lot less steam released, which allows you to spend less on water. In our case, we managed to go from 5% evaporated water to less than 1%,” explains David De Schutter, AB InBev’s research director for Europe.

AB InBev states that beers brewed with the new technology taste the same as usual beers and stay even longer fresh than before.

According to the brewery it could take ten years until the new technology is adapted at all AB InBev breweries worldwide. AB InBev said it would also offer the technology smaller breweries free of charge to help the environment in general. Larger competing breweries will be charged a fee if they use the technology.

 

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