Many drinks around the world utilize carbonation as a method of enhancing their flavor and to give them a “bite” so to speak. The process and methods of carbonation though are largely unknown to the general public and even to some people that are looking to get into the craft beer business where carbonation is an essential aspect of the production. As such, this article will delve into the different types of beverage carbonation out there, their pros and cons and what people can expect from the process.
Using The Natural Method
The natural method of beverage carbonation involves a combination of sugar and yeast. The process is actually quite simple, by combining the sugar and yeast together in the drink this creates a chemical reaction that releases C02 which carbonates the drink. However, there are some issues with this method of beverage carbonation. First, the natural methods of carbonation do not produce nearly the same amount as artificial methods. You can’t expect the craft beer you used natural carbonation on to have the same fizz as an artificially enhanced version. Secondly, in order to create substantial amounts of carbonation you would need to add in more sugar and yeast resulting in an overly sweet beverage.
Carbon tabs are thumb sized tablets that you can add to a drink to start the process of carbonation without having to resort to using sugar and yeast. They are similar to the tablets you add to water to help cure migraines after a night out drinking. While carbon tabs are an effective method of carbonation, it is hard to control the dosage and it cannot be used for large batches.
CO2 Pressurized Pumping
This is the most common method used in beverage carbonation since it is easiest and most effective means of carbonating a drink. It works by putting a liquid like beer into a pressurized container (i.e. a keg), cooling it, then subsequently pumping in CO2 until it is absorbed by the liquid. The amount of carbonation can be influenced based on the pressure of the CO2 being pumped in. This is one of the reasons why it is a preferred method by craft beer makers since it allows them to customize the amount of fizz that their beer has.
Whatever method of carbonation you choose, just be sure to utilize carbonation because it is essential. Carbonating a drink just for the sake of carbonation does not end well.
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