The Continuous Brewing of Beer

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THE CONTINUOUS BREWING OF BEER Beer is produced commercially by the controlled fermentation of wort, a liquid rich in sugars, nitrogenous compounds, sulphur compounds and trace elements extracted from malted barley. Fermentation is the process by which glucose is converted to ethanol and carbon dioxide and is expressed chemically as: C6H12O6 + 2PO43- + 2ADP → 2C2H5OH + 2CO2 + 2ATP Behind this simplified chemical reaction is a series of complex biochemical reactions. These reactions (known as the ‘Glycolytic pathway’ or ‘Embden-Myerhof-Parnas pathway’) involve a number of enzymes and the reactions take place anaerobically inside the cells of brewing yeast. DB Breweries carry out this fermentation by a continuous process in which the beer…show more content…
The system uses a flocculent yeast strain which settles quickly at the end of fermentation. From the fourth vessel the clarified beer flows to a warm Maturation Vessel where the flavour is refined by yeast action (from the small amount of residual yeast in the beer). The total residence time in these four vessels can be anything from 40 to 120 hours, depending on production requirements. At the time of printing, all DB brands except Mako are produced by this process1. All the different types of beer are produced on the same continuous process line, and their respective differences are produced after the maturation stage. DB has two continuous fermentation lines but usually, except in the lead-up to Christmas, only operates one at a time. Step 1 - The hold-up vessel (HUV) The incoming wort is oxygenated to stimulate yeast growth and a steady flow of yeast and beer from later in the fermentation process is mixed with the wort as it flows into this first small vessel. The introduction of yeast into wort can be somewhat stressful for the yeast because of the high nutrient levels; by mixing the wort with partially fermented beer the concentration of nutrients is reduced and this allows for a more rapid commencement of fermentation. The yeast recycled back to the hold-up vessel is still in an active fermentation state, so again there is no significant lag phase before the fermentation begins. The recycled partially
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