How Air Compressors Keep Beer Pure

Nov 23, 2021

Table of contents
pouring beer from tap

Optimizing your beer production can be tricky when trying to keep contaminants out of the process. Beer purity is essential for consumer safety, reliable production and great taste. The use of reliable air compressor systems in breweries is crucial for streamlining the output process. These machines can hook up to multiple pieces of equipment for mass production.

With federal guidelines set in place by the FDA, breweries must craft beer with considerable attention while following the best safety guidelines and protocols. Beer professionals invest in compressors to keep their business running long term. Fluid-Aire Dynamics can help you understand the importance of air compressors in beer making.

In This Article

A Brief History of Beer Purity

In 1516, the German Purity Law was passed, declaring that only three ingredients — barley, hops and water — were allowed to be in beer. This gave drinkers and beer-makers the idea that the beer was pure if made this way and provided a sense of safe drinking. Although many beer companies today do not follow this rule, you can still find beers today that adhere to these specific ingredients.

Around the same time, making beer from scratch varied from batch to batch. One week's batch would be excellent, another terrible. The sanitization methods used were not as advanced as today, so contaminants in the air would get into the wooden barrels and cause spoilage. It wasn't till many years later Louis Pasteur discovered that yeast is the active ingredient in beer, and so beer companies began following this concept in their beer-making process.

In the 19th century, refrigeration and pasteurization advanced. Brewers had more opportunities to improve their beer-making capabilities. Professionals were able to store their beer for longer periods of time and keep it from spoiling. The quality of their brews improved throughout the years through modern filtration and sanitary procedures.

Since beer is considered a food in the U.S., the FDA began regulating its ingredients so it's safe to drink. Breweries must comply with bottling and sanitary procedures when in operation. Specific measurements such as sulfite levels and mycotoxins are accounted for to ensure good practices are taken place.

beer processing lines

A Look Into Today's Brewing Process

For beer professionals, the brewing process can be a complex task because of selected quality grains, variations in recipes and expensive brewery equipment. According to a report by The Brewer's Association, there are over 8,800 breweries in the United States currently. Heavy machinery is designed to withstand high levels of production to keep up with customer demand.

The modern brewing process starts — as it has for hundreds of years — with gathering the ingredients. After adding desired heat to the ingredients, the mixture gets ready for fermentation. The fermentation cycle varies between the types of beer. Certain beers can be left in a barrel for over a year to bring out the flavor. Brewers must sanitize stored fermentation vessels with alkaline and acidic cleaners before reuse.

Compressed air allows the yeast to thrive throughout the batch for a healthy fermentation cycle. After the fermentation is complete, the beer then filters through various machinery for purification purposes. Large filtration canisters push the liquid through by air compression. With modern filtration, lees, which are leftover particles, get sifted through a centrifuge to provide quality, clean beer.

Pneumatic systems move the beer to the bottle or keg. Once this process is complete, the beer is ready to be stored or shipped to customers. There are several air compressor uses that would benefit your brewery business and speed up your production.

relationship between air compressors and beer purity

The Relationship Between Air Compressors and Beer Purity

Canning has been a reliable method of containing beer for drinking purposes for decades. Aluminum offers protection from light and oxygen, sustains an airtight seal and keeps beer fresh. During the canning process, the air compressor disperses measurable amounts of air to ensure clean canning.

Bottling can be tricky, especially when trying to eliminate unwanted oxygen between the headspace and the cap. With air compressors, the clean beer can move from the conditioning tank to the can without water spill off or unwanted additional air. These air machines can efficiently and evenly dispense your brew in the glass for easy beer processing.

Oil-free compressors allow optimal cask and keg cleaning. The air you put in the machine will give the beer-making process consistent stability. These pneumatic devices are powerful to drive out heavy solids or waste that may contaminate the batch. The adjustable pressure is suited to clean out grooves and hard-to-reach spaces within the containers.

Commercial breweries directly inject air or pure oxygen into the wort. After the mixture has been chilled to the proper temperature, the brewery air compressor will send the air directly into the kettle. Investing in an oil-free air compressor will ensure the fermentation process is clean. No oil or other particulate matter gets inside the vessel and jeopardizes the beer production process.

You want to make sure your air compressor is big enough to meet the demand of the machines you are going to run. Your air pressure system must keep up with your system output. Quality air compressors can ensure oxygen is delivered to your container for optimal yeast growth and distribution. 

pouring beer into a glass

Contact Fluid-Aire Dynamics for More Information

Air compressors can fulfill multiple jobs at your brewery, from keg washer to canning. You may want to consider using a properly sized air compressor to do the work. The benefits of air compressors can vary depending on the goals of your business.

Beer industries utilize air compressors for pure beer practices. Being sure that your compressed air system can distribute quality air with minimum energy is crucial to efficiency and cost. We can adjust air compressors to operate at specific pressures and streamline your beer production processes.

Fluid-Aire Dynamics offers oil-free air compressors, which get the job done without oil exposure in your production room. Since these types of compressors are pre-lubricated, this may lower the number of repairs needed in the long run. Request an estimate from Fluid-Aire Dynamics today!

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