A new preparation of silica gel for use as a chillproofing additive, known as "vicinal hydrated" (VH) gel is described. It is produced by a special drying process which results in a low moisture content (about 10%) like xerogel, combined with a high degree of porosity and a physical structure similar to that of hydrogel, so that it is much more adsorbent than either. As a result, the treatment of beer is more rapid (it can be completed in minutes) and the dosage required is 30 to 50% less than in the case of conventional silica gels. Moreover, since the VH gel is over 99% pure silicon dioxide, the risk of contaminating the beer with soluble impurities (as sometimes occurs with conventional gels) is virtually zero. The results of laboratory, pilot and industrial trials are reported.
Keywords : beer chillproofing efficiency silica gel