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Tech. Q. Master Brew. Assoc. Am., 1992, 29(4), 137-142. English, sp

Uses of nitrogen in brewing.

Taylor, D.G., Bamber, P., Brown, J.W. and Murray, J.P.

The use of nitrogen in mixed gas dispensing systems to allow keg beers (especially stouts and ales) to be dispensed at high pressure without excess carbonation is well known, as are the beneficial effects on foam quality. Moreover, nitrogen is cheaper than carbon dioxide and when used as a top pressure gas in kegs or tanks allows these containers to be cleaned with alkaline detergents without the tedious process of venting, flushing with air before and after cleaning, and refilling with gas which is necessary if carbon dioxide is used. Other applications of nitrogen related to the brewing industry include the storage of malting barley and other cereals in a nitrogen atmosphere for protection against insect pests, the stripping of dissolved gases and/or volatile compounds from water by countercurrent nitrogen injection (e.g. in the preparation of deoxygenated blending liquor for diluting high gravity brewed beers), the degassing of overcarbonated or oxygen contaminated beers, the flushing of bottles and cans before filling and the use of nitrogen injection to achieve the necessary pressure for can rigidity in low carbonation beers. Experiments have also been conducted to test the possibility of mashing under a nitrogen atmosphere to reduce wort oxidation. These uses of nitrogen are discussed in economic terms as well as in relation to beer quality.
Keywords : beer brewing dispensing nitrogen packaging survey