Will The Carbon Dioxide Shortage Stop Us Brewing Beer? - Great Newsome Brewery
With a European wide shortage of CO2 hitting the national headlines I thought I would let you know how we use this gas in our brewery and how a shortage will not effect our ability to brew great beer.
Do we use CO2 in the brewery?
The fact is we do use CO2 in our brewery but only in a very small way. Our beers go through a process of brewing, fermenting and finally conditioning with the whole process taking 2 weeks. The final 7 days is the conditioning part which takes place in a conditioning tank. Before the tank is filled with beer it is cleaned, sterilised and finally CO2 is used to purge any air from the tank which may stale the beer prematurely. Currently the brewery has reasonable stocks of CO2 but if stocks run out and no further CO2 is available we could use an alternative inert gas such as nitrogen.
Will the shortage of CO2 stop us brewing beer?
The answer is no. Cask beer can be produced without the need for CO2. The delicate bubbles in cask beer are created naturally from secondary fermentation by the interaction of the yeast within the beer (remember the beer is not filtered) with the small amount of fermentable sugars remaining within it. This is why cask beer must be allowed to settle as it still contains live yeast which if disturbed can create a hazy appearance to the beer. Check out our article on cask beer.
Will the CO2 shortage affect our beer supplies at all?
In the short term no, but long term it could. Although it won’t affect our cask beer supplies it could have an impact on our bottle and keg beer production. For both these products we don’t package onsite but use a contract packager. One of our contract packagers has already informed us of CO2 supply issues but fortunately we have good stocks of these products so we are not expecting an issue.
Do we expect there to be national beer shortages?
It does appear that certain products from some of the national brands may have supply issues in the short term. With this in mind we would recommend that you switch to your smaller local brewers because like us, many of them are flexible enough to deal with supply issues like this and will be able to keep beer supplies flowing through the summer and beyond.
If you have any questions about how we brew and package our beer then please contact us and we will be happy to help.