Magazine article The Futurist

Ultrasound Speeds Up Beer Brewing. (Technology)

Magazine article The Futurist

Ultrasound Speeds Up Beer Brewing. (Technology)

Article excerpt

Ultrasonic vibrations are becoming a precision tool to speed up the manufacturing process for a variety of products--including beer, pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals.

Physicists and engineers at EA Technology and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology are using ultrasound to speed up the removal of carbon dioxide produced in beer during fermentation. The "degassing" process today is time consuming, but ultrasonic vibrations can rapidly induce dissolved carbon dioxide to diffuse into bubbles that float to the top of the brewing tank and burst.

Researchers use an "ultrasonic oboe" to degas the brew: a stainless-steel tube about 30 centimeters long with a nozzle through which liquid is forced, and a vibrating reed that causes ultrasonic vibrations in the liquid. The result: faster and more-efficient diffusion of the gas bubbles.

Though still at the developmental stage, the ultrasonic oboe technology is of interest to brewers and soft drink manufacturers who need to control the level of carbon dioxide in their drinks. Other potential uses include keeping pipes clear of microbial growth, according to EA Technology. …

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