Alcohol has been a part of human societies for a very long time.
With its many variants, in terms of preparation styles and concentrations, it has been an integral part of daily life throughout the world.
One such variant happens to be the beer.
The beer industry is today one of the largest beverage sectors of the economy, and worth billions across the world.
Also, the industry is expected to grow well into the near future, given that the market is steadily increasing throughout the world.
When it comes to the actual manufacture of beer, there is a lot that goes into the making of the finished good.
Indeed, if there is one thing many people are interested in knowing about beer, it would be the details about the actual preparation.
Not many people are into beer just for celebrations. On the contrary, they are interested in the way it is produced, as well as the many elements that are involved in its preparation.
Of the many things that go into the manufacture of beer, there is one thing that stands out more than anything else; the measurements.
If there is one thing about the beer industry that is to be noted, it is the way attention is paid to detail. Given that the smallest variations can alter the taste of the finished product, brewers pay a lot of attention to ensure that the ideal conditions during the beer preparation process.
Among the many values that are to be measured at the time of beer preparation, one of the most important is pressure.
When it comes to measuring the pressure in breweries, there are a few pieces of equipment that are used.
Of them all, one of the most important is a device called a Manometer. Manometers are used extensively across the beer industry, to measure pressure during the beer preparation process.
The manometer is a standard device used for the purpose of measuring pressure.
The device is not exactly something specific to the beer industry. On the contrary, it is something that can be use for a variety of applications beyond the scope of breweries. The measurement of pressure in general, is done using the international unit of measure, known as Pascal or Pa. This is however not the case when it comes to technical applications, such as beer making, where the standard for measurement is what is called a ‘bar’ or ‘pounds per square inch’. For reference, 1 bar of pressure is described as 100 kPa. The manometers measure the pressure in relative terms, where the pressure within a system is compared to the ambient pressure.
The usage of manometers is extensive throughout the brewing industry. Used on manometers is something that can be observed extensively across the beer making process, from the beginning to the end. Some of the places where they are used are mentioned in the list below:
- Carbon Dioxide –Carbon dioxide is a byproduct generated when the ingredients are fermented by the yeast. This is something which is common in both the fermentation as well as the lagering tanks.
- Piping Systems –There is a lot of transfer of liquids throughout the beer manufacturing process, whether it is the water, waste or the alcohol itself. From the time when the fermentation process begins, until the time when the finished beer is packaged, there is a lot of piping that is required to keep the entire system running.
- Dispensing Systems –This is another place where there is a need for manometers. Given that the movement of beer has to be done at a stable rate, in order to maintain its consistency and flavor, there is a need to maintain a steady pressure throughout the system, which manometers help in ensuring.
- Pneumatic Valves –The control of liquids and gasses across the breweries are done with the help of pneumatic valves. This is yet another place where the use of manometers can be found.
- Bottling Process –The bottling process is one of the last processes in the beer making process, before the finished products are shipped to warehouses or the markets. This is another place where the measurement of pressure is required, so as to ensure a secure and sturdy seal.
The Working of a Manometer – The average manometer can come in a variety of different constructions. The manometers used in the modern day beer industry are usually those made from spring-loaded devices. These tend to be round and made using a variety of materials such as plastic, stainless-steel, copper, etc.
The element which senses the pressure is usually made from a bourdon tube or a diaphragm. The way in which the device works is usually with the help of what is called the ‘Piezoelectric Effect’, where movement (when applied on certain materials or crystals) is converted to electric charges. These charges in turn are converted into readings and measurements.
Other ways in which the measurements are generated include, among others, strain gauges, inductance measurements, etc. These are also fairly common throughout the beer industry.
The device consists of an entry point, where gases or liquids are allowed to enter. Upon entry, they act on the detecting mechanism, which in turn generates the necessary readings. In addition to this, they also contain another point for the entry of the medium in the surrounding environment, the measurement of which helps in the generation of relative readings.
The Measurements – Given that the environment in the beer manufacturing process tends to change from time to time, the readings in the manometer are taken at routine intervals. This helps to ensure that the pressure in the system remains stable at all times.
The exact standards for taking these measurements will vary from brewer to brewer. There is no specification with regard to how frequently the measurements are to be taken by the people managing the brewery.
As a whole, there is indeed other equipment as well that are in use across the beer industry.
The above mentioned list is just some of the most important and commonly ones that can be found across the modern beer industry.