Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In food technology parlor concentration of any aqueous  liquid generally means removal of water using different techniques without affecting the original flavor of the product. In terms of quality freeze drying is considered the most satisfactory process for concentration or drying but it is more expensive than other alternatives like air drying, vacuum evaporation etc. Considering this fact the claim by an innovator in the US that he has developed a technique to make portable beer drinks without using any concentration technology is some what intriguing. Here is an expose' on his claims which seem to be feasible prima facie.  

"For decades, centuries probably, folks have dreamed of a more convenient way of transporting beer on distant adventures supported by back, boat and bike. The problem is, no one was able to shrink a full serving of legit beer into a package much smaller than a 12-oz can, and 12-oz cans are bulky and heavy. Pat's Backcountry Beverages has broken through and done it, creating a beer concentrate that can fit into a pocket and mix a 16 oz ale with the help of plain water and an easy-to-use carbonation system. Beer is now a whole lot easier to carry ... but how does an ultra-portable brew taste?"

Though the technical details are not provided due to economic reasons, the fact that a 49 % alcohol containing beer concentrate is used to get the final 5% alcohol containing readily drinkable beer gives a clue to the principle involved in the process. While traditional beer contains the gas CO2 generated by the yeast from the cocktail of substrates used, in the portable beer CO2 is generated in the final product chemically which probably will make a big difference in the taste and flavor of this version of beer. What is intriguing is how he gets a 49% alcohol concentrate by brewing with yeast as most yeast strains known to man cannot survive beyond 15% alcohol concentration. Possibly what is being done may be adding of pure alcohol to the conventional recipes at some stage of the fermentation or removing CO2 from the conventional beer before adding the alcohol. This is the reason why the portable beer has less body compared to standard beer. Though it may not pass muster as a beer, it can still be an alternative or substitute to genuine beer under certain circumstances. Nonetheless the innovative mind of the entrepreneur deserves applause. 


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