We explore how different breweries remove alcohol from their beers
The brewing of beer goes back 8000 years, predating the ancient Romans and even the invention of the wheel. Fast forward to today and the market of non-alcoholic beers is booming. But, how are they made?
Relies on the fact that alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water, 78°C compared to 100°C for water. To keep some of the flavour molecules in the finished non-alcoholic beer product, breweries often heat beer under pressure to lower the boiling temperature.
Breweries produce a highly concentrated liquid called a wort. This is a mix of grains, hops and sugars which form the base of all beers. This concentrated wort is then diluted with pure water until 0.5% ABV is reached and then carbonated.
In a traditional beer, the alcohol is created naturally in a fermentation process with the addition of yeast. Breweries can create an environment in which the yeast can not work normally and so interfere with alcohol production.
Breweries can use different methods, including pervaporation and reverse osmosis. The simplest however is dialysis. Dialysis uses a membrane, think of as a like a net in a beer mixture. The alcohol particles pass through this membrane whereas other particles do not.
These methods will often change the flavour and appearance of a traditional beer product. Breweries will often have to add acids to alter the pH, flavourings and add gas back into the product to give a higher quality end product.