CARBON DIOXIDE GENERATION, TRANSPORT AND RELEASE DURING THE FERMENTATION OF BARLEY MALT
MacIntosh, Andrew John
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Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a major fermentation product generated during the production of beer, the subsequent release of this gas within the fermentor results in agitation that is necessary for sustained industrial fermentation. CO2 is sometimes monitored allowing brewers to stoichiometrically relate CO2 released to other products. In this manner the rate of gas release from the fermentor may be used to assess, control and predict other aspects of fermentation. The dynamics of CO2 generation, transport and release are explored throughout this thesis over several studies. The tools used to examine CO2 production were scrutinized including a miniature assay using various modeling techniques. A miniature scale fermentation assay included in the methods of the American Society of Brewing Chemists was compared to industrial scale fermentations. It was found that discrepancies were possibly due (at least in part) to fermentor geometry. Following this study, a literature review of CO2 solubility in aqueous sugar, and ethanol solutions was conducted. This study exposed previously undescribed inaccuracies in literature, i.e., it was found that several gas solubility tables were empirical derived and are therefore unlikely to accurately reflect all styles of beer. The next study scrutinized the consumption of sugars during barley fermentation and found that these fermentations often exhibit asymmetric sigmoidal attenuation. A five parameter logistic model was introduced to model this sugar consumption more accurately than previously described techniques. Using methods refined during the aforementioned studies, a fermentation was conducted where a mass balance was used to track all major fermentation parameters (the consumption of individual sugars, and the production of ethanol, carbon dioxide, yeast biomass and glycerol). This allowed an assessment of Balling’s theorem as compared to modern theory. It was shown that while accurate in predicting original extract, Balling’s theorem incorrectly quantified other fermentation parameters. This has large ramifications for both industry and research as the estimation of fermentation parameters (such as ethanol and fermentation time) is now better understood. From these studies, the production of beer becomes less of a “black box” operation, and CO2 saturation, transport and release can be better explained. Of the many fermentation aspects monitored during these studies, most were predicted by theory, however, there were notable exceptions. For instance, it was found that both the inhibition of maltose consumption and yeast sugar consumption dynamics (which remained relatively constant throughout the fermentation at ~ 50 pg·h-1 for cells with an average mass of ~ 40 pg). were found to deviate from previously described reports. These, and other findings improve our understanding of brewing fermentations allowing for additional applications of theory and recommendations in industrial operations.