BELGIUM – AB InBev has developed new energy-efficient brewing method that will reduce CO emissions by approximately 5% once the technique is utilised in its entire brewery network.
The new method uses less heat and water than other brewing methods by generating gas bubbles needed to malt grains in beer thus does not require the brewer to boil water and hops in order to generate bubbles.
With the new method, AB InBev will be able to achieve boiling without emitting energy required to heat the water to boiling point, thus cutting on these emissions without compromising on taste of the beer.
For the new technique, the brewer needs to heat the beer but does not wait to reach boiling point, adds nitrogen or CO2 into the tank to achieve high pressure which facilitates the yeast digesting the sugars in the brew, as a result creating bubbles.
According to AB InBev, since the beer is brewed way below the boiling point it stays fresher longer.
The new technique, developed over four years of testing in Leuven, Belgium, has positive ecological implications, and could be adopted by other brewers to save on energy and about 80% water used in brewing.
“Boiling and these gas bubbles are the sacred formula in the brewing process. Each brewer goes through a boiling process.
Our innovation is to heat everything up to just below boiling point, which provides 80% energy savings at this point in time.
There is a lot less steam released, which allows you to spend less on water. In our case, we managed to go from 5% evaporated water to less than 1%,” said David De Schutter, AB InBev’s research director for Europe.
It said small breweries will be allowed to apply for the licence free of charge, while larger breweries will be charged a variable fee depending on their production volume and the impact of the innovation.
AB InBev brews Stella Artois, Jupiler and Leffe as well as other international labels including Budweiser, Corona and Beck’s.
The company announced its new sustainability goals including a 25% total reduction of CO2 emissions across its numerous breweries around the world.
The technique is part of its innovation platform going some way towards the sustainability goals.