Beer shortage looms as major CO2 source is contaminated....

The Tradition

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Apr 23, 2002
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Beer drinkers across the US are staring glumly into their pints, knowing the costs are likely to rise due to a nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide - thanks in part to issues at a Mississippi volcano.

The extinct volcano, the Jackson Dome, has since 1977 provided carbon dioxide to the food industry, among others.

Yet in recent months the supply has become contaminated due to raw gas from a mine seeping in, meaning it cannot be used in food.

As a result, the beer industry is facing another shortage - coming after trouble that first bubbled up in 2020, when the pandemic caused problems in the supply chain and drove up prices.

'We've been running delivery to delivery for the past few weeks, and we are certainly concerned about the supply,' said Ronn Friedlander, co-founder of Aeronaut Brewing.

He told Axios they were investigating ways to reduce their CO2 emissions, and capture and reuse gases given off during brewing.

'We've looked into CO2 capture systems, but the lead times are five to six months, which doesn't address the current supply problems,' he said.

Another factor, The Washington Post said, is planned and unplanned maintenance shutdowns at several ammonia plants that are key producers of CO2. Axios reported that the price of carbon dioxide has risen fourfold.

In July, Night Shift Brewing, based in Everett, Massachusetts, said they were being forced to reduce production due to the CO2 shortage.

'Last week, we learned that our CO2 supply has been cut for the foreseeable future, possibly more than a year until we get more,' they wrote on Instagram.

'Breweries depend on CO2 to make beer, so this was pretty awful news to get.

'Seems like this will be an issue that impacts a lot of local breweries, so we're probably one of many breweries facing this new threat to our business.'

The CO2 shortage is not the only issue.

Inflation has pushed the price of aluminum cans up by 20 percent in a year, according to the website Good Beer Hunting, while malt is up 30 percent and shipping 50 percent.

Labor costs have increased by 20 percent.

The government's Consumer Price Index shows beer prices up 5 percent this year, but Chuck Skypeck with the Brewers Association told WCPO that he believes prices could go higher.

The Brewers Association issued guidelines for brewers to help them get the most out of their carbon dioxide, including making sure there are no leaks in their lines.

'Our members have faced a long string of challenges, and we have found ways to overcome most of them,' said Bob Pease, president and CEO of the association.

He told The Washington Post: 'We will try to help our members overcome this one.'

 

FAUlty Gator

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17905702860c940387e816b06a63cb0cf574acd1.gif
 

lucas80

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I can live without beer if I have to I won't be happy about it, but I'll last. I might even slum it and drink some wine.
 
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mnole03

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Mar 20, 2005
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LOL

I only want it in my stouts. The good ones...
Nitrogen is awesome in just about everything. I haven’t had it an IPA, but it’s fantastic in every other ale I’ve tried.

Added CO2 is generally a detriment. A good cask pour of the same beer is almost always better.
 

stillh8unlv

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Mar 30, 2007
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I wish they'd quit wasting thier time with those false flags like border security and tackle the real issues of the day like this one!

Stupid gubermint
 
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Joes Place

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Nitrogen is awesome in just about everything. I haven’t had it an IPA, but it’s fantastic in every other ale I’ve tried.

Added CO2 is generally a detriment. A good cask pour of the same beer is almost always better.
Don't recall ever having/seeing a 'nitro ale'. Just stouts.
 

SoDakHawk

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Confused as I thought during the fermentation process that is where CO2 was produced. Now I learn they are injecting CO2 into the brew as a part of the process?

I've toured a few breweries and the process they use to brew beer is not much different than a person doing a homebrew, just with much larger and sophisticated equipment on a much larger scale, obviously.
 
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Joes Place

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Confused as I thought during the fermentation process that is where CO2 was produced. Now I learn they are injecting CO2 into the brew as a part of the process?

I've toured a few breweries and the process they use to brew beer is not much different than a person doing a homebrew, just with much larger and sophisticated equipment on a much larger scale, obviously.
I think they may use it to properly pressurize the kegs they ship out.

Yes, CO2 is part of the fermentation process, normally.
 

jamesvanderwulf

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People's Republic of Johnson County
Looks like Iowa's CO2 pipeline has a commercial value. Just run an extension to Mississippi or make Iowa the beer capital of the US...

Three companies have proposed building multibillion-dollar pipelines across Iowa to move carbon dioxide so it can be sequestered deep underground, potentially cutting greenhouse gas emissions from ethanol, fertilizer and other industrial ag plants.

The projects are controversial, netting roughly 750 comments to the Iowa Utilities Board through February. Many have been objections, with Iowans questioning whether the pipelines are needed, are safe and should be allowed to cross valuable farmland that's been passed down through generations.

Here's what we know so far about the projects.

What's been proposed?​

Three companies — Summit Carbon Solutions, Navigator CO2 Ventures and Archer Daniel Midlands Co., partnering with Wolf Carbon Solutions — want to build pipelines that will be used to move carbon dioxide captured from ethanol, fertilizer and other agricultural industrial plants.
6.7.22%20Navigator%20Map.jpg
 

Joes Place

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Confused as I thought during the fermentation process that is where CO2 was produced. Now I learn they are injecting CO2 into the brew as a part of the process?

I've toured a few breweries and the process they use to brew beer is not much different than a person doing a homebrew, just with much larger and sophisticated equipment on a much larger scale, obviously.
^THIS!!!

What swillish crap beer doesn’t produce it’s own CO2 during fermentation? Brands that should fail, so let them.
 

Flie

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Nov 2, 2001
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Can we use that keystone XL pipeline to transport beer from Canada? Pretty sure everyone would be ok with that.
 
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NorthDSMHawk

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Ankeny
Confused as I thought during the fermentation process that is where CO2 was produced. Now I learn they are injecting CO2 into the brew as a part of the process?

I've toured a few breweries and the process they use to brew beer is not much different than a person doing a homebrew, just with much larger and sophisticated equipment on a much larger scale, obviously.
Some small scale brewers do bottle conditioning (carbonization) for their beers. They’ll usually wait for close to the gravity they want (abv) then bottle and allow for some additional fermentation in the bottle with the residual yeast. Once they get the carb level they want, they’ll pasteurize to kill the yeast cells and stop overpressure.

Most brewers just chemically kill off yeast after reaching their gravity target and then add CO2.