The Other Carbonator

So where else in the world do we find natural carbonation? If you said “inside a beer bong” you get partial credit, frat boy, for beer is indeed naturally carbonated (points will also be given to all those who said “champagne” and “new wines”). Though I suppose I should say it can be naturally carbonated, for most commercial beers, especially lighter lager-type beers, are artificially carbonated nowadays. It’s what gives them “zing”. So-called “real ales”, many micro-brews, and of course the homemade stuff contains only natural carbonation.

How does it get there? Well remember that carbon dioxide dissolves very easily in water provided the two are in close proximity and the CO2 gas can’t otherwise escape. Beer is mostly water. So then the only mystery is where the gas comes from in the first place. The answer of course is yeast, which produces CO2 as a waste product during fermentation. Waste CO2 is what causes bread to rise, and not coincidentally gives fizz to fermented beverages. Really makes one appreciate Peter Reinhart’s adage that beer is liquid bread and bread is frozen beer. The two are amazingly similar. But I digress. Um…what was my point again?

5 thoughts on “The Other Carbonator”

  1. Some homebrewed beer gets force carbonated, usually in a repurposed soda keg.

    1. How come I’ve been in Louisville ten years and have never heard of these???

      Where do I get one?

      – Joe

      1. It’s pretty much an extinct style, but I brewed some recently and would love to share one or two with you.

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