Non-alcoholic beer is a very modern invention. It appeared in the 70s of the XX century. The “dry law”, which at that time was adopted in several countries of the world, was able to induce brewing technologists to such developments. Another impetus for the emergence of non-alcoholic beer was many car accidents arising from drunk cars. The fact is that beer was not perceived as an alcoholic drink for a long time, so it was quite acceptable for people to drive after drinking a foamy drink.
The popularity and features of non-alcoholic beer
Non-alcoholic beer immediately found its audience. In addition to the general ban on alcohol or driving vehicles, there are other reasons to drink your favorite drink in the non-alcoholic version. For example, pregnant women often choose non-alcoholic beer because they are contraindicated in alcohol, or people taking certain medications. Even an ordinary desire to drink and not to get drunk can be an argument for non-alcoholic beer. In connection with such popularity of this drink, a logical question arises: how do they make non-alcoholic beer?
The composition of non-alcoholic beer differs from alcoholic beer only in the low content of ethyl alcohol. This is not to say that this component is completely absent in non-alcoholic beer, since the technology for the production of the drink does not allow it to be completely purified from alcohol. The percentage of alcohol in non-alcoholic beer does not exceed 0.5%, and in some varieties – 0.2%. The rest of the composition of non-alcoholic beer is identical to the alcoholic “brother.”
Methods for the production of non-alcoholic beer
There are several ways to achieve such a low ethanol content in non-alcoholic beer.
- Fermentation suppression. Alcohol in beer appears naturally during fermentation. The fermentation process can occur only under certain conditions, including temperature. If the temperature is lowered, fermentation is suppressed; accordingly, the percentage of alcohol in the finished drink becomes much lower.
- Evaporation. In this case, in order to obtain non-alcoholic beer, ethyl alcohol is simply evaporated from the finished alcoholic beverage. This is achieved by maintaining a low boiling point in beer. However, this method, although it does not violate the composition of beer, significantly changes its taste not for the better.
- Membrane Filtration This is the modern and most successful method of turning ordinary beer into non-alcoholic. The finished alcoholic beer is subjected to membrane filtration. The essence of this filtration is that the finished drink is filtered through special polymer membranes that allow molecules of only a certain size to pass through. Thus, it turns out to separate the alcohol molecules and prepare non-alcoholic beer.
There is another way that unscrupulous manufacturers use: non-alcoholic beer is prepared by diluting dry beer wort with water and adding carbon dioxide.
At its core, this drink is not beer, because it is not brewed and there is no fermentation process in it. This version of non-alcoholic beer, by and large, is simply a “soda” with the taste of beer.
Despite the fact that the composition of non-alcoholic beer is identical to that of alcoholic beer, these drinks differ in energy value. The calorific value of non-alcoholic beer is about 30 kcal, while that of alcoholic beer is on average 45 kcal. This fits the general pattern: the stronger the drink, the higher its calorie content. Thus, real non-alcoholic beer differs from alcoholic beer in a more complex production process. At the same time, it is made using identical technology and its composition completely repeats the composition of ordinary beer, except for the alcohol content.