Pasteurization info

Pug Bainter pug at
Fri Dec 13 10:37:34 PST 1996

Carrick Legrismith wrote:
> I have been there and seen the long conveyor that the sealed, finished cans
> ride through the flash pasteurizer on. Since the beer is in a sealed
> environment, the alcohol can't go anywhere - just what was left of the
> taste.
> > >What I don't understand is how there's any alcohol left in the brew
> after
> > >pasteurization!  Alcohol boils more quickly than water . . .
> >

You're thinking of a tunnel pasteurizer.  In a flash pasteurizer the
beer travels through a series of heat exchangers on it's way to
the bottling line.  In a flash pasteurizer, the beer is pasteurized
*before* bottling.  Incidentally, even if the bottles were open, you
have to boil off a significant amount of water before you remove
a significant amount of the alcohol.  Just because one's boiling
point is lower than the other's doesn't mean that it all leaves the
beer at that temperature.

Four years ago, when I first saw the flash pasteurizer at Chicago
Brewing Co., they said that there were only four breweries in the
US using them:  Chicago Brewing Co., Anchor, Pearl (I believe) and
I forget the fourth.  There are probably quite a few more now, but
most big breweries still use tunnel pasteurization.  Don't forget
sterile filtering (Coors, MGD, others).


Al Korzonas, Palos Hills, IL
korzonas at
korz at

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