Sensors, controls improve beer: Less oxygen, better beer

Oxygen in beer reduces shelf life and can affect flavor. Advanced optical measurement and sensor diagnostic technologies minimizes oxygen, simply and dependably.


Oxygen in the brewing process is monitored because of its importance on the quality, taste and shelf life of the beer. After fermentation, beer is close to being oxygen free and maintaining this very low oxygen level is important for quality assurance. Therefore O2 uptake during the following separation, filtration, storage and filling processes has to be minimized. To reduce the risk of contamination, permanent and precise oxygen monitoring is required.

The InPro6970i has reduced signal drift and faster response time compared to amperometric sensors guarantees maximum accuracy of the oxygen measurement and allow for enhanced process control. Courtesy: Mettler ToledoContinuous measuring of oxygen concentration places high demands on an in-line O2 system. Such equipment must be easy to install and operate, require minimal maintenance and, most importantly, always measure accurately.

Intelligent optical sensor

The InPro 6970i from Mettler-Toledo delivers at low oxygen levels down to 2 ppb. Based on fluorescence quenching technology, it combines high measurement performance with Intelligent Sensor Management (ISM) functionality.

Optical oxygen sensors offer many advantages over amperometric sensors; reduced and easier maintenance, and long term stability resulting in reduced cost of ownership being only two of them. The only consumable, the OptoCap, has a significantly longer lifetime then amperometric membrane bodies and can easily be replaced within a few minutes. No polarization or liquid handling is necessary. Once the sensor is calibrated it is ready to use.

ISM technology adds to these advantages by simplifying maintenance planning and documentation of all sensor data. Using advanced diagnostic tools, the quality of the sensing element and all sensor components are permanently monitored. Early signs of sensor aging or failure are immediately displayed to the user.

With Plug and Measure, the sensor can be connected to an M400 transmitter, and all data, including calibration and information about the sensor history, e.g. the stresses that the sensor has been exposed to, the number of CIP cycles and much more, are transferred to the transmitter. The system becomes ready for use within a few seconds and no complicated configuration or failure prone calibration at the point of use is required. 

Mettler Toledo

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Control Engineering, 

For other Control Engineering fermentation articles, see below.

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