Is Beer Carbonated? [ Science Speaks ]

If you’ve ever had beer, you may be wondering from its unique taste and texture whether it’s carbonated or not. Many people have asked the same question, and for a good reason! So, Is beer carbonated?

Beer is carbonated. It’s considered carbonated because it has carbon dioxide gases dissolved, resulting from the yeast fermenting the sugar content in the beer. This is why you may have noticed its fizziness, with a layer of foam forming on top when it is poured.

So, now that we’ve answered the main question let’s take a close look at why beer is carbonated. This article will explain everything you need to know about beer and carbonation, so keep reading now to get all the details.

Carbonation Basics

carbonation in drinks

We all know carbonation in drinks like soda and beer, but what is it at its basic level?

Simply put, carbonation is the presence of carbon dioxide gases in any given liquid. Pressure is required to keep the carbon dioxide in a drink, so the liquid needs to be sealed so this pressure doesn’t escape.

This is why a bottle of soda or a can of beer hisses when you first open it. That’s the sound of some of that pressure escaping and some of the drink’s carbonation. Carbonation is usually achieved in one of two ways, especially for beer, and that is through forced carbonation or natural carbonation.

Is Carbonation in Beer Similar to Carbonated Soda?

soda and beer on ice

When you think of a carbonated beverage, the first one that comes to mind is probably soda. This may lead you to wonder if the carbonation in soda is the same as the carbonation in some beers.

Carbonation in beer is similar to carbonated soda but not the same carbonation type. When carbonation is introduced to certain mass-produced beer types, the carbon dioxide gases are forced into the beer at high-pressure levels. The amount of fizziness in your beer results from how much CO2 was pumped into it and at what level of pressure was applied. This would be similar to how carbonation is introduced to soda, but not exactly the same.

As far as micro-brewed beer goes, the process is even more differentiated. Carbonation is introduced entirely through fermentation, meaning a certain amount of yeast and sugar is used to produce carbonation in the beer. Carbonation introduced in this manner takes time to build up, so the level and intensity can vary depending on how long it’s left to ferment.

What Type of Beer Is Not Carbonated?

2 cups of ginger bear with fresh lime and ginger

Even though there are many carbonated kinds of beer, there are also some that aren’t. The type of beer that is not carbonated is traditional cask ale, served without introducing extra carbonation. Other types of beer that do not have carbonation in them include high-alcohol beers like barley wines or even Belgian lambics. These beers are left with a smooth, fizz-less texture and feel by forgoing a second fermentation or aggressive carbonation process.

How To Keep Beer Carbonated

iced cold beer about to be opened

Like soda, beer can become flat if left unsealed for too long. If a tight seal is kept on a carbonated beer, the carbonation will be able to be maintained, and it will not go flat. If beer is left out with its lid unsealed for longer than a few hours, you can expect it to lose its carbonation and to go flat.

Even when carbonated beer is sealed, it can still go flat if stored improperly or too long. Beers with a low ABV percentage (alcohol by volume) should be good for storage for up to six months without losing carbonation. But if stored for longer, they may become flat even when properly sealed.

Lambics or stouts, however, were meant to be left open for long periods of time to further age. This aging process helps to increase the flavor, but much of the carbonation will leak out over that time. This means beers of this type are typically consumed flat.

How To Properly Store Your Beer

beer storage wooden barrels

Similar to wine, beer does not keep well in bright light. For example, the beer taste will be ruined relatively quickly if left in direct sunlight. As such, the proper way to store beer is to keep it in a cool, dark place and out of any direct light, especially sunlight.

For this reason, most beer will come in dark bottles, cans, or kegs, which are impenetrable in terms of light. Many avid beer drinkers will also have dedicated storage space for their beer, typically some cellar or other cool, dark room.

RELATED POST:  How Long Does It Take for Beer to Get Cold on Ice?

Final Thoughts

friends bear toast

Many kinds of beer are fizzy and foamy, cascading down your throat in a shower of bubbles when you take a drink. It may seem strange that, like soda, this is because many types of beer are carbonated. Introducing CO2 gases into the beer, either through forced pressure or natural fermentation processes, gives it the typical foamy, fizzy texture many have come to love.

Since carbonation can be tricky, a carbonated liquid must be stored and sealed correctly to maintain the same carbonation levels over time. Beer especially needs to be stored in special conditions to allow it to remain fizzy. This is why many types of beer are kept out of sunlight and in a dark, cool place somewhere safe.

We hope this short guide has helped to answer all your questions about whether or not beer is carbonated! For more interesting facts and guides, check out the rest of our articles on our site! But don’t go just yet; keep reading for a few more commonly asked questions about beer and carbonation.

Related Questions:

1. Is Draft Beer Carbonated?

Draft beer is carbonated. Because of this, it’s typically stored in a pressurized keg, allowing it to maintain the proper level of pressure to keep carbonation from leaking out over time as it’s stored.

2. Is Guinness Beer Carbonated?

Guinness beer is more nitrogenized than carbonated, with around 75% nitrogen to 25% CO2 gas. Guinness beer undergoes a different kind of carbonation than most beers, being carbonated with a special carbon dioxide/nitrogen mix.

3. Is Wine Carbonated?

Wine is not typically carbonated. Most types of wine are brewed to remove any of the bubbles that form during the fermentation process. However, some types of wine still do maintain certain levels of carbonation. This treatment of wine originated during the Dark Ages when priests viewed carbonated wine as “the devil’s brew.” Misunderstanding what causes carbonation was the result.

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