Monthly Archives: August 2018

Widget Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Widget Pressure

Inside a can of Guinness and a few other beers, a plastic widget releases pressure when the can is opened and exposed to atmospheric pressure. While the process is explained briefly and to the extent that a typical beer drinker cares to know on the can, there are a few other compelling technical aspects that someone involved with or interested in pressure sensing might want to know.

For one, the widget is a patented approach to solving a problem that a canned stout beer, like Guinness, has compared to typical lager or lighter beer or ale. For the later types, carbonating the beer with carbon dioxide (CO2) is sufficient to give the beer its expected head when the beer is poured. In contrast, Guinness and some other beers are expected to have a smoother head. With a widget in the can, these beers have the desired, much creamier, longer lasting head that the draft version has.

The 3-cm diameter widget looks like a ping pong ball but it has a laser-drilled, 0.61-mm pinhole in it. In the canning process, in addition to filling the with CO2 and nitrogen (N2) supersaturated stout, liquid N is added to the stout at the end. The liquid N boils off during pasteurization, the top of the can pressurizes and forces the stout into the pod until equilibrium is reached at about 25 psi.

Mug of Beer with widget

When the can is opened, the pressure is released and the small amount of beer in the cavity rapidly escapes through the pinhole providing sufficient agitation to reproduce the tap handle character for the beer. Enough of the technical stuff. It’s time to verify the results.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com

Pressure in Carbonated Beverages

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure in Carbonated Beverages

In beverages such as beer and sodas and even water, pressure makes them better. In some cases, without the pressure, due to aging or simply leaving the container’s contents exposed to air, the beverage goes flat and is undrinkable.

The sugar content of homemade beer can create pressure differences from 36 psi for a high sugar content to 30 psi for half of that level. Commercial beers typically have carbonation that creates pressures up to 45 psi. Carbonated soft drinks typically have pressures from 30 to 50 psi. The actual pressure for a specific container/content combination can vary based on temperature, altitude and shaking.

Image via Alexander Kaiser, pooliestudios.comImage via Alexander Kaiser, pooliestudios.com

While a pressure sensor on a bottle or can does not make any sense, commercial suppliers and even home brewers need to know what levels to expect so they can package their bubbly beverage in a safe container. In a production process, monitoring pressure of the carbonation source and sampling bottle/can pressures can also ensure consistent quality of the end product. In either case, pressure measurements provide valuable information.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com