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UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: June 26, 2018 05:40PM
Oh the humanity! As a summer heat wave closes in on Britain.
[www.theguardian.com]
The UK’s biggest wholesaler has begun rationing beer, cider and soft drinks as rising demand amid the heatwave and England’s World Cup campaign comes up against a shortage of food-grade carbon dioxide gas (CO2) which is hitting supplies.

Booker, which supplies thousands of convenience stores including the Londis, Budgens and Premier chains, as well as restaurant chains including Wagamama and Carluccio’s, is limiting beer and soft drinks purchases to 10 cases per customer and cider to five cases.

A spokesperson for the wholesaler, which was recently bought by Tesco, said: “Due to the international shortage of CO2, we are experiencing some supply issues on soft drinks and beer.
“We are currently working hard with our suppliers to minimise the impact for our customers and to optimise availability with the stock that is available. Therefore, we cannot comment further at this stage.”

The rationing is the latest sign of shortages caused by high summer demand for fizzy drinks and beer, coupled with maintenance shutdowns at ammonia and bioethanol plants across Europe, which are the key sources of CO2.

Suppliers of chicken, pork and bagged salad have also been affected, while Ocado and Morrisons home deliveries of frozen food have been hit because of a shortage of dry ice, another form of CO2.

Supplies of Heineken’s John Smith’s Extra Smooth and Amstel kegs have already been hit. The brewer said: “Like many other businesses in the food and drinks industry, we are affected by this shortage. “We continue to work hard to resolve this issue as quickly as possible within our European supply base, and are working with customers to minimise disruption to their business.”

Coca-Cola has also said that it has “temporarily paused” some production because of the shortage of gas. Retailers said they were also seeing some shortages of supplies of Pepsi and had expected difficulties with other beverages supplied by Britvic including 7Up, Tango and Mountain Dew by next week. Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “The shortfall in the availability of CO2 across Europe continues to impact beer producers in the UK, as well as the farming and food manufacturing sectors.

“We have recommended our members to continue to liaise with their providers directly where they have concerns over supply, but are monitoring the situation carefully. “We continue to engage with the government on the issue and call for their assistance; such as increasing storage capacity for CO2 in the UK, to ensure this does not happen again.”



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2018 06:00PM by Steve G..
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Re: UK In Crsis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: June 26, 2018 05:45PM
Gosh... I suppose they could resort to traditional brewing, where the yeast produces the CO2...
Nah, crazy talk...



Paul F.
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Re: UK In Crsis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 26, 2018 05:59PM
Quote
Steve G.
Oh the humanity! As a summer heat wave closes in on Britain.

The humanity? Oh, the irony! Not enough cee-oh-two!

EDIT: For anyone else who might be curious about what constitutes "food-grade" carbon dioxide: [cooking.stackexchange.com]



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2018 06:00PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: June 26, 2018 06:24PM
Isn't carbon dioxide the same gas we're constantly being told that there's too much of in the atmosphere? Was there an explosion in or strike at a major carbon dioxide processing/capture facility?



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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Golfer
Date: June 26, 2018 06:43PM
We make CO2 at our plant (by-product of making anhydrous ammonia). It has becoming increasingly hard to make money on the CO2 side with all the ethanol plants that have been built in the last decade. At least that is what we are always told, that it is cheap and readily available. However, any time we have to go down it is about impossible to get a supplier for liquid to keep the dry ice plant in production to meet orders. Our CO2 is some of the most pure we seen compared to others we've seen, generally 99.96-99.98%.
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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 26, 2018 06:44PM
Quote
Thrift Store Scott
Isn't carbon dioxide the same gas we're constantly being told that there's too much of in the atmosphere? Was there an explosion in or strike at a major carbon dioxide processing/capture facility?

Yes, hence the irony I reference in my post.



It is what it is.
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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 26, 2018 10:59PM
Quote
Golfer
We make CO2 at our plant (by-product of making anhydrous ammonia). It has becoming increasingly hard to make money on the CO2 side with all the ethanol plants that have been built in the last decade. At least that is what we are always told, that it is cheap and readily available. However, any time we have to go down it is about impossible to get a supplier for liquid to keep the dry ice plant in production to meet orders. Our CO2 is some of the most pure we seen compared to others we've seen, generally 99.96-99.98%.

Neat to read about. On the profitability issue, my guess is very few local truckers have OSHA certification for liquid CO2 and/or trucks to haul it from the alternate sources on short notice. Likely cheaper to make the dry ice at the source and haul that, than haul the liquid.

Food grade needs to be really low in hydrocarbons (benzene hopefully in the single digit PPB range). A filter column of activated charcoal might be all you need to make the local (Des Moines?) breweries happy.



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Re: UK In Crsis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Rolando
Date: June 26, 2018 11:30PM
Quote
Paul F.
Gosh... I suppose they could resort to traditional brewing, where the yeast produces the CO2...
Nah, crazy talk...

I didn't know there was another way! I need a list of adulterated beers, stat!



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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Golfer
Date: June 27, 2018 07:42AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
Quote
Golfer
We make CO2 at our plant (by-product of making anhydrous ammonia). It has becoming increasingly hard to make money on the CO2 side with all the ethanol plants that have been built in the last decade. At least that is what we are always told, that it is cheap and readily available. However, any time we have to go down it is about impossible to get a supplier for liquid to keep the dry ice plant in production to meet orders. Our CO2 is some of the most pure we seen compared to others we've seen, generally 99.96-99.98%.

Neat to read about. On the profitability issue, my guess is very few local truckers have OSHA certification for liquid CO2 and/or trucks to haul it from the alternate sources on short notice. Likely cheaper to make the dry ice at the source and haul that, than haul the liquid.

Food grade needs to be really low in hydrocarbons (benzene hopefully in the single digit PPB range). A filter column of activated charcoal might be all you need to make the local (Des Moines?) breweries happy.

Nothing really special needed for certification other than a hazmat endorsement. Getting it here wouldn't be a problem as most places that have liquid CO2 would have the drivers certified to haul it. It's more just trying to find a place that has excess we could get our hands on.

Our dry ice is used in a lot of meat packing plants (they mix the pellets in with the meat so that the meat doesn't get hot during grinding) so it is classified as food grade.
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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: 3d
Date: June 27, 2018 09:32AM
They'll have to settle for the fancy imported beer.

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Re: UK In Crisis! 'Beer rationed as UK's food-grade carbon dioxide runs low '
Posted by: Maddog
Date: July 02, 2018 05:57PM
Generally you can carbonate beer as it ferments naturally, but will still need CO2 for serving and maintaining those levels of carbonation. It doesn't really matter if you make the yeast do it or use pressure.
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