No one balances a maverick creative spirit with a meticulous respect for details and quality better than a craft brewer. To that end, on its blog Boulevard Brewing Co. gave some insight into a new quality assurance protocol its adding to its barrel-aged brew packaging process: flash pasteurization.
Jeremy Danner, a Boulevard brewer, notes that moving beer from the fermentation vessel to an oak barrel, thus exposing it to the elements, increases the potential for unintended flavors. To maintain the integrity of the brew, Danner said flash pasteurization is your best bet. From the blog:
Beer is siphoned from the barrels into a holding tank. Once the holding tank is full, beer is pumped through the pasteurizing heat exchanger where it’s heated to around 162 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is high enough to take care of any microorganisms that may have found their way in without damaging the flavor or altering the color of the beer. Once pasteurized, the mixture of flavors and nuances decided upon during the blending session are locked in, ensuring the beer that you drink is representative of our intentions at the time of packaging.
Danner noted that not all beers will be pasteurized, just those spending time in barrels or are infused with flavors after fermentation.