Scene Description: Although summer is over, people’s enthusiasm for drinking beer is still on the rise. However, with the promotion of the public’s pursuit and concept, the demand for beer is getting higher and higher. For example, the rising trend of fine brewing proves that people have more “stringent” requirements on the taste and flavor of beer. What new changes will take place in this ancient drink, which has lasted for thousands of years, under the blessing of AI?
Key words: intelligent brewing of beer
According to the data, the popularity of beer has increased every year since the 1960s, gradually becoming one of the drinks with the largest consumption.
According to the statistics of 2017, the annual consumption of beer per capita in China has reached as many as 60 bottles.
Every cup of beer contains a complicated manufacturing process.
From brewing formula, fermentation technology to sterilization and filling, the production process of these large wineries has gone through several generations of long exploration.
Now, on top of the traditional production technology, wineries all hope artificial intelligence to upgrade themselves to obtain higher production efficiency and better taste experience.
Beer: one of the oldest beverages
Besides being popular on the dining table, beer is also one of the oldest drinks.
Beer can be traced back to the civilization of the Lianghe River Basin more than 4,000 years ago. The remaining grains in people’s daily life, soaked in rainwater, combined with naturally occurring yeast, produced the most primitive “beer”.
This unexpected product of nature has gradually become popular among tribes with the development of farming culture due to delicious food and energy supplement. The first evidence-based formula for beer appeared in Sumerian hymns to the goddess of beer, Ningkasi.
By 1700 BC, the influence of beer took a step further and even became a bargaining chip. Babylonian “code of hammurabi” recorded the brewing regulations and rationing system of beer.
Beer is also an important element in ancient Egyptian culture
In the Middle Ages, hops were added to beer for the first time. The addition of this ingredient made the taste and flavor of beer more mellow and prolonged the shelf life of beer. The improved beer gradually became popular.
Breweries in medieval Germany
However, the brewing of beer has not changed much for a long time. Until the outbreak of the industrial revolution, the process of machine production and the way of industrialization, as well as the new fermentation technology, the rapid production of beer was realized, and the mass-produced beer was brought to all parts of the world with ships and steamed cars.
Nowadays, beer is the most common drink in our daily life. A glass of iced beer in summer can be a perfect match for all kinds of delicious food.
Technology Brings Vitality to Beer Production
There are more than 120 brewing technologies for beer in the world. The two main fermentation methods include Ale Al and Lagerlag. The main difference lies in the production technology of fermentation methods, which are high temperature fermentation, low temperature fermentation and normal temperature fermentation.
Thousands of years of exploration have determined the core raw materials of beer: barley malt, hops, yeast and water.
According to statistics, 80% of beer is industrial beer, such as Budweiser, Snowflake, Qingdao, etc.
Industrial beer will replace malt with rice, corn, starch and other raw materials in pursuit of cost, resulting in very low wort concentration and weak taste.
The raw materials of refined beer are different from those of industrial beer. The refined beer is brewed only with malt, hops, yeast and water without any artificial additives.
Industrial Beer and Fine Brewing Beer: The Difference of Fermentation Technology
Usually fine beer uses Ales process (upper fermentation process) and industrial beer uses Lagers process (lower fermentation process). The yeast position and fermentation temperature are different in the fermentation process.
In recent years, the trend of fine brewing has gradually entered the world of ordinary people. This reflects that people’s demand for beer quality has become higher while consumption has increased.
However, how to make high quality, better flavor and even personalized beer, AI and other technologies will bring a new perspective to the beer brewing industry.
Beer production: the perfect ratio is calculated by AI
Carlsberg is a famous brewer. In 2017, they began to cooperate with Microsoft and other organizations to carry out a three-year beer production plan “beer fingerprint tracking project”.
The main purpose is to use artificial intelligence and sensors to define the taste and smell difference of beer, so as to improve the accuracy in developing new products, product quality control and quality inspection.
Traditional wine tasters will judge the quality according to their actual taste experience, but because of individual taste difference, taste bud function and body state, the indicators will be affected.
Microsoft Microsoft and the scientific research teams of two Danish universities participated in the development of a complex algorithm model for the project, and jointly developed induction technology with Carlsberg Research and Development Laboratory, hoping to better improve the quality of beer.
Researchers analyzed the effects of different additives on beer taste.
For example, researchers in 140 beverage brands around the world use advanced sensors and analysis techniques to map and predict the flavor produced by yeast and other ingredients to find the best match.
The computer model has been able to distinguish these subtle differences. In the experiment, the trained model can quickly detect Carlsberg Pilsner, Tuborg Pilsner, Wiibroe and Nordic beers, which are far higher in efficiency and accuracy than professionals.
The purpose of the experimenter is to formulate the scientific basis for malt production, brewing and fermentation operations as completely as possible.
They finally envisage to draw flavor fingerprints for each sample and greatly shorten the time needed to study the flavor combination and matching process.
According to the latest data, this will shorten the time of this process by one third to help the company bring different flavors of beer to market faster.
Carlsberg believes that the technology will help it improve its beer market position and drive a number of peripheral industries, such as technology companies that study artificial intelligence to sense taste.
Beer Filling: Optimizing Quality Control by Machine Learning
AI can not only generate recipes, but also supervise the generation process. A company called Sugar Creek Brewing uses AI and Internet of Things technology to control the production of beer, improve quality and reduce losses.
In the beer filling process, the company has suffered a lot. As the filling level of bottles is not controlled consistently, some bottles will generate excessive foam, which will eventually be converted into waste and excessive dissolved oxygen, destroying beer flavor and shortening shelf life.
In order to solve this problem, they thought of AI algorithm. Through cooperation with IBM engineers, a camera is placed during the beer bottling process. Through capturing images, other data collected during the bottling process are combined and then transmitted to IBM cloud for comparative analysis by Watson system.
Workers monitor the safety of production links through data
With the comprehensive deployment of AI and Internet of Things, an effective filling standard was finally given to help brewers adjust and plan their strategies, thus completely solving the foaming problem of beer and saving the company $10,000 per month.
In addition, they also use some precision sensors to collect brewing process data to ensure the normal operation of mechanical equipment and the safety of standardized production process.
Beer Customization: Customizing the Exclusive Formula Based on Personal Data
The style difference of each beer is partly reflected in the formula. However, it takes more than ten years for a professional brewer to learn and master this skill. Using AI algorithm and machine learning to generate beer formula can shorten this time and create personalized customization scheme.
A British company called IntelligentX has used machine learning algorithms to produce the first AI-brewed beer and has introduced several major categories: Black AI, Golden AI, Pale AI and Amber AI.
This series of beer is named after color+AI
AI learns to generate recipes based on historical data. But also on the beer bottles sold, there is a URL link to the feedback questionnaire, which relies on Facebook Messenger application to collect feedback.
Questions in the questionnaire include: How much hop aroma do you want in beer? Application experience and so on, these information were finally used to adjust the formula of this series of beers. This allowed the company to collect more than 100,000 pieces of data.
After collecting the user’s data, engineers use reinforcement learning and Bayesian decision-making techniques to generate a method to change the formula according to feedback, and finally the brewer makes a choice.
Engineers are discussing a new formula for algorithmic deduction.
They are promoting this practice in the UK, where beer lovers can order personalized beer, brew customized recipes adjusted to their personal preferences, and keep updating over time.
When beer meets AI, it is really cow beer.
Beer culture has lasted for thousands of years and still occupies an important place in our daily life. We have to say that this beverage, which has been chosen by history, has strong charm.
Although AI’s attempts in the beer brewing industry have only occupied a small share compared with the traditional techniques of traditional beer for thousands of years. However, the changes brought about are enough to surprise people, and even some people are already waiting for them.
It is because of AI that we can drink more delicious and personalized beer. Perhaps, this is the most wonderful experience AI technology has brought to our times.