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Innovation defined: Microcarbonated(TM) lager

Molson Coors has announced the launch of Molson M, the world’s only “microcarbonated” lager beer.

Microcarbonization is a revolutionary process implemened by Molson Coors at the company’s brewery on Notre-Dame Street in Montreal, a process during which the beer is injected with CO2 through smaller, finer bubbles with a high level of precision and consistency.

“The injection of smaller CO2 bubbles makes it possible to preserve not only the taste of the hops but also the delicate flavours generated by the yeast during fermentation,” explained Karine Brunelle, brewer with Molson Coors.

A patent is pending.

 

21 Responses to Innovation defined: Microcarbonated(TM) lager

  1. Adeptus November 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm #

    I’m sorry, but what a load of bollox.

  2. Brad November 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Is there any actual validity to 1) the claimed ability to create smaller bubbles (see: homebrewers’ debates over bottle-conditioning vs. force carbonating) and 2) the alleged effects on flavor?

  3. erik November 23, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    Wow. I can’t wait to try one of these to find out what hops taste like.

    /sarcasm

  4. Brad November 23, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    @Erik:

    If Miller Lite gets a hold of this technology, watch out!

  5. Swordboarder November 23, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Brad,
    Yes. We’ve noted in our IPA that if we are able to allow it to naturally carbonate (high pressure in the tank over time) rather than force (bubbling through a carbonation stone) we get a better hop aroma. The lighter volatiles from dry hopping are especially susceptible to coming out of solution (and also tend to disappear within a month cold stored in a bottle).

    Now if they have developed something that can force carbonate without creating nucleation sites that volatilize the hop aroma, more power to them. But with the small amount of hops they use, will you really be able to tell the difference?

    Also using such technology as a marketing gimmick gives it less credibility in my opinion. AB doesn’t talk about any of the cool (if flavor stripping) equipment they use in their breweries.

  6. Brad November 23, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    That’s interesting. Thanks for that.

  7. Jeff Bearer November 24, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Triple Hopped
    Cold Filtered
    Cold Brewed
    Ice Filtered

    Odds are this is just more marketing crap. But I’m curious if there is something behind a different carbonation device. CO2 stones seem to be 0.5 to 0.2 micron. I wonder what size pores are in their device?

  8. Swordboarder November 24, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    I was wondering the same thing. RO filteration is on the nanometer level, so it would have to be somewhere in between the two. I’d imagine the surface area would need to be larger as well.

  9. severine chriqui November 26, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    Actually, years of innovation has allowed Molson to create a real revolution in the world of beer with new Molson M. The very first Microcarbonated lager with a highly drinkable taste.

    During the microcarbonation process the beer is injected with CO2 through smaller, finer bubbles with precision and consistency to attain a level of carbonation that we believe to be close to perfection. Our brewmasters call it the lager with the most drinkable taste.

    http://www.facebook.com/MolsonM

  10. Swordboarder November 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Severine, your language has a hint of marketing to it (not to mention the link to a Facebook page in French) but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you can give me a scientific article to merit your claims. I would love to talk further about how this process works.

  11. Brad November 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    Credit to Molson, I suppose, for trying to reach out and participate in the conversation, but Severine, I think you would be better-served by providing more than just press-release excerpts.

    Especially as concern lines like this: “Our brewmasters call it the lager with the most drinkable taste.”

    This doesn’t really mean anything. It’s hazy and squishy and from a technical and informational standpoint, unfulfilling. What makes a “taste” “drinkable”? And how does this hinge so critically on whether a beer is “microcarbonated” or not? I can imagine a beer with a highly “drinkable taste” (e.g. Mild, Helles, Kolsch, etc.) that is perfectly and highly drinkable even given current methods of carbonation.

    What I think we’d all like to see is a double-blind triangle test involving “microcarbonated” beer vs. the same product carbonated the “old” way.

  12. severine chriqui November 30, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    Hi There,

    First of all, thank you for your responses!

    The Facebook fan page is bilingual – although, the launch of Molson M has been in Quebec only, for now, therefore you will find that most wall posts may be in French.

    Molson M is the only microcarbonated lager in the world, so it’s only normal that so many questions in regards to its brewing process would arise.

    So, I will try to keep it simple & put it in plain language…. But it might come out a little technical… LOL

    What makes Molson M so different is the patent pending microcarbonation process. During which the beer is injected with CO2 through smaller, finer bubbles with precision and consistency to attain a level of carbonation that is close to perfection. Injecting smaller bubbles is better because it’s so gentle, therefore we retain all the goodness of the hops, and the subtle flavours created by our yeast during fermentation.

    You wouldn’t shake a bottle of beer before drinking it…. Of course the CO2 wouldn’t be at the optimum level. But beyond that some of the hop aroma and flavour will have come out in the head. Some of what you smell when you shake the beer is the esters that are naturally produced by our yeast during fermentation, the subtle flavours that give the beer its distinctive character. Why destroy all that by being rough with the beer? Microcarbonation is about as gentle as you can get.

    Microcarbonation ensures the perfect level of carbonation for maximum refreshing taste and lets the flavour and smoothness of the beer shine through.

    Does this answer some of your questions in regards to the brewing process of Molson M?

    Have you had a chance to taste the beer? I would love to get your feedback.

    Cheers!

    Severine

  13. brewer a November 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    I love those estery lagers.

  14. LStaff December 1, 2009 at 7:46 am #

    >Does this answer some of your questions in regards to the brewing process of Molson M?

    Exactly none. Your ‘technical” response is nothing but marketing hubris.

    If you want to play with knowledgeable beer people, you gotta bring some substance to the conversation, and not just repeat your corporate marketing mantra. At this point you are just insulting our intelligence – maybe you want to send one of your technical people on here who understands the science to clean up the mess you are making.

  15. Stan Hieronymus December 1, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Andrew – Most of the better research related to fermenter geometry and ester production – something obviously more important in ales – has b een by lager breweries. It’s incremental. They don’t want “estery” but they don’t want flavor and aroma washed out.

  16. brewer a December 1, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Well I guess more to Molson’s point then. I haven’t been able to taste all of their flavor positive esters because they’ve been scrubbed out during carbing. All of these years I’ve just been waiting for a more drinkable and full of goodness version of Molson.

  17. Chad December 1, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    As if anyone was already doubting this as BS marketing, I recently met with Toby, one of the head production managers at Coors in Golden Colorado (aka Molson Coors) They want next to no esters in their ‘range’ of lagers, this was relayed in the fact he is about to commence on a Ph.D project over at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland on how to get estererification even lower..

    Sorry if that was too technical for you Severine..

    Cheers,

  18. Stan Hieronymus December 1, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Chad – Not to be contrary, but for “Brew Like a Monk” I talked with Greg Casey, who also works for Coors. This was about fermenter geometry and he said:

    “A classic example of a design impact became apparent with the introduction of cylindro-conicals in replacement of traditional box fermenters. Due to the greater height-to-width ratio of the former, many of the early lagers coming out of cylindro-conicals were much less estery than the box-fermented counterpart (all other things being equal). This ‘washed-out’ ester character was linked to CO2 inhibition, a finding which has since been applied in designing cylindro-conicals to more reasonable ratios (lower height to width).”

    Does that sound like somebody working for a company aiming for zero esters?

  19. Chad December 3, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Stan – yeah sounds a bit contradictory between the two. Is Greg Casey implying that without some ester impact the beer was out of spec or un-balanced? Also was he referring to ale production based on info from lager studies. Either way a lot of good research to our industry has come from both Coors and AB.

  20. Stan Hieronymus December 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    Chad,

    He was talking about the need for esters in lagers for a full flavor.

    He was discussing lager production, but said that it made sense to extrapolate that to ales. For obvious reasons most research has focused on lagers, although recently more brewing chemists are turning their attention to ales.

  21. Frank June 21, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I have enjoyed Molson Lager for many years. I find the microcarbinated smoother with less of an after taste.

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