CO₂ in Brewing: Insights from Haskell’s Brewmaster, Dwight Garrels
Dwight Garrels, second from left, and his son, Garth Garrels, far right, stopped for a photo with Michael and Petra Hahn, owners of the small hotel where they stayed during Oktoberfest 2023. Dwight Garrels, Haskell’s Director of Process and Mechanical Engineering, is the company’s subject matter expert for both the major and craft brewery industries.

June 12, 2024

CO₂ in Brewing: Insights from Haskell’s Brewmaster, Dwight Garrels

In soda, it's the fizz. In seltzers, it's the bubbles. But in beer, CO₂ also impacts aroma, taste and freshness. Learn what Garrels told BevTech 2024.

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Carbon dioxide (C0₂) is the common carbonation agent in myriad sparkling waters, sodas, seltzers and other alcoholic beverages, but as Haskell’s Dwight Garrels recently told the crowd assembled at BevTech, there’s just something special about its purpose and use in brewing beer.

BevTech is the International Society of Beverage Technologists’ (ISBT) premier annual event, which gathers up to 500 beverage experts for three days of symposiums, featured speakers and networking. This year, organizers invited Garrels to present because of his extensive experience in brewing and C0₂ recovery systems which “capture” CO2 produced in beer fermentation and reuse in the brewing process.

“The unique thing about C0₂ in the brewing process is that it is produced as a byproduct and then actually put back in as a processing aid,” he said. “It helps to keep oxygen from hitting the beer and turning stale,” he said. “C0₂ in the brewing industry has many more uses and quality impacts than in the soda industry.”


Experience the interactive presentation that accompanied Dwight Garrels' session at BevTech 2024
Experience the interactive presentation that accompanied
Dwight Garrels' session at BevTech 2024



 

In his eighth year as a Haskell team member, he is the Director of Process and Mechanical Engineering, and while he also works with distilleries, wineries and a multitude of food and beverage projects, he’s the company’s subject matter expert for both the major and craft brewery industries.

Garrels is Haskell’s Brewmaster.

He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering fields from the University of Illinois and another master’s from Southern Illinois University in engineering with chemical and mechanical emphases. He spent almost 20 years at Anheuser-Busch, rising to Project Development Manager and cultivating vast expertise in all aspects of the brewing process, but with special emphasis and working on C0₂ systems, developing C0₂ quality guidelines and helping to increase C0₂ recovery and optimizing usage in the brewing process.

His presentation to the ISBT focused on how C0₂ affects more than just the bubbles in beer, but also the design, process, quality, and environment of the brewery and product. C0₂ extends the shelf life of beer by preventing oxygen intrusion and can also be recaptured for reuse after fermentation.

“After the presentation, I had several people approach me who were interested in the engineering capabilities required to purify and use C0₂,” he said. “It was a great networking experience and opportunity to explain a different side of C0₂ as well as introduce them to the brewing side of the beverage industry.

At the end of BevTech, a C0₂ symposium delved deeper into the strategies and trends surrounding carbon dioxide and potential solutions to generating a sustainable supply.

“The C0₂ symposium was a smaller group and allowed more opportunities for industry-specific networking and more in-depth conversations,” he said. “It was nice to focus on just C0₂ and make more connections.”

While this was Garrell’s first presentation at BevTech, it won’t be his last. ISBT asked him to return, possibly later this year, to speak at ISBT-Europe and then in 2025 at ISBT-USA to discuss overall usage in the brewing process and the alcohol industry’s specific guidelines.

“At this specific conference there were a lot of technical sessions I enjoyed attending,” he said. “One of them was sustainability, which Haskell has set itself apart on when we do projects. We have the knowledge of sustainability tools and understand their importance. By capturing CO2 and re-suing it the product prevents venting the CO2 to atmosphere and contribute to the greenhouse gas concerns.


 
Haskell's subject matter experts consistently maintain a holistic and innovative approach to problem-solving, which means they regularly participate in solutions-focused discussions across disciplines and industries. Contact our team to leverage that thought leadership on your next project.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

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