Luminaire manufacturing company Beka Schréder advocates that using light-emitting diode (LED) lights is more effective for beer brewing and bottling facilities because the type of light source used could negatively affect the beer brewing process.
Using artificial lighting within the beverage industry can mitigate the effects of ‘lightstruck’ – when beer is exposed to visible blue light with wavelengths of between 400 nm and 500 nm or ultraviolet (UV) light that has a wavelength of less than 400 nm.
If such light comes into contact with hops compounds used to ferment beer, the molecule 3-methylbut-2-ene-1-thiol develops, which is one of the most potent flavour compounds in beer and causes an unpleasant taste.
Many beer brewing companies bottle their beer in brown glass bottles, as the brown glass filters blue and UV light completely.
Green bottles filter wavelengths of 400 nm or less, and transparent glass offers no protection for hops compounds.
Kegs and aluminium cans ultimately offer the best protection because no light can come into contact with the product.
Beka Schréder product manager Daniel Kasper points out that, apart from being highly energy efficient, certain LEDs emit almost no UV light and very little blue light which could be the cause of lightstruck.
LEDs, he explains, emit a white light with a very good colour rendering rating, whereas other light sources tend to be yellow, with poor colour perception.
The company’s new product is an LED luminaire called LEDBay.
The unit is enclosed in a glass protector, making it easier to clean.
It also has a life span of about ten years with minimal maintenance requirements.
The product is ideal for large factories or the food industry where maintenance equipment, such as ladders, is impractical because of large machinery.
Most beer brewing companies are operated 24/7 and these LED units are designed to last much longer than high- intensity discharge lights, reducing the need for regular lamp replacement maintenance which can be very costly.
He concludes that, ultimately, high- pressure sodium luminaires are most suited for the brewing industry, as zero blue or UV light is emitted, but, if the correct and unique type of LED is chosen with a low amount of blue light, then an equal result can be achieved but with a much higher colour perception and energy saving.