Re: GPEX Pfaudler Steel Milk Car: beer cars

Bruce Smith

Ok, so that's my cue <VBG>. As noted, beer could certainly be shipped in an uncarbonated form, whether concentrated or not. In fact, at the end of the fermentation process, beer is "flat". Fully fermented beer is naturally antiseptic (its true!) and therefore it should be fine if stored in a clean tank. In addition, the milk tank cars were insulated, which would keep the beer from being exposed to damaging temperature fluctuations. Once at the destination, the beer would need to be bottled or kegged and carbonated. There are 2 ways to do the latter, the first of which is bottle or cask priming where you add sugar (usually malt sugar). This only works if you leave some yeast in the beer and don't filter or pasteurize the beer...which is the way good beers are made! Or you can artificially add CO2 (which is the way Budwiser and Coors are made). You can tell a naturally primed beer by the yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle, a thing that gets the appellation "real Ale" in the UK. Thus, I think it is certainly possible that the milk tank cars could have been used to transport beer.

An alternative use of a milk tank car in the brewing industry might be to transport yeast slurries or malt syrup although the latter behaves a lot like molasses and might need heater pipes to make it flow.

Bruce F. Smith
Professor, Auburn University Brewing Science Program (Yes, we recently created an OFFICIAL Brewing Science Program at Auburn, and I really am, in addition to my major assignment as faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine, faculty in Brewing Science. I love my job!)

From: [] on behalf of Tony Thompson []
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2013 5:11 PM
Subject: { SPAM 2 }:[STMFC] Re: GPEX Pfaudler Steel Milk Car: beer cars

Tim O'Connor wrote:
I've never heard of beer being shipped in "bulk" (huge tanks or tank cars). Do you know of any examples?
You're right, Tim. It's true that far in the future (of this list) Coors will ship bulk "concentrate" from Golden to satellite facilities for "completion," but regular beer, whether artificially or naturally carbonated, does NOT seem like a candidate for bulk shipping. Hopefully our list's best candidate as beer geek (in Alabama) will chime in on this.

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail,
Publishers of books on railroad history


Yahoo! Groups Links

Join to automatically receive all group messages.