There is nothing as damaging to a brand as inconsistency in product quality. For beer and soda manufacturers, a common cause of inconsistency with the product is in the level of carbonation of the beverage.
When beverage carbonation is not consistent, customers assume there is a quality control issue in the process. Lack of carbonation or over carbonation in any type of beverage can impact the taste and the look of the beverage in the glass. In fact, it may well be a factor of carbonation and not an issue with inconsistency or lack of quality control in the actual beverage itself.
Over and Under Carbonation
When there are issues in production with over carbonation and under carbonation between batches, and the parameters of the equipment and system have not been changed, issues with maintenance on the carbonation equipment can be at the root of the problem. Older technology that is not as precise can also be a factor to consider, particularly as the technology and the equipment ages.
Older systems for beverage carbonation required very frequent maintenance. If this has not been provided, the system may be reacting the end of its duty cycle, resulting in variations in the carbonation and even issues with incomplete mixing.
In some cases, the carbonation level seems consistent, but the taste of the beverage change or there is a different taste in some batches. This may be caused by lack of cleaning or with systems that have some issue contamination when multiple products are produced through the same lines.
Thoroughly cleaning the system is often a good starting point in these types of situations. In old tank types of systems, this can include a lot of cleaning and significant downtime, which is why most new beverage carbonation systems include CIP (Clean In Place) technology.