At drinktec 2017, GEA will share the Brewery Advanced concept using its technology and a process design.
This results to more brews in the lauter tun from 12 to 14 a day, while reducing the evaporation rate to 1%.
“Brewery Advanced” demonstrates innovative process design for breweries
“Breweries nowadays face a highly competitive environment with enormous challenges, which are all subservient to a single task: They have to ensure their ability to deliver,” explains Dr. Rudolf Michel, head of the development department for alcoholic beverages.
“However, the two-to-three-week brewing process is subject to a few uncertainties, as we still have to rely on Mother Nature despite all the technology.”
“After all, we work with yeast – a living organism – and its capacity and flocculation reaction is not completely predictable,” he says.
“However, beer taking 16 days instead of 13 days to brew can throw off the entire production schedule.”
To avoid this situation and improve the predictability of their customers’ beer production, GEA engineers have made sophisticated changes to technical components and process planning.
Here are more details.
Performing 14 brews a day
The lauter tun is where the clear wort and the spent grains are separated from one another and can now perform 12 brews a day using the classic batch procedure.
GEA was able to increase the number up to 14.
Even with same brew batch capacity, the peak load is reduced by 15%, meaning smaller lauter tuns are sufficient and less investment is needed in the boiler house.
The hops are now added to the liquid wort in the wort kettle.
Two methods are used to improve the hop yield, aromatics and energy balance.
“First, we use our wort stripper to change the standard wort boiling process,” says Dr. Michel.
“Instead of boiling for the standard 60 minutes with an evaporation rate of 4%, we perform a highly effective counterflow steam wash to remove the volatiles.”
The evaporation is thus transferred from the wort kettle to a so-called stripper.
The second component of the process is hop isomerization, for which GEA has already patented an innovation.
With Hopstar Iso technology, this process is performed in parallel to the wort boiling and is faster as the hops can be mechanically pre-treated and heated to a higher temperature.
The closed system helps retain hop oils.
In the end, the improved process design and the higher temperatures increase hop yields 15%-30%.
The technology also reduces the required overall evaporation in the wort kettle and in turn primary energy consumption in the brewhouse.
In conjunction with counterflow stripping, the overall evaporation can be reduced from the current standard of 4% to less than 1%.
Shorter processing time in cold block
GEA’s Eco-Ferm for the cold process area is, a homogenization procedure for fermentation tank contents, which improves the turn-around time for fermentation and production planning.
A jet pump is used in the cone inlet, which mixes both more effectively, while also consuming less energy than other mixing concepts.
Fermentation, maturation and cooling take less time.
In general, several hours can be saved in many cases and sometimes even a whole day of tank occupancy time.
Tank capacity is thus greater.
“Thanks to the GEA jet mixing, we support the natural mixing process in the tanks, parallel to the circulation, which is created through the generated carbon dioxide,” says Dr. Michel of the principle, which ensures gentle yeast treatment and even increases their vitality because less sediment forms in the tank cone.
“This way, we can make the yeast a bit less unpredictable.”
Filtering beer – without waste
Clear beer types receive a final filtration after cold storage, in order to remove the remaining yeast particles.
The GEA clearamic BeerFiltration used for this purpose is the result of a joint development project of GEA experts for brewing technology in Kitzingen and for separation technology in Oelde, and a sustainable cross filtration solution for beer production free from diatomaceous earth and waste.
Clearamic membranes utilize an inert material thus ensuring a pure beer taste.
A pre-assembled module allows for short installation and start-up times and the highly flexible plant concept permits upgrade at any time.
Consuming less hot water
GEA engineers developed and ran practical tests of the open energy storage system 2.0, which supports customers in the sustainable water and energy management.
GEA provides two hot water tanks as no-load energy storage vessels with two temperature levels (e.g. 96 °C and 80 °C).
The brewing water heated to 95 °C or 96 °C by the large wort cooler is then cooled to about 80 °C in a second step – in the wort heater or in the mash vessel – and is only then available for the brewing process.
With the open system, the hot water excess in a brewhouse can be influenced within the boundaries of physics.
At customer Compañía Cervecera de Nicaragua, GEA was thus able to reduce the energy consumption in the brewhouse by almost a quarter and about nine percent of the total energy needs for the brewery.
The concept is also suitable for use with a vapor condenser and especially at brewery locations, where the cold water temperature is high or fluctuates with the seasons.
“We were even able to reduce excess hot water in facilities brewing top fermented and bottom fermented beer to almost zero thanks to clever production planning, when we use the different pitching temperatures,” says Dr Michel.