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Australia: Brewer uses UV sterilization for quality control

In 2007, Australian brewer, Tooheys, decided to sterilize its process water with the first Hanovia UV system supplied by Fluidquip Australia.

Its first ultra violet (UV) system was installed on the de-aerated water generation plant.

Since then, two Hanovia UV systems have been added to the de-aerated water distribution plant, one system added to the sugar intake and two more after the carbon filter on the water inlet to the Brew House.

The brewer’s group technical managers needed to decide not only how to effect sterilization of their water, they also needed to evaluate the range of commercial options.

Using UV sterilization, they found it did not impart a flavor to the brewing process and does not require chemical dosing.

Unlike Ozone, UV sterilization did not create a reaction with the brewing ingredients by reacting with the free radicals; sterilants or other chemicals and could potentially taint the beer.

The found UV is a clean way to sterilize the feed streams going into the brewing process.

However, the sugar intake presented some constraints.

As the heat in the UV lamps can caramelize sugar, and with the sugar running as a batch system (with startup and shutdown), the brewers needed to ensure there is a good flow going through the UV systems before the UV lamps are engaged.

To avoid the unsterilized product passing the UV system, circulation loops were used to avoid having standing product in the UV system whilst the UV intensity comes up.

The managers found that when producing product under license, UV sterilization can be required as close as possible to the point of use of the dilution water.

Even in the absence of microbes, the use of UV sterilization ensures all quality requirements are guaranteed to be met.