1. Stainless steel is the foundation of beer equipment
Firstly, the material used in beer equipment is of utmost importance. The primary material used in craft beer equipment is stainless steel.
The material must be 304 stainless steel or higher, preferably 316 stainless steel. The beer brewing process demands high standards of cleanliness, and tanks and pipes need to be cleaned with acid and lye. Materials like 304 and 316 stainless steel possess excellent resistance to acid and alkali, meeting the technological requirements of beer brewing. Some manufacturers may use lower-grade stainless steel, which may not be noticeable in the short term but can lead to corrosion in the long run, affecting the taste of beer.
Stainless steel thickness
Secondly, attention should be paid to the thickness of the stainless steel. Various specifications of stainless steel plates and pipes are available globally, providing a wide range of choices. During processing, stainless steel plates may experience a certain degree of thickness loss, which is normal and acceptable. However, the variation in thickness directly impacts the equipment cost. For instance, for 3mm thick steel plates, you may find options like 2.92mm, 2.85mm, etc., with smaller deviations, or 2.6mm, 2.5mm, etc., with larger deviations. From a cost perspective, there can be a 20% difference in material costs. Larger equipment tends to have a higher proportion of material costs. While stainless steel thickness may not directly affect the brewing process, it can have an adverse impact on subsequent processing and the equipment’s service life.
2. Production processes such as welding and polishing
The welding of stainless steel involves the use of argon arc welding. The quality of welding depends on several factors such as precise current control, the skill and stability of the welder, correct welding methods, and proper argon protection during the process.
Polishing stainless steel is closely related to welding quality. A good welding foundation is essential for achieving a high-quality polish. In beer equipment, the internal polishing of tanks and pipes is more critical than external polishing. Internal polishing ensures the hygiene requirements of beer brewing, while external polishing primarily focuses on the aesthetics of the equipment in the brewery. Internal polishing is a more complex process compared to external polishing, and it involves higher labor costs.
ACE brewery equipment for sale
3. Overall requirements
Mashing and fermentation equipment must be manufactured according to predetermined drawings. Both parties need to confirm the drawings in advance. Additionally, existing molded equipment design style pictures should be referenced. Production commences only after confirmation. Key control points, such as tank functionality, lees and return pipe design, wort oxygenation after plate changes, yeast addition, temperature detection, argon shielded welding of tanks and pipelines, etc., should be processed in accordance with the approved drawings.
4. Material and thickness inspection
Inspections are required for the internal liner and outer material, as well as the thickness of the tank body. Calipers/micrometers should be used for measurements, and appropriate testing methods should be employed. Valve pipe fittings’ material should undergo syrup testing before on-site connection or delivery.
Welding quality should be clearly defined, including the welding process, pressure test standards (for fermenter Miller plate jacket and inner bladder, saccharification steam jacket), the use of argon gas shielded welding for pipeline welding, and ensuring there are no blind spots inside the pipeline. Additionally, flaw detection must be carried out.
Pressure tests should be recorded, and periodic inspections should be conducted during the process. The equipment should withstand a pressure of 0.3MPa for at least 72 hours without any pressure drop.
Insulation layer specifications, including thickness and material, should be defined.
Internal tank quality must have a smooth and scratch-free 0.4um internal polish. The inner tank should be clean and pickled after polishing to extend the service life of the beer equipment.
Tank openings should meet both functional and aesthetic requirements, with highly polished welding seams.
Equipment installation and commissioning should meet both functional and aesthetic criteria.