Beer is a fermented liquor with carbon dioxide, fizz, and low alcohol concentration. It is made primarily of malt and water. Hops (including hop products) are also used, and the fermentation process is carried out by yeast.
The brewing process of beer can be roughly divided into wort manufacturing, wort processing, wort fermentation (also known as beer fermentation), beer filtration, and other production processes.
The wort production process includes the crushing process of raw and auxiliary materials for beer production such as barley malt and rice (used as domestic auxiliary materials), gelatinization and liquefaction process of auxiliary materials, saccharification process of raw materials and auxiliary materials, mash filtration and wort washing process, wort boiling process, hop addition process, swirling process for separating the hot coagulation of the boiling wort, wort processing and production process (including wort cooling process), and wort oxygenation process.
This wort production follows the batch production method. The equipment used for making wort consists of pots and tanks, supplemented by pumps, pipes, and heaters. The combinations of pots and tanks can be categorized as follows:
- The combination of two vessels can brew 2-3 batches per day.
- The combination of three vessels (mash tun, lauter tun, kettle/whirlpool tank or mash/brew kettle, lauter tun, whirlpool tank) can brew 3-5 batches per day.
- The combination of four vessels can brew 5-6 batches per day.
- The combination of four vessels and a staging slot can brew 6-7 batches per day.
In the beer fermentation process, aerobic respiration and yeast cell proliferation occur in the early stage, followed by anaerobic fermentation. The nutrients in the wort are utilized to produce alcohol, fusel oil, organic acids, etc. Traditional fermentation is usually divided into two stages: main fermentation and post-fermentation. However, the cone-type fermentation tank one-pot fermentation method is now commonly used to shorten the fermentation cycle, improve equipment utilization, and achieve high-quality beer production. This method has low investment, low energy consumption for fermentation cooling, simple operation, and is suitable for brewing different types of beer.
Various forms of diatomite filters (e.g., plate and frame type, candle type commonly used, disc type) can be used for beer filtration. They effectively remove suspended solids, improve the appearance and colloidal stability of beer, enhance biological stability, minimize wine and carbon dioxide loss, and avoid pollution, oxygen absorption, and flavor alteration.
The basic principles of beer filling are to minimize oxygen contact, reduce carbon dioxide loss, and ensure strict aseptic operation. Beer can be filled in bottles (glass, polyester plastic), cans, or barrels. Filling methods include pressure filling, vacuum filling, carbon dioxide filling, secondary vacuum filling, and others.
The choice of refrigeration equipment, steam production equipment, compressed air production equipment, and other necessary equipment for beer brewing depends on the production scale and investment. Large-scale production requires energy-efficient equipment, resulting in low production and operation costs. Conversely, small-scale production may involve cheaper equipment but higher production and operation costs. The designer should calculate the investment recovery period of energy-efficient production equipment and carefully select the equipment configuration and design scheme with high cost performance, considering the production scale and investment.