Craft beer equipment comprises a crushing system, brewhouse system, fermentation system, filtration system, CIP cleaning system, cooling system, control system, and more. The engineers at ACE CRAFT will discuss the composition system of 5000L brewing equipment with you.
- Malt Crushing: Wet Crushing
- Auxiliary Materials Crushing: Roller Crusher
The main parts of each pot/tank in the brewhouse system are made of high-quality 304 stainless steel, following international standards. Modern manufacturing technologies such as automatic plasma, laser wire cutting, and pure argon gas-shielded welding are used. The parts of the pot/tank that come into contact with materials, such as wheat mash, are mirror polished or passivated through pickling. The external surface is oil-grinding wire drawing board, ensuring advanced technology, high quality, low price, and a luxurious appearance.
Function: The rice flour and part of the malt powder are mixed with water and boiled. This mixture is used to heat the mashed mash, liquefying and gelatinizing the starch.
Structure: The pot body is cylindrical, and the bottom is either spherical or ellipsoid interlayered. The top cover has a butterfly shape, and there is a stirrer inside the pot. The bottom of the pot is equipped with a heating device, and the outside is covered with a thermal insulation layer. The pulverized rice flour and hot water are mixed by the lower powder drum and water inlet pipe, and then propelled using a propeller agitator to ensure uniform concentration and temperature of the viscous mash. This prevents heavier particles from settling on the pot wall, avoiding local overheating of the mash near the heat transfer surface.
Function: Mainly for protein decomposition and starch saccharification.
Stirring should use large-diameter, low-speed stirring blades, suspended reducers, and variable frequency control of stirring speed to avoid turbulent flow on the liquid surface of the mash during stirring. This reduces oxygen absorption by the mash. Select the appropriate stirring method according to the equipment requirements.
Heating Area and Method
The design of the heating jacket should allow heating steam to enter the jacket while preventing condensed water from causing damage to the jacket due to “water hammer.” The jacket should be semi-circular tube type or honeycomb type, controlled in sections. The inlet and outlet points of the steam and condensed water should be multi-point to ensure sufficient heating area. A high-quality trap should be selected to discharge cold condensed water, air, etc., and prevent steam leakage as much as possible.
Different automatic temperature control devices can be used, such as pneumatic angle seat valve temperature control and solenoid valve.
The process parameters require that the headspace is not less than 20% of the full volume.
The tank’s interior should be smooth and clean without any dead ends. Pay special attention to the welding quality, ensuring it is smooth and clean. Use reasonable cleaning balls.
The steam jacket produces a large amount of condensate, which can be recycled. It can be used as softened water for boilers (for equipment with large production capacity, it is recommended to add a pipeline steam condensate water recovery system to save boiler energy consumption).
Reasonable Design of Material Pipeline
Purpose: To separate the wort and spent grains, obtaining clarified wort and a good yield of extract. The separation process consists of two stages: filtration of raw wort and washing of grains. Filtration is the key process that takes the longest time in the entire saccharification process and affects the efficiency and quality of the production line.
The entire filtration time is about 2 to 3 hours. The turbidity of the wort filtration greatly impacts the beer’s quality. Unclear wort will introduce many oxidizable substances, which reduce the beer’s antioxidant performance.
For small craft beer equipment, the filter tank mostly uses milled sieve plates that are easy to disassemble and clean. The rake speed can be adjusted, ensuring a good filtration. The feeding port of the equipment is located at the bottom or side of the tank, and the mash feeding speed should be lower than 1.2m/s. The wort return port is located at the bottom or upper part of the tank to avoid wort oxygen absorption and impact on the wort layer during reflux. The wort collection port has a conical design, with more than 1.2 pieces/m2 arranged.
It is a machine-milled sieve plate with trapezoid-shaped holes. The hole width is 0.7mm, and the gap between the sieve plates and between the sieve plate and the groove body after installation is ≤0.7mm.
The rake is designed as an in-line or cross-shaped tiller arm with rotation and lifting functions, controllable in sections.
Nozzle-type or central distribution cup-type washing can be used, requiring high flow without impacting the grain layer. The main shaft seal adopts a high-level seal, with the sealing surface above the liquid level, ensuring no leakage. Liquid level control is achieved through a balance column (tank) or differential pressure design to avoid bad layer hardening. The total operation time should be controlled within 180 minutes. The thickness of the bad layer is 220mm-400mm, meeting the needs of various craft beer varieties. Residual sugar after washing should be ≤2.5°P, and wort turbidity should be ≤20EBC.
Two common forms of filtration are suction filtration and natural filtration. If a sufficient level difference cannot be achieved, the wort balance tank is used.
Purpose: To carry out the final sterilization of wort (above 100 degrees) for 60 to 90 minutes, stop enzyme activity, coagulate protein to prevent beer turbidity, evaporate excess water to shape the wort, and add hops to extract hop components.
The process parameters require that the headspace is not less than 35% of the full volume. Boiling time should range from 60 to 100 minutes, with evaporation strength at 8-12%.
Heating Method: Heating methods include pot jackets, inner heaters, outer heaters, and other forms. The shroud can be single-layer multi-channel or double-layer spherical type. A device is also set up for adding hops and accessories such as dried tangerine peel, hemp pepper, and honey.
Boiling Method: Boiling methods include normal-pressure boiling, low-pressure boiling, low-pressure dynamic boiling, and forced circulation boiling. Different combinations of these methods can be used. Low-pressure boiling and low-pressure dynamic boiling belong to pressure boiling, requiring different pot body designs compared to normal pressure boiling.
Purpose: To remove thermal coagulation and precipitate produced by the hot wort. The entire process should be completed within 20-40 minutes. The process parameters require that the headspace is not less than 15% of the full volume. The wort feeding speed should be 3-5m/s, rotating counter-clockwise or clockwise. The wort swirl clarifies and remains static for 20 minutes. Wort feeding time is 12 minutes.
The rotary sedimentation tank uses centrifugal force and gravity to gather thermal coagulation and hop residue in the center of the tank. This forms a solid-liquid separation, resembling steamed bread-like sediment. The tank has a sloping bottom structure, inclined at a slope of 2% towards the sewage outlet.
In beer production, cooling hot wort consumes a significant amount of water, approximately 50% of the total cooling consumption. Wort cooling equipment employs thin plate heat exchangers, closed cooling equipment made of stainless steel. They consist of many thin plates with grooves on both sides. Two plates form a basic unit. During wort cooling, hot wort and the cooling medium flow through the grooves via pumping, exchanging heat with turbulent flow. Two-stage cooling and one-stage cooling are the main methods used.
To be continued… See you in the next issue!
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