Automation refers to the utilization of software and hardware to carry out tasks that were traditionally performed by humans. In the context of brewing, which is primarily a batch process, automation has played a significant role in reducing manual labor and ensuring beer quality. Even small breweries and beer bars have embraced automated processes to streamline their operations.
The Automation of Craft Beer Brewing Process
The beer production process encompasses four main stages: malting, saccharification, fermentation, and canning. Through the integration of computer systems and testing equipment, along with dedicated software platforms, brewers can select different control schemes based on their specific needs. This allows for precise regulation of parameters such as temperature and pressure throughout the production process, ensuring adherence to quality standards.
In semi-automatic control, certain aspects of the brewing process are subject to manual intervention. For instance, temperature collection can be carried out using intelligent temperature control meters or PLC modules, depending on the requirements of the process. The start and stop functions of motors and pumps are typically controlled through physical buttons or touch screens. Similarly, the flow of pumps can be adjusted using frequency converters controlled by knobs on the control panel. While temperature data is collected and displayed, no further processing is involved. This combination of manual and automated control is typically referred to as semi-automatic control. Semi-automatic brewing equipment is well-suited for establishments such as restaurants and bars.
To meet the increasingly high demands for product quality and technological precision in the beer market, advanced control technology, computer technology, network technology, and modern measurement technology have been employed. This has led to the development of comprehensive automation systems for beer production equipment. By leveraging these technologies, brewers can achieve enhanced control over the brewing process, ensuring consistent quality and efficiency. However, the extent of automation in craft brewing equipment can depend on factors such as sensor cost and installation space.
The automation process begins with the transfer of raw materials from the silo to the weighing system, followed by the opening of valves to enter the pulverizer. The resulting malt powder is then transported to a powder silo and subsequently introduced into the saccharification pot. This process, which minimizes labor intensity and saves time, can be automated and is considered mature technology.
The automatic mashing system incorporates features such as temperature control, regulated water flow, and pneumatic valve position feedback. Additionally, sensors are used to detect material levels and provide real-time information. While some aspects of automation, such as monitoring turbidity, are unnecessary and can be confirmed manually, other elements of automation greatly contribute to efficiency and quality control.
Over the past 20 years, the engineers at Us have dedicated themselves to the design, processing, and brewing of craft beer equipment. Throughout this time, they have made numerous innovations in equipment structure, process flow, and control concepts, which are still widely used in the industry. Moving forward, they aim to share insights related to equipment application, technological processes, brewing methods, and after-sales service.
If you are planning to open or expand a brewery, you can rely on Us to provide a turnkey solution for your brewery equipment needs. Our engineers will customize brewery equipment according to your specific brewing process, ensuring a comprehensive solution that meets your requirements.