Energy-optimised brewing process – The system is wonderfully easy to retrofit

Whereas in the past the crucial cost factor in a brewery was the extract yield, in the future it’s going to be the price of energy. Helmut Kammerloher from Krones AG, speaking in the Innovation Flow Lounge at the drinktec, presented a system that enables energy costs to be downsized more than substantially. Every brewery, by the laws of nature, is going to have a very large amount of excess warm water. EquiTherm is the first concept on the market where there is no longer any excess warm water in the brewhouse. The best thing about it is this: “The system is wonderfully easy to retrofit”, says the product specialist from Krones’ Process Technology Division. “We’ve already proved this eleven times over. Currently, more than 13 million hectolitres of wort are being brewed worldwide with EquiTherm.”

innnovation flow loungeThe huge demand is unsurprising, because the savings are enormous, for both the infusion and the decoction process. Thermal energy savings, and thus the energy cost savings too, are more than 30 per cent, while for electricity the figure is over 34 per cent. In addition, load peaks in steam generation are reduced by more than 27 per cent. As far as the technology is concerned, the EquiTherm system comprises three individual process units, each coupled to the other: ShakesBeer EcoPlus, an energy storage tank with a stratified charging pipe, and the wort cooler. In 2010, Bergquell Brewery in Löbau was the first client to use EquiTherm, for an output of 200,000 hectolitres. Then the Veltins Brewery had the system retrofitted for an output of 2.5 million hectolitres. Veltins is thus now the first major brewery to have a multi-type-capability and uniquely energy-efficient brewhouse. “The crucial consideration here is who can assure us of the most favourable operating costs in the long run. The really ingenious thing about EquiTherm is the double energy recirculation feature”, said the Technical Director of Veltins Brewery, Peter Peschmann, as quoted by Helmut Kammerloher.

“On average, we’ve been able to save two kilowatts per hectolitre with the EquiTherm retrofits”, explained Helmut Kammerloher. The auditorium of the Innovation Flow Lounge noted these figures with respect: energy and cost savings thanks to intelligent process technology.