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O-39. New approach in beer clarification with the focus on precoat filtration

Presenter: Joerg Zacharias, Krones AG, Neutraubling, Germany

Precoat filtration technology is the mostly widely used method of filtration. It has been developed over the last decades into a highly efficient filtration technology. In addition, when compared with alternative filtration methods it has advantages, especially in its variability with regard to malt quality influenced filtration problems and also with regard to cost minimization. More than 80% of beer clarification is done using precoat filtration with kieselguhr as the filter aid. Its handicap is the increasing demands associated with disposal of kieselguhr. Changing legislation is leading to strong requirements, especially in central Europe. This uncertainty is unsettling the brewing guild. Starting with well-developed precoat filtration, possibilities, limitations, and alternatives must be discussed. This is forcing increasing engagement in finding the best alternative processes or media for kieselguhr. All the previously applied alternative techniques have in common is that they cannot deliver the same technological flexibility with the same technological and sensory quality over the whole process. Breweries with a wide variety of products, in particular, will have this main objection to performance. As a main focus, therefore, the well-proven Krones technology, the twin flow system, is an ideal exceptional base for using alternative filter aids. A new approach will be presented and discussed with regard to the following aspects underlined by the expertise provided by the last year’s work. In the development of new strategies to substitute for the kieselguhr filtration process the approach is driven by the quality of filtrate, flexibility due to malt quality and raw materials, harmlessness of possible filter aid, disposal, energy consumption, and adaption to manpower. In summary, sustainability has to be considered.

As a student of food technology in Weihenstephan, Joerg Zacharias obtained his doctorate at TU in Munich in the Chair for Fluid Mechanics and Process Automation. It was there that he also lectured for several years on food process technology and measurement technology used in biotechnology. He has been an employee of Krones AG since 2005, working in the R&D Process Technology Division for the beer, water, milk and juice sectors. As an expert on rheological and process engineering issues, as well as on the requirements of hygienic design in process technology, Joerg plays an important role in the current development projects performed at Krones AG.

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