M-29: Experience-based simplification of the lautering process—Scientific results of a flow optimization at the lauter tun

T. BECHER (1), K. Wasmuht (1); (1) Ziemann International GmbH, Ludwigsburg, Germany

Brewhouse Operations
Saturday, June 7 - 10:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m.
Level 4, Grand Ballroom

The efficiency of the lauter tun could be significantly increased in the past, in terms of the number of brews and the yields and wort qualities. The process control systems in combination with modern raking units have contributed remarkably to this development. A large part of the progress is based on the number and the flow-optimized design of the run-off pipes, as well as the increased distance of the false bottom. In return, these construction measures resulted in increased material and manufacturing costs, additional cleaning processes, and a larger volume of water consumption. Due to the specified evaporation rates, the additional amount of water is no longer available as sparging water. The consequence is a correspondingly lower yield. The aim of the presented work was to develop a sophisticated lauter tun design in order to achieve at least identical performances and wort qualities with less effort and expense regarding the manufacture and operation of the lauter tun and its water consumption. The starting points were empirical data and computer-aided simulations. The computation fluid dynamics simulation clearly showed that with an optimal design of the run-off pipes and the current false bottom distance the spent grains are no longer affected by a partial suction effect. This means that the number of run-off openings can be reduced. First tests were carried out in a pilot brewery. Further practical tests in a lauter tun with a diameter of 28 ft were carried out. The result of these tests showed all relevant parameters, such as the lautering curve, yield, time, or turbidity, were absolutely comparable, with three-quarters less run-off. The first application was installed in a 100 bbl brewhouse. The aims of this pilot plant are to examine to what extent the number of run-off pipes can be reduced and to get a mathematically exact statement on that number, as well as on the optimal radius of the ring pipe. Further focus lies on better efficiency regarding raw material yields, water consumption, and use of stainless steel. The presentation will describe different empiric and scientific approaches to how to learn from the latest developments for further optimization of the lautering process. It systematically shows pioneering results of simulations and practical trials. The savings from the innovative design of the lauter tun are presented. Finally, the progressive thesis explains that in the future the number of run-off pipes will refer to the circumference of the vessel and no longer specifically to the false bottom area.

Tobias Becher graduated as diploma engineer of brewing science and beverage technology in 2001 at the Technical University of Munich in Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany). He made an apprenticeship as brewer and maltster before and worked afterward as a process engineer for beer filtration systems. Later he worked as a technical consultant, especially for environmental issues, in the German brewing sector. Since 2005 he has been employed by Ziemann, the well-known supplier of brewery equipment, as an expert in process engineering and brewing technology. Today he is head of research and development within the Process Technology Division at Ziemann International GmbH in Ludwigsburg (Germany).

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