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13. How craft brewers can move from hoses and flow panels to mix proof valves and valve manifolds for a more sustainable operation

R. FOLZ (1), J. Hauser (2); (1) Pentair, Venlo, Netherlands; (2) Pentair, Delavan, WI, U.S.A.

Brewhouse Operations I
Thursday, October 8
1:45–3:30 p.m.
Grand 6–8

Transfer hose “snake pits” are commonplace in craft brewing cellars. Swing panels and hoses are widely used to route product and cleaning solutions through brewery piping systems and have the advantage of lower investment costs. However, operational costs are considerably more than those of an automated system because it is very dependent on the operator. It is also much more difficult to clean and to eliminate O2 pick up in a swing bend system. Replacing hoses with valve manifolds can clean up cluttered cellars and improve safety, efficiency, product shelf life, and reduce overall operating expenses in the brewery. For the growing craft brewer who is making constant brand changes, dragging hoses from tank to tank, ensuring consistent product quality is difficult. While there is no “magic’ number as to a size or time when a brewery should consider making the move to mix proof valves/manifolds, this technology needs to be on every growing brewery’s radar. Craft brewers need to ask themselves questions such as the following. Is there a place in the brewery where it makes sense, due to frequent changeovers, to install mix-proof valves? Is there a quality issue that has been pinpointed that mix-proof valves will alleviate? Have they reached a size where reducing operating costs and errors is top priority? Matrix piping systems were introduced to the North American brewing industry more than 40 years ago, but except for a few installations haven’t made their way into the craft brewing sector. This technology revolutionized the piping system in larger breweries improving the process over manual options: space requirements are reduced considerably; reduced O2 pick up; reduced product losses; ease of installation with reduced costs; and faster changeovers. This valve system connects the process pipes from tank outlet to manifold and on to the destination. This greatly increases product recovery and considerably reduces product losses and contaminants. The bottom of the tank and valve cluster is enclosed in the tank skirt, which greatly reduces refrigeration costs. This saving, in combination with lower maintenance costs, reduces operating costs considerably. Product quality is maximized by the elimination of open lines between the vessels, which when mix-proof systems are not used are left standing in an unclean state for considerable times and, therefore, are a potential cause of contamination. Before and after examples will be presented to illustrate the benefits of valve manifolds to craft brewers.

Roland Folz is the director of technology and innovation for Pentair’s Food & Beverage Division. Since February 2014, Roland has been responsible for innovation, product design, solutions development, and global R&D function. Roland has 18 years of experience in the brewing and beverage industries. Prior to joining Pentair, he headed the VLB Department of Brewing & Beverage Science and Applications (BBSA), located in Berlin, Germany. With his team of experienced engineers at VLB-Berlin, Folz worked on sustainable developments for the beverage industry, future beverage streams, and fermentation and applied microbiological concepts and control mechanisms. Under his leadership, VLB became an internationally respected provider of mission-oriented research and solutions regarding technological topics, global consultancies, and international training courses. Roland started his career in the brewing industry with a technical apprenticeship as a brewer and maltster at the Beck’s Brewery, culminating with his doctorate degree with a thesis on the flavor stability of beer in PET bottles. He has also served as the technical director for Germany-based Preussen Pils Brewery and plant manager for the Oettinger Group. Roland is the international director on the American Society of Brewing Chemists Board of Directors. He is an active member of the International Society of Beverage Technologists and MBAA. Roland holds a Ph.D. degree in engineering technology and a diploma for brewing technology from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany.

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