Joseph Kolodzinski, Symbiont Science, Engineering and Construction, Inc., West Allis, WI, U.S.A.
The consumer demand for diversity in beer styles, flavors, and ABV is increasing the complexity of brewhouse operations and expanding the demand for specialty malt handling and flavor additions in the brew kettles. Breweries are now tasked with the installation of unique ingredient delivery systems to their existing brewhouses to deliver specialty spices, specialty hops, honey, and other exotic ingredients to the brew kettles. When planning the installation of systems that deliver specialty spices and ingredients to the brew kettles, there are many considerations that are key in determining the type of system that can be utilized. Extensive planning is required to overcome the challenges of implementing modifications and installing new equipment in an operational brewhouse. Facility consideration include: operator interaction with manual tasks, space planning for equipment and storage of ingredients, material movement and staging, utilities available (i.e., hot water, steam, air, etc.), cleanability of systems, and housekeeping. Ingredient, delivery, and storage considerations include: quantity of ingredient, dense phase versus dilute phase, delivery time and convey rate, number of source and destinations, number of ingredients, premashing, explosive concerns, material properties, bulk density/degradation, slurry percentage or viscosity, volume of water added, and HVAC requirements for the storage area (i.e., humidity, temperature, etc.). With proper planning upfront, pitfalls can be avoided and the addition of new ingredient can provide the brewery the flexibility to meet the ever-changing beer-drinking consumers demands for variety.
Joe Kolodzinski, senior project manager and mechanical engineer at Symbiont Science, has more than 20 years of experience in design and project management for HVAC, mechanical, and process systems in manufacturing, food processing, and wastewater facilities. Joe is an active member of the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA); the Association of Facility Engineers (AFE); and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He was awarded the ASHRAE Illinois Excellence in Engineering Award for his work as project engineer for a new 5,000 ton chiller plant in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2003.