Beer production is highly energy-intensive and includes many proceses from mashing and wort-boiling to fermenting and conditioning. Using many equipment items from pumps and boilers to glycol chillers. All this means lot of energy for heating and for cooling, which at the other end of the process impacts the actual cost of beer at the bar or restaurant. To lower beer cost, in our microbreweries we are using heat recuperation. Brewery energy savings are not ending with heat cost, there are even more ways how to increase your efficiency, such as solar heating or better water management.
Energy recuperation points in our microbrewery systems
Microbrewery has 3 principal operations spending most energy, and where accordingly you can make significant energy savings:
- brewhouse and hot liquor tank heating
- wort cooling
- cellar tanks cooling
Having enough hot water for brewing and for CIP-cleaning is vital but you don’t necessarily need to heat water from tap-water temperature if you can recuperate/recollect hot water efficiently. There are 3 basic points at your brewery where you can recuperate hot water and thus save a lot of energy on water heating.
1. Hot water coming from 2-phase wort-cooler
While transfering the wort after whirpooling process through wort cooler, wort Temp is app 80 degrees celsius – target Temp is 20 degrees celsius .As the wort cooler has 2-phase cooling (glycol or tap-water or both together), when using tap-water for cooling it returnes heated up to 60-70’C so you don’t need to start heating the new water from water-supply low temperatures. Water coming from wort-cooler goes directly to the brewhouse or to HLT. Standartly we connect the reverse line to brewhouse (if the wort-cooler is placed close to brewhouse, depending on your layout) for cleaning purposes or for the second batch..
2. Hot water coming from mash/kettle steam-condensing-column
Recuperation process is approximately the same like in wort-cooler, but only tap-water is used, without glycol. Hot water is recycled back to brewhouse.
***Anyway in both cases you can get clean water for brewing process if:
- You use filtered/treated water (if your municipal water needs to be treated)
- If your wort-cooler, steam-condenser and the whole system are cleant properly.
For CIP-purposes these requirements are not needed of course.
3. Condensing SOFT-water during steam heating
Brewhouse is heated by means of jacketed steam-heating zones in which pressurized steam enters heating-zone/jacket and returns as condensate back to steam-generator water tank, saving thus a lot of energy, working time and water-softener work-load, which would be spent on extra water-preheating in case you’re not using steam-condensing.
Of course, this water CANNOT be used for brewing process and even NOT for tanks cleaning as it is technical water without any minerals.