Current Magazine

Continuous Fermentation Process Increases Beer Brewing Efficiency

Posted on the 05 June 2013 by Dailyfusion @dailyfusion
The pilot plant for new the fermentation process (Picture: K. Auffermann-Müller/TUM)

The pilot plant for new the fermentation process (Picture: K. Auffermann-Müller/TUM)

The beer is going green, and it has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day—a group of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (Germany) have developed a new non-stop fermentation process that takes place in stages over a number of interconnected tanks. The tank system can be operated continuously over a period of several months, which leads to an energy reduction. The new method also promises significant resource efficiency gains.

Fermentation and lagering are the most time-consuming stages in the brewing process. In these production steps the beer develops its characteristic flavors and aromas. “The taste and quality of the beer depend to a large extent on the type of yeast used, and the applied fermentation process,” explains Konrad Müller-Auffermann of the Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality.

Breweries normally use large, cylindroconical, stainless steel tanks (CCTs) for fermentation. These tanks have only one inlet and outlet at their base for filling and discharging the beer and yeast. Once fermentation and lagering have been completed, the breweries release the carbon dioxide that has built up in the tanks and clean them thoroughly—a process that usually takes several hours. Subsequently the tanks can be refilled with the next batch.

Therefore the tanks cannot be used for production during filling, emptying and cleaning. In order to eliminate these downtime, a TUM scientist has developed a new process that allows continuous fermentations in a number of interconnected tanks. “We simply equip the existing tanks with a central pipe, with open bottom,” says Müller-Auffermann. “This enables the combination of tanks in order to create a reaction cascade.”

The advantages of continuous operation

With this new process, yeast and other sedimented substances can be separated into fractions and re-used if required. Müller-Auffermann explains: “By installing a downward-facing pipe, we created two reaction zones in each tank. Now, unlike the conventional system, the brewers can fill and empty the tanks continuously from the top part of the tanks. The bottom connection of the tank can hence be used to discharge yeast cells and other particles.”

Continuous operation makes the fermentation plant more efficient. “This new method reduces the incidence of energy peaks, so that breweries will be able to save on electricity. In addition, less beer will be lost—and breweries can save water and cleaning detergents,” says Müller-Auffermann.

The process and system, for which TUM has submitted a patent application, is running successfully on a small scale at the Research Center Weihenstephan. Hence, the brewing industry is already considering the application of this efficient and environmentally friendly concept for industrial-scale operations in the near future.

Old dream—New solution

Brewers have been juggling with the dream of turning the classical batch fermentation into a continuous process for over 100 years. In all this time, however, no one has managed to develop a widely applied industrial concept. Dr. Friedrich Jacob, Director of the Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality, explains why: “Beer is a highly complex product with hundreds of different components. Even very minor changes in technology can result in too much or too little of a particular substance forming—which may potentially impair the flavor of the beer.”

“When developing this new process and technology, the simplicity was always in the main focus,” adds Müller-Auffermann. “Since the yeast plays a decisive role in the quality of the beer, we handle this sensitive organism nearly identically, compared to the traditional process. That is the key to a consistently good product.”


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener
    GARDENING, HOME