Recently in a post, Optimizing Wort Sugar Concentration in Craft Beer Brewing, we highlighted the important role of measurement and control in the front end of the beer brewing process which converts malt into wort. Let’s continue down the production path through the fermentation process.
Past the lauter tun, which we discussed in the prior post, is the brew kettle—the heart of the beer-making process. What comes out of it is everything the beer will be, minus the work of the yeast fermenting the sugars.
I caught up with Emerson’s Tom Belling and Wayne Brinkman about the brewing process. The brewery kettle is where ingredients such as hops and other extracts and nutrients are added to determine the taste, aroma and color of the beer being produced.
This is an art performed by the brewmaster. As a craft brewer becomes more successful and scales up operations, instrumentation and automation can play a role. For example, Coriolis mass flow measurement can measure the precise amounts of nutrients and other ingredients to add to assure consistent quality.
They noted that Micro Motion Elite Series Coriolis flow and density meters are often used in the brew kettle part of the beer-making process. These meters provide highly accurate and repeatable flow and density measurement performance in liquid, gas and slurry applications.
Like the rest of the food & beverage industry, clean in place is a critical operation in the brewing process. It is an area where effective measurements, such as conductivity sensors, and control provides big opportunities to save on energy—by looking at water usage. It’s critical that the controls, butterfly valves and position feedback reliably cut-off cleaning solution when cleaning is complete and let it flow when it’s needed for sterilization.
In the fermentation part of the process, some key measurements include level, temperature and density measurement of the liquid. These measurements feeding the control system help to maintain a high quality, consistent product, while also helping to reduce operating and energy costs.
You can see these technologies and expertise to apply them on Brewing page on Emerson.com or at the April 30-May 3 Craft Brewers Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. At the conference, visit Wayne and the Emerson team in booth 2650 for additional information on how Emerson expertise and technologies can help you maintain quality and achieve efficient, reliable and scalable craft beer production.