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Beer brewery BrewDog: Top of the craft – with KSB pumps

BrewDog expanded its brewery by 4,500 square metres by building a new brewhouse and cellar. KSB supplied the pumps for all stages of the brewing process.

Movitec and Etachrom pump.

The project: BrewDog expands brewery plant by building new brewhouse with cellar

The craft beer scene has been enjoying growing popularity for years – not only in Germany, but also worldwide. Rising demand for individual and unconventional beers has put BrewDog, one of the best-known breweries for craft beer, under pressure to react. Due to its limited brewhouse and fermentation capacities, the Scottish experts decided to expand their brewery building in Ellon with a 4,500 square metre extension, consisting of a brewhouse and cellar for fermentation, storage and filtration.

Construction work began at the end of 2015. The extension was completed in April of the following year and now houses a new 300 hectolitre brewhouse.

The customer: The Scottish beer producer BrewDog

Craft beer fans all over the world are familiar with the BrewDog brand. The Scottish brewery based in Ellon made a name for itself with a series of guerilla marketing campaigns, but it is primarily known for its unconventional beers which provide a welcome departure from the mainstream.

Founded in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, today BrewDog employs over 750 staff and claims to be the largest independent brewery in Scotland.

KSB was awarded the contract for supplying the complete range of pumps needed for the craft beer system in the brewery extension by Ziemann Holvrieka. The Ludwigsburg-based engineering contractor was responsible for providing the entire production block – from the malt intake system right through to the bright beer tank.

The Ziemann Holvrieka group of companies is one of the largest international suppliers of tanks and process technology for the brewing, beverage and liquid food industry. The company provides individual and tailor-made solutions for brewery plants and offers its services worldwide. Ziemann Holvrieka GmbH is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Dutch company CIMC Enric Tank and Process B.V. (CETP), to which several sister companies belong worldwide.

In the search for the right service provider and partner, it was KSB that impressed. As a full-range supplier, the Frankenthal-based mechanical engineering company specialises in both hygiene applications and the secondary processes involved in beer production. KSB was therefore able to supply all the required pumps for the brewing process.

The two companies also knew each other from previous collaborations. Ziemann and KSB had completed several projects together in the past and valued their professional and reliable cooperation.

Mocitec and Etachrom pump.

Durable, easy to service and energy-efficient: Movitec and Etachrom ensure smooth and economically efficient operation.

The challenge: From hygiene standards to gentle handling, beer production is a demanding process

KSB’s task was to supply all of the pumps required for the individual process steps in the brewhouse and cellar. High-quality pumps were needed for the peripheral systems and the high-end processes.

There were numerous challenges.

  • Beer production involves many different process steps, each of which places different demands on the pumps. A variety of pumps which are precisely geared to these requirements was therefore needed.
  • In general, wherever food is processed, the strictest hygiene regulations apply and must be observed.
  • At the same time, gentle treatment of the fluid handled is an important criterion for ensuring the consistent quality of the beer. Yeast is essential for the brewing process, but it is also very sensitive and requires particularly gentle handling.
  • The wort is boiled in the brewhouse. However, at high fluid temperatures, cavitation can occur, which can lead to major damage to the pump, impurities in the fluid handled or even the complete destruction of the pump.
  • The beverage industry and craft beer segment is a highly competitive market. While striving to maintain hygiene standards and produce high-quality beer, ensuring economic operations is essential in order to remain competitive.
  • By supplying quality pumps, KSB provided key components for the brewery plant. However, good cooperation with the engineering contractor Zieman was absolutely critical to the success of the project.
Vitaprime and Vitachrom

Built for the highest hygiene standards: Vitachrom and Vitaprime at work in the cellar.

The solution: As a full-range supplier, KSB provided the right pump for every task in the brewing process

As a full-range supplier, KSB specialises both in hygiene applications and in the secondary processes involved in beer production. KSB was therefore able to supply the right pump for every task. By the end of the project, 8 different pump types were installed, with 43 KSB pumps in total ensuring an efficient and reliable brewing process.They are used in the water treatment process, in the brewhouse, in the fermentation and filtration cellar, in the beer filling system and in the CIP/SIP cleaning processes.

The heart of every brewery is the brewhouse. The brewing process begins here in the hot block. The individual stages of the production process are:

  • Milling
  • Mashing
  • Lautering
  • Boiling
  • Cooling

After that, the beer goes to the cellar – the cold block of the brewery. The three stages in the fermentation, storage and filtration cellar are:

  • Fermentation
  • Maturation
  • Filtration
  • Filling

When it comes to handling food, hygiene takes absolute priority. The Vita range from KSB comprises a series of special pump types that are optimally tailored to the requirements of sterile processes. There are five different type series in KSB’s Vita pump range. Installed at BrewDog are Vitachrom, Vitacast, Vitaprime and Vitalobe pumps.

Apart from Vitaprime, the type series are all certified to EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group); the elastomers used are also FDA-compliant (U. S. Food and Drug Administration). As they are designed with very little dead volume, electropolished wetted components and high-quality stainless steel, they ensure good CIP and SIP capabilities. The pumps can therefore be cleaned very easily without leaving any residues and do not need to be dismantled first. As downtimes are reduced to a minimum, this saves time and resources and enables economical operation.

These qualities make the Vita pumps key components in the brewing process at BrewDog.

Most of the Vitachrom and Vitaprime pumps are installed in the cellar, which is where the processes involved in treating the end product take place. Sterile processes are essential here.

In addition to ensuring sterile processes, gentle handling of the sensitive fluids is the second quality criterion in beer production – a criterion that Vita pumps likewise fulfil. In the brewing process, it is primarily yeast which is one of the sensitive fluids handled.

The microscopically small single-cell organisms play a decisive role in the flavour of the beer and are highly sensitive. Due to its gentle pumping action, the Vitalobe rotary lobe pump is used for dosing the yeast to ensure the quality of the beer is consistent.

In the brewhouse, Vita pumps are also in operation to ensure smooth-running processes. Here, Vitachrom pumps transport hot and cold wort as well as the brewing water and hop solution between the various components in the BrewDog brewing system.

For the non-hygienic processes, KSB pumps from the ranges Etachrom, Etabloc, KWP and Movitec are used. Each of these high-quality pumps is durable, easy to service and energy-efficient – attributes which ensure smooth and reliable processes at BrewDog and economically efficient operation.

For example, no less than 15 Etachrom BC annular casing pumps were installed to transport cooling water, brewing water and cold glycol. Their maintenance-free mechanical seals to EN 12756 ensure reliable operation. Furthermore, Etachrom is also resistant to corrosion, as all wetted components are finished in stainless steel (1.457). The optimised hydraulic system with high levels of efficiency means that Etachrom operates extremely energy-efficiently.

The KWP pump type is proof that KSB has special pumps in its portfolio for special requirements. When boiling the wort, extreme caution is required. The higher the temperature of the fluid handled, the higher the risk of cavitation. The KWP pump from KSB offers a solution for this challenge. Due to the slow speed, the free passage of 40 millimetres and a very low NPSH of 1.58 metres, the wort can be gently handled – preventing the occurrence of destructive cavitation.

The installed Movitec high-pressure pump also delivers impressive results. Thanks to the high-performance hydraulic system and optimised pump foot, Movitec achieves higher efficiencies, wider efficiency profiles and significantly lower NPSH.

However, there is no question that the success of a project not only depends on the individual high-quality pumps used – they also have to be correctly selected and integrated into the overall system together with other components. This is where effective collaboration with all other companies involved is crucial. In the case of BrewDog, this meant cooperation with the engineering contractor Ziemann.

Experts with extensive know-how and good communication between everyone involved are indispensable – prerequisites that both companies fulfilled. A positive spirit of cooperation provided the basis for quickly tackling any arising problems and challenges in a straightforward manner – to the utmost satisfaction of BrewDog.

Data I Facts I Figures

Location: Ellon, Schottland
Company: BrewDog
Establised: 2007
Empolyees: 750
Industrial sector: Beverage industry

Products used:

  • 12 x Vitachrom
    Q: up to 340 m³/h, H: up to 100 m
  • 4 x Vitacast
  • Q: up to 540 m³/h, H: up to 105 m
  • 7 x Vitaprime
    Q: bis 55 m³/h, H: up to 45 m
  • 2 x Vitalobe
    Q: up to 300 m³/h, H: up to 200 m
  • 15 x Etachrom BC
    Q: up to 250 m³/h, H: up to 105 m
  • 1 x Etabloc
    Q: up to 660 m³/h, H: up to 140 m
  • 1 x KWP K
    Q: up to 15.000 m³/h, H: up to 140 m
  • 1 x Movitec F
    Q: up to 192 m³/h, H: up to 401 m

Fluid handled:

  • Water
  • Brewing water
  • Hot wort
  • Hop solution
  • Cold wort

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