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Alfa Laval unlocks water savings secrets in beer processing

By Rory Harrington , 18-Nov-2011
Last updated on 18-Nov-2011 at 15:04 GMT

There is huge potential to cut the amount of water used in the beer brewing process, yielding both significant efficiency and cost benefits, said Alfa Laval.

Speaking from the recent Brau Beviale trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, Kyle Dorton said the issue had become key given the rapidly rising cost of water and the pressure on companies to optimize its use.

The competence center manager for process modules and thermal explained there are huge differences in water usage between breweries – ranging from a low of 3.5 hectolitres of water per hectorlitre of beer (hl/hl) up to almost 8hl/hl

Regional variations in water usage are also significant - with Western Europe roughly half that of some in developing regions such as Africa.

Dobson explained that cleaning in place (CIP) processes, wort treatment and packaging lines have been highlighted as hotspots – typically accounting for 70% of water consumption in a brewery.

The company said it has identified three major ways to make savings; through equipment design, routines used to improve the process and behavioural issues. Wort recovery and packaging line process changes were noted as being particularly effective.

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