CASE STUDY: BREWER FOCUSES ON LOW OXYGEN PICKUP & HYGEINE

Bavarian brewer Acrobrau boosts beer ‘taste stability’ with new Krones filler

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

After delivery...The Krones Modulfill filler prior to installation at Arcobräu Brewery in Moos, Lower Bavaria, Germany
After delivery...The Krones Modulfill filler prior to installation at Arcobräu Brewery in Moos, Lower Bavaria, Germany

Related tags: Beer, Brewing

Bavarian family brewer Acrobrau has installed a new filler from Krones, and brewery director Holger Fichtel explains how the equipment minimizes oxygen values and stabilizes beer taste.

Based in the Lower Bavarian village of Moos, Acrobrau employs 70+ staff and produces around 160,000 hecoliters of beer per year for sale within Lower Bavaria, mainly, but also internationally.

Arcobrau

Investing in a Krones filler, bottler inspector and conveyors, Fichtel (on the left in the photo below) and his colleague, brewmaster Gunther Breitenfellner (to the right) attached particular importance to low oxygen pickup – since compounds therein contribute to staling flavors – in the beer and hygiene.

Krones said the new filler, bottle inspector and conveyors were all installed under severe space constraints – while there was extremely tight deadline to deliver, build and commission the machinery.

  • BREWERY FACTS
  • 1567: First reference to Schlossbrauerei (castle brewery) on site
  • 1826: First experiments made to create Weissbier (wheat beer)
  • 1887: Konrad count of Preysing introduces mechanical processes into the brewery.
  • 1910 First 'Helles' pale lager is brewed
  • 2004: New wort boiler installed to cut boiling energy consumption by 15%
  • 140,000 hectoliters sold in ​​Lower Bavaria, throughout Germany, in Europe, the US and Asia

The Modulfill HES filler is a probe-controlled filling system without a vent tube; its tubular ring bowl has 96 filling valves and an 18-head crowner – it can also be retrofitted with a capper.

With an output of 33,000 500ml NRW bottles/hour the machine is designed to handle both top-and bottom-fermented beers as well as alcohol-free types.

Krones 2
Brewery director Holger Fichtel (left) and brewmaster Günther Breitenfellner (right) from the Arcobräu brewery in Moos, Bavaria

Double pre-evacuation with CO2 flushing minimizes oxygen values, to minimize headspace air and stabilize beer taste, while warm filling at temperatures of 15C+ is possible without reducing output.

The Modufill HES pressurizes and vents bottles via two separate gas paths, which prevents liquid passing from the filled bottle into the pressurization channel – to improve filling stability and hygiene.

Krones insists that during pressurization no residual liquid can penetrate into empty bottles, thus preventing unwanted fobbing and hygiene risks during filling; finally, hygiene is ensured by automatic cold gush-type jetting of all microbiologically relevant machine components.

Acrobrau has also invested in a Checkmat FM-HF bottle inspector that checks filled bottles for over- and under-fills; with filling valve and crowner head assignment it also incorporates a closure monitoring feature and logo detection for the crown.

The brewery has also invested in a new Siemens S7 control system to regulate all the bottle conveyers between the packer and the unpacker – this integrates the machines and conveyor systems. The empty bottle inspector and filler are monobloc-synchronised to optimize buffering times between the machines.

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