The company says the centrifuge is an out-of-the-box application ready for operation, easy to use and improves the taste of beer.
“With the Plug & Win centrifuge, we are focusing on craft brewers who plan to raise their production to a professional level,” said Peter Swift, head, separation sales, GEA UK.
“Customers in this segment want to brew more, but above all, better beer. We are convinced our centrifuge will enable them to take this step.”
The Plug & Win has been in operation for a year. Sam McMeekin, co-founder, Gipsy Hill, said it needed intuitive equipment to accommodate its small team and to deliver a premium product without having to resort to shift brewing.
“The Plug & Win provides a host of advantages such as easy centrifuge handling and quick installation. The separator is a real plug-and-play solution and was set up within a day,” he said.
“Not everyone here is an experienced brewer, so user-friendliness is important. GEA was incredibly accommodating with the training. We picked everything up so quickly that we took the reins after two days and the GEA engineers came back a few weeks later to work through any questions we had.”
McMeekin added, its work ethic and mantra has always been about quality with regards to taste and its beer had become so popular it had an opportunity to increase its brewing capacity.
At the same time, it wanted to brew more efficiently while maintaining complete control over the production process, including consistency.
An earlier investment in inexpensive, and ‘unsuitable equipment’ taught the entrepreneurs to be demanding in their choice of technology.
“Investing in technology can be quite a stretch for small breweries. And although many of them are not aware of it, GEA offers a leasing option,” added McMeekin.
John Taylor, production manager, Gipsy Hill, said with a centrifuge, beer clarification and turbidity can be adjusted precisely and reproduced, which accelerates the brewing process, because separated beer requires less time to clarify and mature in the storage tanks, allowing brewers to get the most out of their tank capacity.
“If it had taken 30 days to make beer, with a centrifuge it will take 25 days or less,” he added.
“This centrifuge allowed us to shave four days off our production process per tank.
“A separator operates very efficiently and extracts the residual beer from the yeast. Craft brewers are able to produce 20% to 30% faster using this method, and process even more batches in a row with consistently high quality and taste.”
When adjusted for the finest level of clarification, a separator can replace filtration. Because many craft beers have a naturally higher malt and hop content compared to a pilsner or a lager, many of them are unfilterable.
However, if the separator operates at a low flow rate, it significantly reduces the yeast content and can have a positive impact on protein content.
Low molecular weight proteins, which flocculate in the beer during prolonged storage, remain, lending Indian pale ales the cloudiness that enthusiasts crave.