Heat Exchangers for Beer Production

In the beverages industry, there are many thermal treatments that are requested during the production process of any drinking product to be bottled: thermal conditionings that are usually intended for pasteurisation, fermentation, ageing and cooling, and these all are obtained employing plate heat exchangers.

For this kind of applications in the beverages industry, heat exchangers are indeed the most suitable solution, due to the low thermal gap existing between the product and the heating or cooling fluid, that allows not to compromise organoleptic characteristics of the products. In addition, being productions intended for food purposes, they require machinery and equipments during the production cycle easy to sanitise and wash, and those are plate heat exchangers, equipped with stainless steel made components and food and beverage industry standards fully compliant connections.

In certain cases, such as in beer production, copper is a commonly used solution, for the construction of most of the employed elements, such as the boiler and the cooling unit. In case of cognac production, copper is even a mandatory choice for stills. Copper is indeed an excellent choice for some parts of the heat exchanger, as well due to its high thermal transfer properties, but also for a chemical reason. Copper reacts with some sulphuric substances present for example in vinasses, generating insoluble copper sulphide, that can then be separated from the condense, assuring the best final outcome quality.

In the case of beer production, copper plate brazed heat exchangers can then be the most suitable solution for small handcrafted beer factories and breweries, domestics or intended for small pubs and bars. This despite the fact that brazed heat exchangers usually are not the most suitable solution for food and beverages purposes, due to the fact that being completely brazed and closed, they are not completely sanitisable, having some stagnation points inside the plates pack that prevent the right drainage. But in a handcrafted plant, the brazed solution is affordable, due to the fact that the one person who’s enjoying the final product is also usually responsible in person for the proper cleaning and washing operations of the heat exchanger.

For bigger industrial beer production plants, the right choice are inspectable Tempco TCP plate heat exchangers, easy to disassemble, wash and sanitise, enabling a better and constant thermal transfer efficiency and the perfect and required hygienical conditions for production. This kind of heat exchangers offer:

  • Total drainage possible
  • FDA approved materials, or in any case food & beverages industry compliant
  • Complete disassemble for sanitise and cleaning

Characteristics that are unavoidable for an industrial production plant, in order to ensure in a massive production a repeatable quality level, avoiding any possible mistake. Fully inspectable plate heat exchangers are in this case the perfect and most secure thermal management solution.

Last but not least, a final note upon materials, in heat exchangers intended for food & beverages industry: in a brazed plate heat exchanger, the fluid product comes in contact with materials of plates (stainless steel) and brazing (copper), while using plate gasketed inspectable heat exchangers, the fluids are in contact with plates and gaskets sealing materials.

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