The C. & A. Veltins brewery based in Grevenstein, Germany, dates back to 1824, and today is run by the fifth generation of the Veltins family. In 2011, this family-owned brewery invested in a brewhouse that would enable it to expand from a single-brand to a multi-brand operation with a complete production range from Krones that offered equipment for brewing different beers beyond its core brand, Veltins Pilsener, while offering substantial energy savings.
The brewery now produces Veltins Shandy, Veltins Malt Beer, Veltins Alcohol-Free, and as of last year, a soft drink called Veltins Fassbrausse. In addition, the brewery also produces a range of beer-based mixed drinks called Veltins V+.
Krones installed three parallel brewing lines each featuring an EquiTherm (composed of a wort cooler, energy storage tank with a stratified charging pipe and a ShakesBeer EcoPlus mash tun), constructed for 640 hectoliters of cold wort with 10 tons of malt grist. EquiTherm provides up to 100 percent of the thermal energy required for the mashing process, Krones notes, which also contributes to reducing peak loads at the boiler. The EquiTherm system can be retrofitted into existing installations, and can achieve savings in infusion and decoction.
The success of the EquiTherm System, Krones says, has to do with the use of the ShakesBeer EcoPlus mash tun, which has a structured heating surface that features pillow plates. These ensure faster heat transfer, and enable the mash to be heated with hot water instead of steam to ensure maximized efficiency in terms of heat transfer. Other new equipment included three plate heat exchangers assessed for 2,050 hectoliters an hour for heating up the lautered wort, an additional water reheating system, three vapor condensers and a condensate cooling system. Krones was able to utilize an existing three lauter tuns and three whirlpools, it says. The internal boilers of the existing brewing lines were changed over to the Stromboli process, which allowed for a low overall evaporation rate of 4.1 percent, the company says. An existing warm water storage tank with a total capacity of 5,600 hectoliters was converted to an energy storage tank while the wort cooling systems involved were each given another stage in the plate heat exchanger.
Now, each of the three lines is configured vertically as a single automated unit, giving the brewery the advantage of producing different recipes in each of the brewing lines. The new brewhouse was completed in the spring of 2012.
C. & A. Veltins’ investment in three parallel Steinecker brewing lines featuring an EquiTherm energy storage system resulted in a targeted savings of 35 percent at the brewhouse with regard to thermal energy and another 20 percent in electricity, according to Krones.
“With EquiTherm, for the first time we’re looking at a concept that creates less warm water than the brewery needs,” says Peter Peschmann, head of production and plant engineering to Krones.
There are savings in terms of the peak load as well, adds Peschmann, that he describes as “significant.” “Here in the brewery we were running steam peaks of up to 27 tons, but now we’re at 22.5 tons, which means that thanks to the new brewhouse the peak load has been reduced by a very substantial 4.5 tons, due to the fact that we use steam in the brewhouse only for boiling.”