Plate heat exchangers and brewing, beer and thermal energy

The hot season and summer have just started, so it’s natural to think about a refreshing beer, and in particular about plate heat exchangers applications in brewing. Let’s then go more in depth with an application of plate heat exchangers for the food & beverage industry, that got very much interest in our last video on this topic.

Brewing involves in fact a series of thermal processes, quite complex and very interesting. Tempco has a long expertise in this field, with several applications deployed in the past and also a production on our own, and still today we have a brewery partner that produces a special beer that we gift our clients or employ in marketing campaigns. In particular, plate heat exchangers have a crucial role in brewing employed for the cooling of the wort before it enters the fermentation step.

Depending on the kind of yeast and the type of beer we want to produce, wort have to be cooled at different temperature levels. There are indeed high fermentation beers and low fermentation beers. For wort cooling at the proper temperature required, plate heat exchangers are employed, and then wort is stored and maintained at the right temperature inside the fermenting tanks.



Small breweries, craft brewing and also home-brewing often employ small copper brazed plate heat exchangers, which is not the most suitable solution in terms of sanitizing. Brazed plate exchangers are indeed a monobloc, single-piece units, that cannot be opened for a proper cleaning. At the end of each single brewing process it is then necessary a good flushing of the exchanger, ensuring that every leftover is removed, otherwise it can contaminate the next brewing cycle.

In industrial beer production, wort cooling is achieved using gasketed plate heat exchangers that can be inspected, opened and properly cleaned and washed. Depending on the type of beer and the fermentation temperature level required, on the secondary circuit of the exchanger can be employed chiller water, very cold water for low fermentation beers, or main water and tower water, in case of high fermentation beers.


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