A Toast to Water Savings at UK Brewery

Since installing two dual-purpose vessels equipped with Alfa Laval Toftejorg rotary jet heads, a Manchester UK brewery has enjoyed 30 % reductions in water usage for regular Cleaning in Place (CIP) of its cylindro-conical fermentation and conditioning tanks.

Increasing capacity
As sales have grown at the brewery, so has the need for additional capacity for fermentation and conditioning. Two 600 barrel Moeschle vessels were installed, between them providing 1000 hectoliters of additional tank capacity. One of the tanks is used to ferment lager for seven days before it is transferred to the other tank, or to smaller existing vessels, where it is conditioned for three weeks.

Insufficient static spray balls
Both new tanks are 3.5 meters in diameter. According to the Head Brewer, this made the tanks too big to clean using fixed spray ball technology. “At that size, we didn’t feel a spray ball would have sufficient force to clean them effectively.” The tank makers recommended the Alfa Laval Toftejorg TJ20G rotary jet head cleaning system with 4 x 5.5 mm diameter nozzles. The new tanks supplement eight existing cylindrical conical tanks used to ferment, condition and store the lagers and a new smooth beer. The brewer also decided to replace the original sprayballs in these vessels with the rotary jet heads as well. Close inspection prior to using the rotary jet heads revealed that a light proteinaceous deposit had built up over time, despite regular cleaning with the original spray balls. After operating the new rotary jet cleaning system for a few months, they re-inspected the vessels which were, in the head brewer’s own words, “now pin bright and like new”.

An effective cleaning cycle
Each vessel undergoes a 40 minute CIP cycle consisting of a pre-rinse with cold water, a 2 % caustic phase and post-rinse with dilute peracetic acid which stays on the internal walls of the tank as a terminal sanitizer. The Alfa Laval Toftejorg TJ20G rotary spray heads are gear-driven, operate at low speeds and clean by impacting over a 360 ° indexed zone within a defined time scale. The cleaning fluid itself provides the power to drive the nozzles around both horizontal and vertical axes. The first cycle lays down a coarse pattern which is intensified by subsequent cycles. Cleaning is so effective that the rotary gear heads are certified to EHEDG guidelines.

Once the brewery began to measure water usage they were delighted to find that their new TJ20G rotary spray heads were positively stingy in their consumption. “Although we haven’t taken formal measurements,“ says the head brewer, “ it is fairly obvious just by looking at our disposal costs that our use of water in that area had been reduced by around 30 %. In this day and age, that is a significant benefit.”