The future GEA ‘Brewery 4.0’ brewing process
This will result in continuous processing and separation of the mash in double decanters, a faster fermentation and maturation process and quality assurance with just-in-time production and digitization.
Although the process is unusual for European consumers, it is a standard process in other parts of the world: beer in Asia, Africa and South America is brewed from rice, corn and sorghum or starchy root vegetables such as cassava or cassava.
As part of its âBrewery 4.0â, GEA says it wants to help customers stay competitive in the years to come and generate flexibility throughout the supply chain.
She is currently working on the concept of a âcontinuous breweryâ where brand changes are possible.
Dr Rudolf Michel, Head of Development, Beverage and Beer Production, GEA, told BeverageDaily that the Brewery 4.0 concept expects fermentation and maturation to accelerate even more in the future.
“Processing times of four days or less can already be achieved using continuous fermentation“, did he declare.
“In breweries of various brands, conventional fermentation and maturation in vats should also be possible with significantly shorter occupancy times without any loss of quality thanks to suitable processing techniques and yeast strains..
“In this case, however, the most important beer quality sensors – the brewer’s nose and palate – would no longer be sufficient. Much more measurement technology and laboratory evaluations should be planned“
As part of an ongoing development project, GEA is developing a method for handling big data as part of Brewery 4.0 throughout the supply chain, from raw materials for mash brewing to final product and just in time delivery.
“The digitization of the process steps means that brewers always have large amounts of data available, in the future on multiple batches. We need to condense them wisely and convert them into automated ordersÂ», Added Michel.
“Mid and long term trend analyzes can be used to increase the efficiency and availability of the system for our customers.
“We want to define early on the benefits of an IT-assisted brewing environment to tie the level of process control from production technology to the operating level, including storage, delivery and ordering..
“The art is to judiciously qualify big data and transform it into specific production actions. At the moment we are looking for a cooperation partner for our development team“