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KHS claims beer stabilisation boon for smaller brewers

By Mark Astley , 13-Oct-2011

KHS's latest beer stabilisation machine
KHS's latest beer stabilisation machine

KHS claims its new Innopro ECOStab beer stabilisation machine will help brewers of all sizes achieve longer shelf lives for beer, and reduce costs as well as processing times.

The German filling and packaging machine manufacturer said that use of polyvinylpolypyrrolidone (PVPP) in the beer stabilisation process was currently seen as uneconomic for firms producing less than 400,000 hectolitres a year.

But KHS said its new machine “has made this rule of thumb obsolete”, through the reduced volume of PVPP required, with ECOStab suitable for small to large-sized breweries via 200, 400 and 600 hectolitre per hour product options.

Small breweries targeted

In a report sent to FoodProductionDaily.com, KHS said its ECOStab system “is worth using for significantly smaller beer quantities. Consequently, it is of just as much interest to small and medium-sized breweries as to large breweries”.

A KHS spokesman added that the system was able to work contiuously: "That means the customer may have a 24/7 production output, which is completely new in this field of industry," he said.

Innopro ECOStab could be used with any PVPP material available on the market, KHS said; small container volumes used also meant faster system start-up and shutdown, and quicker switching between different beer styles compared with rival machines.

Breweries rely on beer stabilisation and stabilisation medium PVPP to prevent the formation of hazing in beer, which occurs when tannin and protein molecules come together.

This occurs over a period of time due to the influx of energy in the form of movement, heat, or light, and in so doing forms agglomerates, which are visible as cloudiness in the beer.

The KHS report on ECOStab said: “The natural [hazing] reaction can be delayed by stabilising the beer, which means reducing one of the two reaction partners in the beer.”

KHS added: “Which of the two reaction partners this should be, depends on widely differing parameters such as the quality of the raw materials, the cost of stabilisation media, the beer manufacturing technology and the desired minimum shelf life.”

Reliable surface cleaning

With the ECOStab machine, the stabilisation process starts with filtered beer pumped into the stabilisation system, where it is mixed with PVPP before passing to one of two stabiliser modules.

Inside the modules, the beer-PVPP mix is fed through filter cylinders. Beer passes through the filters and PVPP remains on the filter surface forming a pre-coating layer.

The ECOStab uses a stabilisation process which works from the inside to outside, meaning that PVPP can only be found inside the stabiliser modules and a jet cleaner reaches all surfaces reliably.

While the 200-hectolitre model has three stabilising modules, each with one column, the 400-hectolitre variant has three modules (with two columns each) and the 600-hectolitre option has three stabiliser modules, with three columns each.

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