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Small breweries and Microbreweries have become a real phenomenon throughout many cities in the United States.
There are several areas that are in need of water treatment and control equipment in breweries. The largest problems arise from the wastewater treatment and boiler control. Another area of concern is the clean in place technology as well as wash downs utilizing sanitizers.
Concerning wastewater, the biggest and most easily remedied problem is the pH of the wastewater. The pH can vary depending on the action that is being performed at the brewery. Both acids and caustics tend to be used and both need to be neutralized prior to discharge into a sanitary sewer.
This can be easily accomplished with a single controller controlling two pH points, the influent to the holding tank and the effluent to the sanitary sewer. Chemical pumps for both acid and caustic should be employed with the controller to maintain the correct pH. A probe wash may be required if the water contains a considerable amount of sludge. Polymers or flocculants may be utilized to reduce suspended solids and BOD along with filtration for the reduction of suspended solids and BOD.
Boiler control is an important area that is often overlooked, however it is the workhorse for maintaining temperatures in the kettles and vats. The boiler controller will help to maintain a reasonable amount of solids in the boiler to save water and to keep boiler water from contaminating steam traps and steam lines. Another problem associated with boilers is the condensate pH which is very low if not treated because the breakdown of carbonates creates carbonic acid which is entrained in the steam. If untreated, leakage can occur in the kettle’s copper jackets and piping which are very expensive to replace.
Clean in place "CIP" technology used for preventing biological contamination is also very important in these facilities. Kettles, kegs, piping, flooring and other associated equipment needs to be disinfected on a regular basis to prevent contamination and biological growth. A flowmeter with a pulse or analog output to a chemical pump can meter a specific amount of disinfectant into a spray down hose or piping and kettles. A more sophisticated method for the piping and kettles would be the use of disinfection sensors that have the capability of monitoring a particular ppm and contact time of the disinfectant and recording it.
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