Licher Privatbrauerei has been successfully using centrifuges of GEA Westfalia Separator for many decades. It was necessary for the individual projects to be thoroughly prepared in each case. Pre-trials and related advice provided by GEA Westfalia Separator were extremely important for the necessary success.
In order to optimise the whirlpool, Licher has been very successfully using a high-performance disc-type centrifuge of the type SA 100 for many years. Used for cool trub separation, a separator of the type SC 120 ensures optimum reproducibility, because separation merely using flotation technology did not function as necessary. The improvement in the quality of the young beers and taste stability are clearly confirmed by the good results of the beer samples.
The 1980s then saw the change-over from open tanks and horizontal fermentation tanks to cylindrical-conical fermentation and storage tanks. Defined yeast cell counts were necessary in order to achieve the desired programmed maturing and storage; the solution was provided by a GEA Westfalia Separator centrifuge of the type HAS 200. With this machine, the yeast cell counts were adjusted variably to the desired technical value after main fermentation, for instance between one and four million yeast cells/ml.
As a result of technological improvement in conjunction with new analysis methods for quality assurance, it was possible over a period of time for beer fermentation and maturing to take place in one tank. The consistently positive experience with the procedure meant that the company has decided to use an even more powerful centrifuge of the type GSE 300.
This machine can also reduce yeast cell counts to below one million/ml before the beer is pumped to the storage cellar, and also offers further advantages: the maturing processes during cold storage are always smooth and controlled, and the operating lives of the filters have been more than doubled.
Nowadays, a centrifuge is also a major advantage at many breweries for the production of yeast beer, because the yeast turbidity required by the customer can be set in a reproducible manner. Separators are also used at many breweries for the production of non-alcoholic beer or malt beverages or for beer recovery. The centrifuge has become a multifunctional key technology in modern breweries. Its main advantages are as follows:
The conclusion is thus: centrifuges in breweries - this subject is still extremely important even after 100 years. And it is very probable that this is not likely to change for a very long time.
Bernd Birkenstock was born in 1943 in Essen, where he started to train as a brewer and malter at the Sternbrauerei when he was 14 years old. He passed his master brewer examination in 1965 at the Doemens-Schule in Munich. This was followed by ten years in various breweries and functions until he started at Licher in 1975 as head of Quality Assurance. In 2002, he was appointed as managing director responsible for technology, administration and personnel. In 2007, Bernd Birkenstock retired following 32 years of successful work at Licher Privatbrauerei. As a technologist, Bernd Birkenstock set standards for the production of first-class beer with constant quality: Bernd Birkenstock’s commitment for brewing technology extends far beyond Lich. Today, he demonstrates his commitment to the sector by means of his voluntary work on the Board of Doemens e. V.
Photos (except machines): Licher Privatbrauerei Jhring-Melchior GmbH