MIXING OF BEER MIXED DRINKS AND LEMONADES
Beverage producers as well as breweries try to follow the changing market needs and current trends by constantly creating new products. The production of non-alcoholic and alcoholic mixed drinks therefore requires flexible production adjustment. The company corosys offers with its plants different concepts for the mixing of beverages and beer production. This includes the whole range from water deaeration and sugar dissolving to high-precision mixing and pasteurization.
The introduction of mixed beer drinks has opened up a new sales market for many breweries. The same applies to wine and sparkling wine producers who want to diversify with mixed drinks. However, in order to offer customers more and new varieties and to react to current trends, flexibility in the mixing of these beverages is very important. In many companies, mixed drinks are produced tank by tank by filling the individual components one after the other into a pressure tank. This procedure requires a high manual effort. The complete mixing of all ingredients cannot be guaranteed. Furthermore, a minimum amount of lemonade must always be mixed and processed.
The company corosys offers all systems from water deaeration to pasteurization of the finished product. An overall concept offers the possibility to run the production continuously and fully automatically from the production of the deaerated water up to the filling of the mixed drink. Directly before the filler beer, beer mixed drinks and lemonades are blended, mixed and carbonated. This means that the entire product range can be produced with a single line in a highly flexible manner and in small batches directly before filling.
The use of degassed water is necessary for the production of lemonades and mixed drinks. Besides the shelf life, oxygen also negatively affects the taste of the beer. Degassing is usually done in columns with structured packings. The water runs from top to bottom through the packing and is degassed by a stripping gas, usually CO2, in countercurrent. A further development of corosys is the high vacuum degassing V2WD. It does not require the use of stripping gas or heating of the water. Besides the eliminated CO2 consumption, this is an advantage especially for still beverages, since a small part of the stripping gas always dissolves in the water.
In principle, two operating modes can be defined. The degassing system can produce into a buffer tank from which the water is fed to the mixing system. In this case, it can also be made available to other consumers, e.g. for pipe push outs or filter precoatings. Alternatively, degassing is operated continuously with the beverage production. The buffer tank is not required and the water is fed directly to the mixer. The capacity of the water deaeration is adapted to the demand.
The sugar required for the lemonade can either be mixed as crystal sugar with water to form a sugar solution in a tank or purchased directly as liquid sugar. If crystal sugar is used, a complete solution with the shortest possible dissolving time must be ensured. In addition to a high temperature of the water, a good mixing is beneficial for this. For this purpose, mixing nozzles have been established which constantly circulate the tank contents during the dissolving process. Besides sugar, other components in powder form are used. These are especially acids, such as citric acid, or sweeteners, but also preservatives or antioxidants. A dissolving tank must also be provided for this purpose, from which these substances can be dosed. It is advantageous to create a CO2 atmosphere in the containers to prevent oxidation. As with sugar dissolvers, the solution is dissolved by pumping with a mixing nozzle or by an agitator.
The mixing of lemonades and mixed drinks can basically be divided into two processes:
– Continuous mixing of all individual components
– Batchwise preparation of a ready-to-use syrup, which is then continuously mixed with water and, if necessary, beer.
During a continuous mixing process, the individual components (raw material, aroma, acid, sugar etc.) are dosed into degassed water. The dosing rate of the components is individually controlled by the dosing pump or a control valve in relation to the water flow. Beer is then added from a pressure tank. The complexity of the equipment increases with the number of individual components to be dosed, since one dosing pump and flow meter must be provided for each. The advantage lies in the fast start-up time, as no type-specific preparations are necessary. A quick product change is also possible.
On the other hand, the finished beverage can be mixed from ready-to-drink syrup, water and beer. The finished syrup is first prepared in dosage tanks. The individual ingredients can be mixed manually or dosed one after the other via dosing lines.
In both cases, parameters such as original gravity, alcohol and sugar content are measured and recorded. A constant quality can be ensured by continuous comparison with the stored recipe values.
During carbonation, the CO2 content of the product is adjusted. In the case of beer mix drinks, this step is particularly important because the mixed lemonade is not pre-carbonated. The carbonation is carried out by means of an injector. The design of the injector, which was specially developed by corosys, enables very fine gas bubbles to be formed, which ensure optimum solubility of the gas in the product. Thus, up to 9 g / l CO2 can be injected into the beverage with this carbonation system.
The CO2 content is analyzed inline, recorded and adjusted in case of deviation. A mass flow measurement in the CO2 line allows a quick reaction to fluctuations in the product flow.
The purpose of flash pasteurization is to kill the yeasts remaining in the beer or possible contamination, i.e. to pasteurize the product. Especially in the case of beverages containing sugar, all yeasts must be destroyed in order to avoid secondary fermentation in the container, which can lead to bombage.
For this purpose, three-stage plate heat exchangers are used, which consist of a cooling, regeneration and a heater. The regeneration can be designed in such a way that a heat recovery of about 95 percent is possible. It is important to ensure that the pressure during flash pasteurization is high enough to keep the CO2 dissolved.
In addition to efficient individual systems, a logical overall concept is essential for flexible production with consistently high quality and accuracy, while product losses should be avoided. Due to the modular design of the plant components, an individual configuration of the lemonade and beer-mixed drink production is possible, depending on the requirements. All components are integrated into a common control system. This ensures a smooth and user-friendly process. With the Corobev, corosys combines the individual components in a compact overall system. Water deaeration, mixing with finished syrup and carbonation are combined on one frame together with a buffer tank.
A continuous mixing plant gives the brewery a great deal of flexibility in the production of mixed drinks. Not only can the types be quickly varied or spontaneously changed, but also the product. In addition, the brewery can also blend and carbonate its normal beer with the blending plant.
Managing director corosys Prozeßsysteme und Sensoren GmbH, Hofheim am Taunus
Project manager corosys Prozeßsysteme und Sensoren GmbH, Hofheim am Taunus
Project manager corosys Prozeßsysteme und Sensoren GmbH, Hofheim am Taunus