Posted on December 30, 2010 - ( views)
A 520 Series close-coupled peristaltic pump from Watson-Marlow Pumps Group has been installed at a brewery in Belgium, where it is helping to dose very specific quantities of sugar into premium beer. The new project was reliant on accurate, contamination-free dosing, and only Watson-Marlow was up to the task. Situated some 80km southwest of Brussels, just 2km from the French border is Brasserie de Blaugies, one of several hundred very small, family-run breweries dotted around the Belgian countryside, in a nation legendary for its beer and ale production. Termed as a ‘microbrewery’ the company is run entirely by members of the Carlier family. While the process of brewing has been handed down from generation to generation, small family teams are often unaware of new technology that can help simplify processes and improve efficiency. When Brasserie de Blaugies won a significant ongoing order to fill 20 and 30 litre plastic fermentation vessels with one of its beers, the challenge was to dose the precise amount of liquid sugar to ensure the beer is brewed to offer the required levels of alcohol and flavour.
For each vessel, a precise measurement of liquid sugar is required. As all brewers will say, too much or too little sugar can be disastrous for the final product, so the importance of the dose is not to be underestimated. As luck would have it, a friend of the Carlier family, Andres Urban, works for peristaltic pump manufacturer, Watson-Marlow Pumps Group. Following a site visit and initial dialogue, Andres was able to recommend the 520 Series close-coupled peristaltic pump, which features MemoDose for accurate single shot dispensing. The pump is rated for 24/7 duties, although at Brasserie de Blaugies, the pump typically works for one week and is then idle the following week while other operations aside from filling are undertaken. Installed in September 2009, the 520 Series pump accurately doses the sugar quantities into the vessels after the other beer ingredients have been pumped in at a temperature of 2°C.
After a certain period of fermentation, the beer is decanted into smaller bottles ready for sale. In an added benefit to Brasserie de Blaugies, peristaltic technology ensures nothing but the tube touches the fluid, thus eliminating the risk of the pump contaminating the fluid or the fluid contaminating the pump. The complete closure of the tube, which is squeezed between a roller and the track, gives the pump its positive displacement action, preventing backflow and eliminating the need for check valves when the pump is not running. The 520 Series pump at Brasserie de Blaugies is used in combination with Marprene tubing, an exclusive thermoplastic elastomer. Marprene is the longest life tubing with a wide chemical compatibility. A traditional family business, the Blaugies brewery was created by Pierre-Alex Carlier and Marie-Robert Pourtois. Its succession has already been assured by their children: Kevin Carlier, the brewer; and Cédric Carlier, the restaurant owner. For many years the bottling process was mainly manual, as was the washing, corking, wiring and labelling of bottles, but in 1992 Brasserie de Blaugies invested in an industrial bottling line. Today the brewery produces around 5600 litres of beer per month (a significant percentage of which is exported), still very small quantities in brewing terms. A second bottling line is planned for next year, which will also feature Watson-Marlow pump technology. Edited by Constanze Schmitz
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