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GEA Craft Beer Technology Goes Around the World in 2017

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GEA Craft Beer Technology Goes Around the World in 2017

GEA Craft Beer Technology Goes Around the World in 2017
September 11
10:02 2017

Brasserie du Pays Flamand, a French brewery on the border region with Belgium, will take possession of the GEA CRAFT-STAR™ displayed at drinktec 2017 at the conclusion of the trade fair. A similar system, shown at the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C., was delivered to actor Kelsey Grammer’s Faith American Brewery after that event.

Participation in drinktec caps off a very successful year for GEA specialty brewery sales. The company will have received several new orders for GEA CRAFT-STAR™ and COMPACT-STAR™ craft brewhouses just following last year’s BrauBeviale. Orders have come from around the world and include sales in Russia, Hong Kong, South Korea, South America and the Caribbean. In Europe, Britain’s Fourpure Brewing will soon be using GEA equipment. And in the United States, Diageo recently signed a contract for a complete GEA brewery featuring a GEA COMPACT-STAR™ that will brew Guinness Blonde, a fast growing brand. Five CRAFT-STAR™ plants have been commissioned thus far in 2017.

“The craft beer market has matured,” says Oliver Jakob, who is responsible for the GEA brewhouses that meet the needs of the thriving craft industry. “The boom is now global and the requirements are becoming increasingly tough. At GEA, our technology provides brewers with the ability to create high quality beer with reliable consistency. It’s what the market is looking for and it’s what we deliver.”

Cerveceria Antares, Argentina’s most important craft brewer, has been brewing on a 100 hl GEA COMPACT-STAR™ since 2016 and ordered its expansion in 2017. (Photo: Antares/GEA).

GEA CRAFT-STAR™ ─ the right solution for craft breweries

“The CRAFT-STAR™ is ideal for medium-sized specialty breweries with batch sizes of 40 hectoliters (35 barrels) hot wort. We offer 2, 3 or 4 vessel configurations with a mash tun kettle, lauter tun and combined whirlpool/wort kettle or an additional whirlpool, allowing for seven brews within 24 hours,” explains Oliver Jakob. The CRAFT-STAR™ is pre-assembled and tested in Kitzingen as a compact ‘plug & play’ system with process piping, instrumentation and an automatic control system. On-site commissioning takes just a few days. The brewhouse is a cost-efficient alternative to standard brewing systems and is without compromise in terms of technological quality.

Lots of mash, hops and versatility

“The interplay of ingredients is vital to craft beer. Today’s craft beer trends include everything from higher grist loads, original gravity levels of up to 21 degrees Plato, unusual aroma additives, late hopping and dry hopping,” notes Oliver Jakob. “Automation is vital, as results need to be reproducible once the recipe has been finalized. Our craft brewhouses are designed to make life easier for brewers, yet not rob them of their individual craftsmanship.”

As craft brewers tend to use large amounts of special high-quality malts, extract efficiency is essential to the brewhouse system. An extract yield of up to 98% makes the CRAFT-STAR™ lauter tun a leader in this discipline. GEA technology has also found a solution for achieving high hop yields that are vital for hoppy IPA beers. Here, the CRAFT-STAR™ combines a whirlpool for trub separation and a wort kettle in a single unit. GEA engineers have designed a system that ensures highly efficient boiling, keeping wort losses as low as possible. A trub dam retains hot trub, which is particularly critical for strongly hopped worts. This way valuable wort can be processed down to the very last drop.

GEA COMPACT-STAR™ ─ the next step up in craft brew technology

Used as a base to develop the smaller CRAFT-STAR™ brewhouse, the COMPACT-STAR™ is intended for medium breweries with cast out volumes of 40 to 115 hectoliters (35 to 100 barrels) and annual capacities of up to 350,000 hectoliters (300,000 barrels). Up to twelve brews a day are possible, depending on the equipment and vessel configuration. This is more than conventional brewhouses. That’s because GEA overcomes technological bottlenecks in the lauter tun with a fully automated MILLSTAR™ wet grist mill.

Because the COMPACT-STAR™ has pre-piped vessel modules, it can be installed in as few as fourweeks. The system is designed to take up minimal space in the brewhouse. Positive experiences with GEA technology have led to expansion in several breweries. This includes Argentina’s leading craft brewer, Cerverceria Antares.

French brewing

The GEA CRAFT-STAR™ 3-vessel brewhouse on display at drinktec was built for French customer Brasserie du Pays Flamand in Blaringhem in the Départment Nord located between Lille and Dunkirk. Oliver Jakob is delighted with the partnership: “We are extremely proud of this sale. Brasserie du Pays Flamand is among the best brewers in the country. In 2016, their new creation Anosteké Saison won the World Beer Award in the Pale category.

“At another French customer, Brasserie Castelain from Bénifontaine, southwest of Lille, we commissioned a COMPACT-STAR™ brewhouse expansion. This brewery is a pioneer in the French craft movement and has become a true fixture of the country’s beer scene.”

Oliver Jakob explains: “The French are active in the craft beer segment. This is not surprising as their roots are in wine, where the art of fermentation and flavoring are of significant importance. These culinary crafts are uniquely applicable to craft beer brewing where the French place a high value on specialty products.”

Special triple hop “GEA brew” by Brasserie du Pays Flamand to be served at the trade fair

Brasserie du Pays Flamand will display their creativity at drinktec. Prior to the trade fair, they will brew a beer using three different types of hops – G for Galaxy, E for Ekuanot and A for Ahtanum – a “GEA” craft beer based on a Session IPA. Visitors are welcome to come taste the “GEA Triple Hop” at Hall A3/Stand 313.

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