Automatic beer carbonation

21 May 2015

In the south-western part of the lush Danish island of Funen, the Vestfyen brewery is situated. Master Brewer Christoph Behnke is a dedicated and enthusiastic German constantly in search of new developments and innovation when it comes to beer as well as production processes. The automatic pinpoint carbonator from Union is one of the brewery’s latest investments.

At Vestfyen in Assens, Denmark, regular lager as well as a large number of private-label and special beers are produced. As with most beer, the beverages produced here are carbonated, and until recently this was a manual process – and not an unproblematic one at that, as each beer requires individual carbonation, making it difficult to get the exact amount right.

Christoph Behnke explains: “When adjusting a process like this manually, you need to work with a tolerance level, meaning you target between 4.8 and 5.2 grams of CO2 per liter of beer. The process is quite time consuming, and you need to monitor the production and make small adjustments constantly to ensure the right amount of carbon dioxide is added.”

Simplified CO2 adjustment
Vestfyen recently invested in an automatic carbonator called a Pinpoint Carbonator, supplied by Union Engineering. The investment makes adding the targeted amount of carbon dioxide to the different types of beer very simple.

“When we start up a beer line, we simply enter the desired CO2 carbonation level, and that’s it. We do not have to constantly check up and make adjustments. The primary benefits are that we obtain a more homogeneous end product and we actually save up to one hour of work a day; time which can be spent on other efforts. Last but not least, we also optimise the level of CO2 spent, which also represents a saving even though it is difficult to value,” Christoph explains.

In May 2015, Vestfyen are launching a brand new series of gourmet beer, and here the carbonator makes a difference as well. Christoph concludes: “For the first time, I can add the exact level of CO2 to the list of ingredients. Normally, the amount of carbon dioxide is not listed in the recipe – but now it is.”

Carbonator facts
The automatic version is called PPCAUTO, and in addition to the carbonator itself you get all the components necessary for full automation as well as an installation manual.

The carbonator, both the manual and the automatic version, is primarily designed and suited for the carbonation of beer, water, soda, wine, and other qualifying liquids, but it is also used for nitrogen injection and wort aeration.

The heart of the carbonator consists of micropore stainless steel injector plates which facilitates minute gas-to-liquid bonding with 5–9 micron-size bubbles.

Vestfyen brewery
Vestfyen is a 130-year-old brewery and the fourth largest in Denmark. Its production is domestic only, and in addition to the Vestfyen brand, they produce Willemoes, Stöckel and Jolly Cola. Annually Vestfyen produces approx. 200,000 hectolitres of beer.

Union is the world leader in CO2 techno-logy. The company is headquartered in Denmark with sales and service offices in Brazil, China, Dubai and the US. Union has over 700 reference plants worldwide.

For further information, please contact Union Engineering a/s at info@union.dk or learn more at www.union.dk.