Becoming a Better Brewer Through Automation

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    Becoming a Better Brewer Through Automation

    Becoming a Better Brewer Through Automation

    Brewing is a mixture of science and art – that’s how it has been for thousands of years. Every great beer is a product of a replicable process. However, it’s hard to keep all of your beer batches perfectly accurate when you do everything manually. Brewery automation is the way to make better beer, and although it’s not traditional, it does not mean it’s doing away with the natural and local ingredients that today’s beers are known for. It purely means that you’ll get the exact outcome you want every single time you brew beer.

    In the United States and virtually all around the world, brewing beer is a huge business and its growth is consistent. In the United States, there are over 6,000 breweries scattered all over the country with California topping the list with almost 800 breweries. The growth of the craft beer industry has turned many people on to trying new styles and flavors. If you ask anyone why they like their favorite beer, the response will likely be the distinct taste such as a bitter, hoppy India Pale Ale (IPA).

    The main goal with each beer is to stay consistent with color, taste and texture while maintaining a high quality. When brewing beer, the brewer needs to be able to replicate the exact recipe over and over again. If a customer loves your brown ale from the first batch you made, but then tastes a difference in your second batch, that’s a problem. Quality is key. If you keep noticing differences in your batches and are getting frustrated because you can’t find a solution, it’s could be a problem with your manual entry system. We are only human, and humans make silly mistakes, but brewery automation will fix the problem for you.

    Automation is the way of brewing now and you don’t want to be left behind. Focus more on the art of brewing, and let the machine crunch the numbers for you. This will greatly reduce man made errors and keep all your beer batches consistent and delicious.

    Beer Brewing Needs Consistency in Taste, Blend and Feel

    A good beer is judged by the originality and uniqueness. Regardless of the size of your brewery or the number of cans or bottles you produce on a daily basis, being consistent is what will allow your business to thrive.

    Many craft brewers begin as hobbyists making beer in their garage with their buddies in their free time. It’s not long before one realizes making beer is way more fun than working for corporate America, so they decide to open their own craft brewery. However, brewing in your garage is a lot different than brewing large scale. You may have an awesome recipe that works great on your 10 gallon system, but now you have an ever growing number of customers and 60 barrel tanks to fill.  At this point, trying to maintain the quality of your beer manually is near impossible.

    Even the Brewers Association, whose goal is to protect and promote American beers, and brewers stress that breweries have the duty to invest in quality control because their reputation is on the line. These folks acknowledge that the automation of the brewing process is the way to maintain quality.

    There’s bound to be a shift from the traditional methods of production to automation if you are interested in the growth of your business. Your initial customers might be unhindered by the minor fluctuation in taste but in the long run, the flaws in your beer will be noticed.

    • Temperature Control

    Maintaining the same temperature with the beer you want to replicate is a key aspect of its perfection. As a microbrewery, you know how difficult this can be. How will you determine the exact temperature you used for the last batch? How do you know if it fluctuated at all? This problem is easily solved with automation.

    • Level Measurement and Flow Metering

    These sensors are only obtained with automation and are key to maximizing productivity and maintaining consistency in quality. Knowing the right amount of foundation water and the losses during production are critical. There must be accuracy in measurements for this process. Other areas of the brewing process that can be automated to maintain consistency include work aeration, oxygen check, and yeast dosing.

    By automating these processes, you are sure to maintain an exact taste across thousands of batches. Being able to produce beers with the same flavor year in and year out is the hallmark of a successful brewery.

    How does an automated system help your packaging efficiency?

    It’s difficult, monotonous, labor-intensive and time-consuming. That’s the cold hard truth when it comes to responding to increasing demands. We are not talking about packing a few crates every day or weeks. Imagine serving more than 20 states and the number of cases that have to be shipped out on a daily basis. Automation not only helps you achieve quality and consistency, but it also increases the production flow.

    By automating your packaging system, you’ll not only be eliminating recurrent costs but will also do away with waste and maximize time. The least enjoyable job in a brewery is the packaging line, that’s due to the repetitive nature of the task.   Automation can easily help with this monotonous task.  Besides tiresome, this type of repetitive task can sometimes lead to mistakes and breakages on the packaging line. However, unlike humans, the automated machines will never get tired and will always perform efficiently.

    Final Words

    The popularity of craft beer continues to grow. Therefore, breweries have a duty to fully automate their facilities to keep up with the competition. Craft is also moving beyond just beer. Many breweries are beginning to distill spirits, which requires them to have the best structures in place to be able to meet the expectations of their customers.

    Also, don’t think of automation as a negative thing for employment opportunities, but rather that it will eventually boost sales and create more brewery jobs.

    If you need any technology or automation help, give BrewTech a call today at 619-279-0350

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