Benefits Of Beer Separation


Thermaflo has been providing equipment and process solutions to the beverage and food sectors for many years, one of which is for Brewing.

We understand in the current beer market, you need to be able to create a range of products and ensure that your process is efficient.

Separators are one way to improve process efficiency, reduce waste and reduce costs across a number of areas.

Areas of Saving (based on 4800 hl fermentation capacity):


Section 1: Tank Residence Savings

Typical Process is:

  • 7-14 days fermentation
  • 2-3 days cooling
  • 10-21 days conditioning

Based on the ratio of 80% lager to 20% ale with cider being brewed as well, it is safe to say that the average tank residence is 35-38 days (based on lagers). If we consider lager at 80% of the product brewed, we can estimate that roughly 3800hl of the capacity can be filled with lager and the remaining 960hl can be utilised for ale.

With 80% of the product in the tanks for approximately 38days the tank turn time is roughly 9.6 or 10 turns per year. If we can reduce the tank residence time for lagers without compromising the flavour profiles or specifications, we can increase the tank utilisation.

For instance, if we can reduce the lager tank residence by 13 days, we can increase the tank turns per annum by 5. If we take the largest tank at 400hl the potential increase is 2000hl per annum; multiple this by the average cost of one hl of lager and you can see the ROI in just one tank.

 $/hl lager x 2000 = savings

Even with a reduction of 5 days the potential increase in turns is 1.5 per year for lagers.  For ales the potential is 7 additional turns per year if conditioning is reduced to 14 days from 19 days. This also means that you may be able to delay the addition of further tanks, as you are utilising the existing ones better.


Section 2:  Beer Loss During Filtration

Many breweries use a Kieselguhr Filter (“DE”) for their current filtration / beer clarification process. The move from DE to a centrifuge can provide overall savings of product based on the numbers provided.




The typical beer loss is roughly 1250l (12.5hl) on an average DE filter run taking into account only a single repack of the DE filter if the filter reaches maximum pressure differential.

The ANDRITZ separator can potentially reduce the losses by 11hl due to the ability to run the majority of the FV bottoms by blending with the racking port, produce minimal loss after the run and 99.9% of the time never have to be restarted during the process.

 $beer / hl x 12.5 = current loss (filter)

$beer / hl x   1.5 = loss (separator)

Section 3: Time Savings

The ANDRITZ separator is very easy & efficient to start up, operate & CIP / shutdown. The longest wait time is when the separator starts up which still only takes approximately 8 mins as it comes up to speed. CIP can be completed in 45min with a basic caustic, flush, sanitiser, flush cycle and acid once or twice a week depending on usage and chemical manufacture recommendations.




Based on a typical run taking roughly 10-12 hours the above table shows how we can reduce this by approximately 4 hours without really doing much.  In some cases, this might allow the operators to turn more tanks per day just by lessening the setup and shut down times.

The time reduction can allow for operators to focus on or contribute to other areas of the brewery or process more beer / cider per day.


Section 4: Volume Throughput

For instance, if you look at a 400hl tank with the DE filter it takes approx. 7.5hrs to empty with significant loss and 3-4hrs of setup / breakdown time.  By installing the ANDRITZ 201 the process time can be potentially reduced (product dependent) to approx. 2.5 to 3hrs with only about 1.2hrs of setup / breakdown time.

 11.5 x hour rate = DE cost

 4.2 x hour rate = separator cost

The ability to run multiple tanks is great increased.


Section 5: Oxygen Pickup (DO)

The potential DO pickup is greatly reduced with the separator due to the ability to purge the entire system with the timed “FLUSH” mode on the touchscreen as well as continuous Co2 being applied to the hood & the hydrohermetic seal / product chamber.  Some breweries are reporting values as low as 0-5ppb pickup during operation.

Benefits are increased shelf life, better stability and no oxidation in the packaged product.


Section 6: Summary

In general, most ANDRITZ customers generally see an ROI of around 14-20 months; in some cases, less.

The key areas of improvement and increasing cashflow are:

  • Reducing product loss
  • Decreasing tank residence times
  • Increasing throughput capacities
  • Increasing labour efficiencies
  • Zero DE purchase and waste
  • Decreasing DO pickup
  • Reducing maintenance cost
  • Increase the chance of turning more tanks per shift
  • Increasing the breweries’ flexibility


Section 7: Key factors in selecting a separator

Once you recognise that you can achieve some significant benefits with the installation of a separator, it is then important on how you select the right one. There are a few key things that should be considered when selecting a separator.

  • Belt drive vs gear drive

Belt drive machines have lower maintenance, cheaper replacement parts & less downtime. The geardrive uses a fluid or friction clutch which is a wear item which is expensive to maintain.

  • Mechanical seal vs internal hydro-hermetic seal

Mechanical seal has cheaper replacement parts, less service cost, less downtime


  • Capacity of the machine

Do not go just on the stated capacities as these will vary based on product. Check out the bowl volume as large bowl means greater overall capacity


  • Capacity of the machine

Check out the volume of the solids space. Large space will mean greater capacity, less ejections and therefore less losses


  • DO pickup. DO will affect shelf life and quality

Andritz machines have a low DO pickup (applications have shown this as low as 0 – 5   ppb)


  • Flexibility when it comes to different beers, ciders or kombuchas

The Andritz machines have a capability across a wide range of applications.


Please come back to us if you would like more information, a visit by one of our staff or information on some of our other products.