Schincariol brewery increases productivity with DT302

Monday, January 10, 2005



Schincariol - the second largest brewing group in Brazil - facilities of Cachoeiras de Macacú, Rio de Janeiro Staterecently installed DT302 FOUNDATIONTM Fieldbus density transmitters in twenty fermentation tanks. These density transmitters measure Plato Degree during the beer fermentation process, continuously and in real time. This represents a considerable technology advance compared to the previous conventional system based on samples analyzed in a laboratory.

Fermentation is a process by which carbohydrates are converted by leaven in alcohol and other side products. Several factors influence the beer fermentation process, mainly the must composition and fermentation conditions.

These conditions are influenced by time, must temperature, volume, fermentation tank design, pressure, agitation and flows in the must. The must composition modifies the fermentation by the presence and concentration of nutrients, pH, ventilation and temperature. These factors can affect the fermentation rate and time, the leavening amount produced and the beer quality.

As explained above, the beer fermentation process is quite complex and is influenced by several factors. The Plato Degree is used to monitor this process. Plato Degree is a concentration unit, which is the percentage in mass of saccharose present in a solution. By knowing the Plato Degree, it is possible to monitor and control the beer fermentation process.

The DT302, developed and patented by Smar, is the only density transmitter in the market that measures Plato Degree continuously, in real time and with laboratory precision, during the fermentation process. The sanitary model of the density transmitter is suitable for brewery facilities because it uses a tri-clamp type sanitary connection to the process coupling.

The surface finish of the probe follows 3A recommendations and the instrument was specially designed to allow CIP cleaning in order to eliminate the necessity of equipment removal from the process. Further, the DT302 can be installed in existing fermentation tanks by using an adapter (developed for this application), to connect the density transmitter, which is installed in the tank without the necessity of welding and, consequently, without the necessity of internal repair or service to the tank.

The DT302 signal is used to indicate the exact time that the fermentation process is completed and, therefore, that the tank is ready for refrigeration to begin the beer maturation process. This allows reduction of energy consumption and costs. In addition, with the Plato Degree measurement in real time, the operator knows the current process condition, allowing for immediate reaction in case of any undesired change in the process. This reduces errors and losses commonly associated to the samples method. According to Homero Guercia, Industrial Manager of the Schincariol unit in Cachoeiras de Macacú, the implementation of this new technology was totally successful. "After several months of operation of Smar Density Transmitters in the fermentation tanks, we obtained, through the continuous measurement of the Plato Degree and the extract volume compensated by the density, a better uniformity in our production process and consequently, a better quality of the product in the fermentation. Our resources were also maximized, mainly through cooling at the exact moment necessary, which resulted in a significant energy cost reduction. We had productivity gains, since it is not necessary to gather the many samples for laboratory analysis as in the past and reduced waste with the decreased number of samples", concludes Guercia.