Five years ago, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the Chicago area was looking for the most advanced, reliable progressing cavity pump available to modern craft brewers. They knew that steady, smooth conveyance of abrasive spent grain and yeast media, a by-product of the brewing process, was essential to making great beer. This Chicago-area OEM, along with a variety of other brewers, found the custom solution they needed in the NEMO progressing cavity (PC) pump from NETZSCH Pumps North America, LLC. NEMO pumps can be used for several brew stages, including effectively managing spent grain conveyance and transfer, yeast metering and spent yeast removal. The pumps are ideal for smoothly conveying the complex mixture of non-flowing, viscous and abrasive media unique to each brew batch.
Pressure-stable, low-pulsation conveyance
During fermentation, the yeast involved in brewing can quadruple; the combination of spent grain and yeast media is a byproduct of the entire steeping process. The mixtures’ abrasive, non-flowing consistency is similar to cooked oatmeal, and its steady removal is essential to producing quality beer. The material is removed from the liquid through filtering, suctioning or settling. Reaching temperatures as high as 150°F (65°C), this extracted media varies in character and moisture content.
That’s where NEMO PC pumps come in. After steeping, the residual moisture-laden media is discharged into a hopper that has a NEMO PC pump at the bottom. When the spent grain bin becomes approximately 50 percent full during a brew cycle, a sensor registers mounting pressure and kicks the pump into action. Steady, low-pulsation pumping moves the material into a long sweep elbow at the pump’s point of discharge. The material is then conveyed through an inlet chute and into the open trough section of another NEMO PC pump. Open hopper inlets use a patented auger feed system to convey media directly to the pump opening for maximum efficiency.
In some cases spent grain must be pumped a considerable distance, requiring significant pumping pressure. For example, it can be pumped to an elevated storage silo outside the brewery. The media is high in protein, and farmers value it for use in livestock feed, ethanol production and other agricultural applications.
Customized cavity pumps ease operations
Brewers of all sizes can use a NEMO PC pump for efficient removal of their post-brewing spent grain and yeast. Available in stainless steel construction with pin joints and buna stator material, the pumps are especially popular with medium to large breweries that have gone beyond using buckets to remove spent grain. Nearly pulsation-free, these pumps excel at moving the viscous media into separators and filters throughout the brewing process. They are designed with elastomer stators that can expand in response to heat released from spent grain. The rotor has a reduced diameter, engineered for minimal torque and optimal performance during rotation within the stator. NETZSCH offers dry run and over-pressure protection, which is important for preventing pump burnout.
Brewmaster professionals like those at the Chicago OEM work to customize the brewing process for a range of clients. They need creative solutions for use in cramped spaces, where grain handling and spent mixture removal space is at a premium. To improve efficiencies for the brewing process, they typically evaluate grain quantities to determine the best ways to help brewers improve their processes. Their field-adjustable stator option for restoring tolerances resulting from wear virtually eliminates downtime during critical production periods. Less down time minimizes excess labor. Smooth, dependable operation makes the brewing process safe, energy efficient and cost-effective. Best of all, the beer tastes better.
Since the Chicago area brewing OEM was founded five years ago, the company has grown adept at identifying and solving its clients’ brewing problems and has enjoyed explosive growth. They credit the use of NEMO pumps with allowing them to deliver affordable spent grain conveyance solutions for mid-sized, craft, and large breweries. The entire steeping and spent grain media removal process begins and ends using a series of dependable NEMO pumps. In addition, the pump’s precise metering capabilities make them a good choice for liquid yeast dosing. Food grade stators and sanitary pin joints combine with tri-clamp fittings for this application. If required, clean-in-place versions meeting 3A standards are available. Learn more right over here.