The non-beer beer revolution is here, and API Heat Transfer, one of the largest full-service producers of industrial heat exchangers and heat transfer systems worldwide, showcased maybe the best system we’ve seen to get any interested brewery up and running with their own THC / CBD / non-alcoholic beer — and have it taste just like the beer you brewed.
How it works
The API Schmidt SIGMATEC design, which was nestled within API’s submission in our CBC Previews, fits inline with your brewhouse. You brew whichever beer you’d like as normal. The brite tank empties into the SIGMATEC and after degassing, the product is preheated in the SIGMA plate heat exchanger and fed to the stripping section of a rectifying column.
The fluid flows down the column at a temperature between 43 and 48°C. Through counter flow, the product contacts rising vapors which bring about the selective separation of the alcohol from the product.
The alcohol free wine/beer is then fed from the bottom of the column into an evaporator. In the evaporator, vapors are produced, which are necessary for the rectification process, and redirected into the column. The completely dealcoholized product is pumped out of the plant via a cooler.
In the patented Aroma Recovery Unit, aroma components are recovered and redirected into the beer. The alcohol rich vapors are condensed, cooled to a low temperature and stored in a tank in the form of industrial alcohol. The result is a saleable product, which can be marketed immediately.
Meanwhile, the alcohol rich vapors pass from the stripping section to the rectification section where they are concentrated to 75 percent alcohol.
Why it’s the coolest: One becomes three
Considering the latest stats in the Brewers Association’s 2019 State of the Industry report, overall beer drinking is slowing as low-calorie, flavored malt beverage options are gaining favor. None of that says that beer is going away — especially with craft beer still growing — but tastes are fragmenting, new categories are blossoming and interested craft breweries have a chance to be a player in all of them, given the motivation and the right technology.
This is the main reason we love the API Schmidt SIGMATEC — it will allow innovative craft breweries to continue to do so. By adding a THC or CBD infuser, or by using that non-alcoholic, low-calorie beverage as is, you can invent an entirely new brand and product line that actually builds upon a beer brand/flavor that you’re known for. That’s interesting enough to me, but what’s more, that distilled alcohol you removed can be used or re-sold as well!
Voila, one of your existing flagship products has now become three. Seems cool.