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Thread: Alfa-Laval Brew 80 centrifuge at work

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Enterprise, Oregon
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    1,863

    Alfa-Laval Brew 80 centrifuge at work

    We recently purchased an Alfa-Laval Brew 80 centrifuge. I was a little leery as I'd seen some comments here about centrifuges not removing very fine haze, which is what we were aiming for.

    Here are the results:

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    That's our Pils. Guess which is before and which after?

    Second day running and we're very pleased. Jason Munoz is the tech who came out to set up and get us up to speed on operation, and he's doing a great job!

    We're gonna need a bigger bright tank!
    Last edited by TGTimm; 05-16-2018 at 02:10 PM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    144
    What a difference!
    While I don't fully understand what the process it must entail to reach the outcome?
    I sure, as a consumer, can say which I would prefer to look at.

    But hey. If you -do- need to upgrade?
    More than happy to help you with a Brite. 🤣
    Cedarstone Industry
    7432 Fairbanks N Houston Rd
    Houston, TX 77040
    Tel. 281-397-3700 ext. 1
    eMail. naomi@cedarstoneindustry.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    1,863
    A couple of notes: The beer above is our Pils, not the ESG. Our pilsner yeast doesn't floc as well as our house yeast. We ran the ESG yesterday at about 35 bbl/hour, but the pils, with its heavier yeast load, ran at about 20 bbl/hour.

    One thing about this machine is set-up and cleaning time. I takes about 45 minutes for each end of the run, so we need to run as much beer as possible each time we run it to maximize our efficiency.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    AUS
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    143
    That is looking great Tim! We have a GEA and found it to be great. The centrifuges dont seem to have an issue with yeast haze, in our experience, more with polyphenol haze. Have you run some high hopped IPA’s through it? What is your DO pickup through one of these?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    1,863
    This is our second week using the A L, so we haven't run a highly-hopped beer through it yet. I'll report back when we do.

    DO meter is next on my wishlist. We just have an open-electrode tester right now, and it's junk.

    One more thing I'm adding to this system: A pressure tank and check valve on the incoming water line. We can get some pretty significant drops in water pressure when cleaning, and the machine will shut itself down if the pressure falls too low--much below 20psi. I just ordered a 7.6 gal bladder style tank, which will give us a couple of minutes' buffer. When the machine shuts down due to low water pressure or any loss of power, it has to slowly run down to a stop before re-staring. This takes about a half hour or more.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    62
    Hi TGTimm, just wondering if you could give more details on how you're liking your AL Brew 80 by now, as we're considering one.

    Do you have a turbidity meter that controls either the discharge of solids or the input flow valve? Any thoughts on that?

    What size tanks do you have, and are you still seeing the same 20-35 bbl/hour throughput? What about highly hopped beers - anything that it can't handle? And what about protein/polyphenol haze? Would love to hear any details you're willing to share!

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Our flow meter now registers over 6,500 bbls since we installed the centrifuge.

    It's the most rock-solid reliable piece of equipment we've ever purchased.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    6
    Whats your water pressure entering the building? We have a Brew 80 and have been running it for about 3 years now. About a year back the water pump on the skid went out so we were running off just the water pressure at the wall (which fluctuated ALOT). We had a plumber come out and tell us he would cut out the PRV from the street to the building and our water pressure went up immensely! We ended up putting a new PRV on the line that feeds the fuge, and now it runs fantastic even when the canning line and keg washer are running. Maybe its worth looking in to?

    Chris Morgan
    Lead Cellarman/Production Manager
    Atlanta BRewing Co.
    Chris Morgan, Cellarman
    Red Brick Brewing Co.
    Atlanta, GA

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fall River Mills, Ca
    Posts
    4
    Thank you for posting this. We have been in discussions with Alfa laval to purchase a Brew 80 and I've been torn as I was told that we will still have relatively hazy beer. We are currently using a Velo DE filter and for some reason over the last six months, it's been sucking at getting our beer bright and it's also blinding all the time. We used to think we had it down, but have recently lost all confidence in our ability to filter our beer. I too am interested in seeing what a heavily hopped beer looks like after going through the centrifuge and also wondered if incorporating finings in the fermenter during cold conditioning prior to filtration would aide in helping separate the solids. Thank you again for posting this and please post a picture of an IPA if you have the chance. Congrats!

    Cheers!

    John Hutchings
    President
    Fall River Brewing Company

  10. #10
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    Enterprise, Oregon
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    It's now been 8 months since we installed the Brew 80, and it's still running like a top.

    Chris: Our water pressure runs between 50 and 60 psi, but due to under-size main line, it can drop precipitously due to other draws. I installed a small pressure tank--like you'd use on a home well--and a check valve. This solved the problem entirely. When the centrifuge see low water pressure, it shuts down. When this happens, the centrifuge must run down entirely before you can re-start, which takes 20 minutes or so. I'm glad it was an easy fix, and didn't require another pump.

    John: I don't have any pictures of an IPA B&A. I can tell you that we get beautifully bright IPAs and big beers. I'll try to get some pics next time we spin an IPA.

    We do use a flocculant in the fermenter, and dump yeast a few times. We don't dump as much yeast as we did before installing the centrifuge, so we're saving beer in addition to getting a much better-looking, more stable product.

    I don't want to come across as a fan-boy, but this really is the single best piece of kit we've added to our operations in many years.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 01-17-2019 at 09:28 AM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    8

    DO Numbers

    Timm - what DO numbers are you seeing with your unit (I assume you have the version with the hermetic seal)? We have seen as spike recently and have a new carbon seal on order. These are rated at < 20 PPB pickup at their slowest rate, though we saw almost double that at any rate we ran and recently up to 200.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    AUS
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    143
    Hi Tim, what flocculant are you using in tank? We cant seem to get our IPA’s below 80 EBC

    10Torr, we see about 13 - 17ppb going through our GEA

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    I'll have to ask the brewers about both these questions, and be sure they are keeping an eye on DO pick-up from the centrifuge.

    We used many different flocs over the years and I don't know what we're currently using. I'm the mechanical guy, so don't always know what the brewers are doing.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
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    151
    Quote Originally Posted by 10Torr View Post
    Timm - what DO numbers are you seeing with your unit (I assume you have the version with the hermetic seal)? We have seen as spike recently and have a new carbon seal on order. These are rated at < 20 PPB pickup at their slowest rate, though we saw almost double that at any rate we ran and recently up to 200.
    Different brewery here but we're seeing < 5 PPB pickup through our Brew 80 (usually zero pickup, actually). Have you replaced the carbon seal or performed any of the service kits on it recently?
    Last edited by TonyT; 01-20-2019 at 09:45 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    8
    Just ordered the $1,500 carbon seal. Will post new DO numbers after we run it after replacement

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