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The complete malting and brewing process

Below you will find a complete brewing process with an explanation of how Josatech Projects can support you and help you with the automation.


Automation of a brewery or malthouse

On this page you will see an overview of the malting and brewing process for the production of beer. This example makes the added value of our support clear. If you have any questions about this, feel free to get in touch!

Operator die een controle uitvoert in een bierbrouwerij
Mannen aan het werk in een bierbrouwerij
Here the sand, straw, any stones and other plant material are removed. Then everything is sieved. Dust, grains that are too small are removed. Brewers demand a grain size of 2.5mm or more. This barley is then stored in silos.

By adding water at a temperature of 15°C the moisture content is gradually increased until it reaches 45%. This happens in 3 phases because not every layer absorbs water at the same speed.

The water is changed regularly to remove impurities and micro-organisms. After this, they are tested for water sensitivity and dormancy.

A mixer rotates in the germination tank and turns the germinating mass. In this way, the malt prevents suffocation and mold development. Men regulates the temperature and air circulation specified by fans.

During germination, enzymes are produced that the brewer needs. The malt house also degrades other substances such as cellular material, which is anything but desirable for the brewer.

This is done to stop germination and reduce moisture content below 5%. In this way, the enzymatic activities are also stopped and spoilage is also prevented. Depending on the type of malt produced, the temperature in the dryers will vary. The malt is then analyzed to ensure quality.

The desired amount per malt type is weighed and then lightly crushed in the malt mill.

This is to ensure that the malt can absorb water and that the malt can build up a good filtration bed at a later stage.

In the maize silage, different temperatures and rest times are used to convert the starch in the malt into fermentable sugars.

A mixer guarantees the homogeneity of the mixture of malt and water. The monitoring of the acidity (pH) is extremely important here, as is the water composition.

After transfer from the mash tun to the lauter tun, there is first a period of circulation so that the grain bed can form and that all coarse particles are filtered out. In technical terms, this is also called the “vorlauf”. The brightness is closely monitored until it reaches the desired value. After going to the boiling kettle, the marc is removed from the lauter tun and this is processed in, among other things, animal feed.

After the prelauf, it is drained to the boiling kettle and at the same time the malt bed is rinsed out with an amount of water. The drains to the boiling kettle are accurately measured for sugar content and pH.

The speed of the run-off should not be too fast to avoid the compaction of the malt bed.

The wort is now brought to the boil for a set time and hops, any herbs are added. The wort is now made sterile and unwanted substances are boiled off.

Here too, the pH is important for both hop yield and to create optimal conditions for protein precipitation. After cooking, this matter, protein precipitation and other substances are separated in the whirlpool.

This is also the first clarification of the wort after boiling.

From the whirlpool tank, the hot wort is pumped through a plate cooler so that the desired temperature is reached to start the fermentation.

At the same time, oxygen is injected during the transfer to the yeast tank behind the cooler to give the yeast the most optimal conditions.

At large breweries, the yeast is already injected at the same time as the oxygen. At smaller breweries this is done by hand.

During the transfer, the yeast is added and the yeast tank is closed. After 8-24 hours, the yeast is already converting sugars into alcohol. This happens at temperatures between 18 and 26 degrees depending on the yeast strain.

Since yeast is exothermic, external cooling of these tanks is vital to keep the yeast as happy as possible. Brewers make wort, yeast makes beer is a well-known expression in the industry.

After the main fermentation has ended, the lagering begins. The temperature will gradually be reduced from 18-24 degrees to 4 degrees. During this reduction, the yeast will still process unwanted by-products of the process and the maturation of the beer will start steadily. The duration of this lagering will depend on the beer type. During the cold maturation, yeast precipitation and protein precipitation will take place, which is why these tanks are cylindroconical so that all cold trub can be removed from the bottom. This happens every 3 to 4 days during the bearing. During the cold maturation, yeast precipitation and protein precipitation will take place, which is why these tanks are cylindroconical so that all cold trub can be removed from the bottom.

After lagering, the beer is transported to new clear beer tanks. Along the way, they are filtered to improve shelf life.

If refermentation is to take place in the bottle, a small amount of dissolved sugar and yeast is added. For beers that are not refermented in the bottle, the CO2 content is brought up to the required level.

The beer is then transported to filling lines. Here the beer is packaged and labeled.

Opslagtanks voor het opslaan van bier in een geautomatiseerde bierbrouwerij
Man die in een brouwerij biervaten vult
Josatech Projects

What Josatech Projects can do for your automation

Software development and optimization of, among others:

Contact us and we will work out a solution tailored to your brewery or other situation, small or large.