Assignment Title: Industrial Control Solution
The basic design of a modernized automated brewery industrial control system has evolved manifolds over the centuries. The modern process is supposed to be completely automated from breaking down the malt to finally packaging and shipping the units. However, designing the whole process and setting up the machinery requires meticulous planning and a great level of technical expertise. This assignment specifically focusses on the process of fermentation in brewing.
Through the process of fermentation, the glucose in the wort is converted to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide by the yeast. This process gives the beer both its alcohol content and its carbonation. Fermentation could take weeks. The equipment commonly used at this stage is simply called the fermentation tank.
The fermentation process begins with transferring the cooled wort into a fermentation vessel to which yeast has already been added. For making ale, the wort is maintained at a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit (or 20 degrees Celsius) for about two weeks. For making lager, the wort is maintained at a constant temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) for about six weeks.
- Since fermentation produces a substantial amount of heat, the tanks must be cooled constantly to maintain the proper temperature.
- The yeast must remain pure and unchanged. Through the use of pure yeast culture plants, a particular beer flavour can be maintained year after year.
- UV light must be blocked out and the tank must be covered.
Common fermentation tanks hold more than 2,400 gallons (9,085 litres). It takes four batches to fill one tank. Since fermentation takes at least two weeks, the capacity of the brewery is limited by how many tanks they have.
When the wort is first added to the yeast, the specific gravity of the mixture is measured. At a later stage, it could be measured again to determine the amount of alcohol in the beer and when to stop the fermentation.
The fermenter is sealed off from the air except for a long narrow vent pipe, which allows carbon dioxide to escape from the fermenter. Since there is a constant flow of CO2 through the pipe, outside air is prevented from entering the fermenter, which reduces the threat of contamination by stray yeasts.
When fermentation is nearly complete, most of the yeast will settle to the bottom of the fermenter. The bottom of the fermenter is cone shaped, which makes it easy to capture and remove the yeast, which is saved and used in the next batch of beer. The yeast can be reused a number of times before it needs to be replaced. It is replaced when it has mutated and produces a different taste — remember, commercial brewing is all about consistency.
While fermentation is still happening, and when the specific gravity has reached a predetermined level, the carbon dioxide vent tube is capped. Now the vessel is sealed; so, as fermentation continues, pressure builds as CO2 continues to be produced. This is how the beer gets most of its carbonation, and the rest will be added manually later in the process. From this point on, the beer will remain under pressure (except for a short time during bottling).
When fermentation has finished, the beer is cooled to about 32 F (0 C). This helps the remaining yeast settle to the bottom of the fermenter, along with other undesirable proteins that come out of solution at this lower temperature.
Now that most of the solids have settled to the bottom, the beer is slowly pumped from the fermenter and filtered to remove any remaining solids. From the filter, the beer goes into another tank, called a bright beer tank. This is its last stop before bottling or kegging. Here, the level of carbon dioxide is adjusted by bubbling a little extra CO2 into the beer through a porous stone.
Process Flow Diagram
How Yeast Makes Alcohol and Carbon Dioxide
When the yeast first hits the wort, the concentrations of glucose (C6H12O6) are very high. That is why through diffusion, glucose enters the yeast. In fact, it keeps entering the yeast as long as there is glucose in the solution. As each glucose molecule enters the yeast, it is broken down in a ten-step process which is called “glycosis”. The product of glycosis is two three-carbon sugars, called pyruvates, and some adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The ATP is responsible for supplying energy to the yeast and allows it to multiply. The two pyruvates are then converted by the yeast into carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol (C2H5OH), the latter of which is the alcohol in the beer. The overall reaction is shown below.
SUGAR + YEAST – O2 = Alcohol + CO2
Key Elements of Fermentation
Fermentation is the reaction which is used to produce alcohol from sugar. Fermentation is an anaerobic reaction, requiring no oxygen to be present other than the ones contained in the sugar. It has to be conducted in a sealed, air-tight container. Yeast is the other element required for the reaction to take place.
- A sugar molecule
- Main component of starch, cellulose and glycogen
- Named after the Greek word ‘glycos’ meaning ‘sugar’ or ‘sweet’
- First derived from raisins by the scientist- Andreas Marggraf in 1747
- Contains 6 atoms of carbon, 12 atoms of hydrogen and 6 atoms of oxygen which are required to prepare alcohol
- The structure of glucose is thought of as constantly switching between a chain and a ring because the carbon bonds of the chain are flexible enough join together to form a chain ring, but easily rebroken.
- A living microorganism
- Useful to the fermentation process as it helps the glucose molecule break down into its constituent parts, which then form alcohol
- The enzymes contained in the yeast, rather than the yeast itself, breaks the chemical bonds of the glucose allowing the formation of alcohol. It is because of this that the yeast remains unchanged at the end of the reaction while the glucose molecule is deconstructed.
- Substances that aid a reaction but remain unchanged at the end of it are called catalysts, yeasts being one.
The global brewery equipment market is estimated to be valued at USD 16.8 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 24.0 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 6.1% from 2019 to 2025. The growing number of microbreweries, as well as brew pubs, have significantly driven the market for brewery equipment. The other factors responsible for driving the global brewery equipment market is increasing consumer preferences for artisanal and craft beer as compared to traditional beer or other alcoholic beverages. Further, product innovations in the brewery equipment market have led to the growing need for updated and sustainable brewery equipment by beer manufacturers.
By macro-brewery equipment type, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to account for the largest share in the macro-brewery equipment market
In the macro-brewery equipment market, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to be the largest market in 2025. During the fermentation process, the wort is kept in the tanks for few weeks and acid is released as a by-product, due to which, there are increasing chances of tank deterioration. In addition, since the tanks are occupied for a longer duration during the process, the requirement for more tanks by macro-breweries to increase production remains high. Due to these factors, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to account for a larger market share in the macro-brewery equipment market.
Control and Manipulated Variable
The fermentation variables (temperature, pH and agitation) were optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) algorithm, Design Expert 7.1 and a response quadratic model was generated that revealed a correlation between all these parameters and also provided 23 solutions for process validation. Under the optimized conditions, the effect of inoculum size revealed 5.0 and 2.5% (v/v) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Y-2034 and Pachysolan tannophilus Y-2460, respectively as optimum for sequential fermentation. The optimization of sequential fermentation led to improvement in total ethanol yield from 20.61 to 22.24 g L-1. Introduction Lignocellulosics, the potential substrate for biofuel production, are initially pre-treated by stringent physicochemical processes to break open its crystalline structure. The process also releases free sugars or sugar complexes, consisting of some glucose and almost all xylose as hydrolysates. Although the amorphous cellulose is saccharified to produce ethanol, the hydrolysates produced remain unutilized as the mixture of glucose and xylose are not fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae or any other single fermenting yeast. It has been observed that the hydrolysate, if properly fermented, can decrease the overall cost of ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass by 25% 1,2.
Planning and Progress
As can be seen above, the team has put in a lot of effort into the planning, brainstorming, designing and implementation of the project. They have made a remarkable progress since the inception of the idea and are beginning to explore solutions to more problems as they come by. For example, an entire team is allocated the task of branding for the product, another for pitching sales to customers and yet another for handling issues related to logistics.
Ideation and Problem Solving
The sub-teams deployed for handling various tasks are proficient in their work and contributing immensely to the rise of the business. They are constantly coming up with newer and newer ideas. They are highly skilled, professional and with great abilities of problem solving. Most importantly, they are always there for the business given that it is a new venture and that if any problem should arise. They work under pressure and yet remain calm and determined, watching out for any potential threats to the project and maintaining detailed records of the key elements the project must incorporate or has already incorporated.
Fermentation is a well-known process used to produce alcoholic beverages. EU-funded researchers developed low-cost computer-assisted technology and methods for monitoring the process with the potential to enhance wine quality while reducing production costs.
The purpose of instrumenting a fermentation process is two-fold, namely to understand and to control that process, from which it follows that the instrumentation is not an end in itself, merely a means to that end.
Sensors during the process of brewing can be used to gather data on temperature and humidity of hops, use GPS to track a shipment’s location and report precisely when it will arrive at the brewery. IoT is rapidly changing the world of brewing to its advantage. The different kinds of appropriate sensors which can be used during the process of brewing are as follows.
- PT100 (Platinum Resistance Thermometer/Resistance Thermal Detector): to measure the resistance of a platinum element
- Dimethylferrocene-mediated enzyme electrode
- Bluetooth routers: able to penetrate steel brewing tanks, connect to low-power energy sensors in the tanks
- IoT-enabled Sensors: responsible for incorporating hops into the brewing process
- Beer Monitor
- Alcohol Monitor
- Extract Monitor
- Plato Monitor
- RHOTEC ALC-TAX
- RHOTEC L
- CARBOTEC NIR
- CARBOTEC TR-PT
- OXYTRANS M
- OXYTRANS TR
Pros/Cons of Sensors
|PT100||Good accuracy over a fairly wide range and combined with excellent stability; more resistant to EMI; excellent interchangeability||Response time; physical strength|
|Dimethyl ferrocene-mediated enzyme electrode||Extremely high stability; low cost; availability||Insufficient stability; progressive increase in response time|
|RHOTEC ALC-TAX||Most accurate; easy to operate; local display available||N.A.|
|RHOTEC L||Most accurate; compatible with Windows; excellent price-performance ratio||N.A.|
|CARBOTEC NIR||Optical technology based on Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR); short response time and excellent long-term stability; highly accurate and virtually maintenance free||N.A.|
|OXYTRANS M||Optical technology; no need for electrolyte and membrane changes; short response time and excellent long-term stability||N.A.|
|OXYTRANS TR||Optical technology; no need for electrolyte and membrane changes; short response time and excellent long-term stability; applicable for a wide range of concentrations and temperatures||N.A.|
|Bluetooth||Low power consumption; easily upgradable||Low bandwidth as compared to Wi-Fi; allows only short-range communication between devices|
|IoT-enabled Sensors||Efficiency and seamless comfort; connectivity; real-time maintenance and problem-solving||Cyber security and user data privacy; device compatibility; cost and training|
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