Pilot plant for soft and alcoholic drinks
Developing new drinks products – be they carbonated or still soft drinks or beers, lagers and ciders – requires technical input from many sources. ‘Trying out’ the new formulation and/or process at something that approximates to full production conditions is vital. Our pilot plant facilities can enable you to do just that, with a range of equipment to suit different needs. Below are some examples.
Flash pasteurising soft drinks
We regularly receive enquiries for UHT/flash pasteurisation from companies wishing to develop drinks. They would like to be able to flash pasteurise their beverages and beverage syrup prior to carbonating and filling using our new carbonator. Our Armfield flash pasteuriser fulfils this need – and is also suitable for the pasteurisation of dairy drinks. The laminar flow cabinet facilitates ‘clean fill’ of product, and the system allows clients to see the effect of processing on their product.
These units are very suitable for product development trials where relatively small volumes of products (2-8 litres) are required. However, they are also capable of producing the slightly larger quantities of products required by some clients.
As with soft drinks, developing beers requires knowledge of how the product will react to scale-up. Our 50kg pilot maltings were built to bridge the enormous gap between conventional micro malting systems and the ‘real world’ of full-scale production. Steeping and germination are carried out in malting drums but the kilning takes place in dedicated units which accurately simulate modern deep bed kilning systems. The whole maltings are automated and can operate over a very wide range of temperature and humidity. This enables it to mimic the many different conditions found in malting plants all over the world. And as well as product development, it can also be used for research into process, health and safety issues and training. We also have pilot roasting facilities.
Once the malt has been produced, it can then be used in our pilot brewery. The brewhouse comprises a mashing station, stirred mash conversion vessel and cereal cooker, wort separation by lauter or Meura mash filter, stirred kettle, and trub separation by whirlpool or hop back. Fermentation is in 100 litre cylindro-conical FVs, which can also be used as unitanks. Amongst the many special features installed in the brewery are carbon dioxide and nitrogen bulk gas tanks, a gas blender, a hydrophobic gas control rig for the production of deaerated liquor and for carbonation/nitrogenation of beer, and a flash pasteuriser.
Visit our on-line pilot plant