Beer and cider bottling
New capabilities for members and clients to bottle beer and cider in larger volumes for new product development, research samples and analysis.
I’d like to introduce you to our new Meheen M2 filler which was commissioned a few weeks ago here in the pilot brewery at Campden BRI in Nutfield. As you will see it’s a two head filler and crowner. It can be used to fill beer, cider and pretty much any other liquid, even with high carbonation levels, with a very consistent fill height.
There are several benefits to using the M2 compared to our old filler. The first is speed. Previously we would typically fill no more than 50 to 100 bottles, occasionally more, in a day which was fine using the manual approach but we were often asked if we could do more for larger market research trials. That was difficult for us, and certainly impossible to achieve quickly. However, the M2 can in theory fill around 6-700 bottles per hour which makes larger runs very achievable. So, we can now offer a much fuller NPD service to clients and we’re obviously very happy about that.
Another benefit is low dissolved oxygen pick up. Obviously in-pack oxygen can create serious issues in terms of potential product stability problems and off-flavour development but we’ve found that the M2 is as good, if not better, than many commercial scale fillers in breweries. That was an important consideration for us when we were looking at small scale fillers and one of the first questions we asked.
With the M2 we can now also offer a bottling-only service for brewers who can’t find anywhere else to fill. This seems to be of real interest to the smaller brewers. Several breweries contract pack beer but they tend to be large volumes. A run of a few hundred or a few thousand wouldn’t be very attractive to them given the change-over costs and could be potentially expensive. However, we have a very flexible approach and can bottle anything from a few hundred up to a few thousand quite easily.
The other useful thing about us doing the filling is that we can perform any analysis required on the product on-site such as alcohol by volume, colour, bitterness, haze, CO2 and so on so that speeds things up quiet a bit.