With approximately £6.5 billion worth of wine and cider being purchased by UK households in 2013 alone, cider is one of the most popular drinks across all generations
Reports have shown cider sales growing through the introduction of fruit and other flavours such as lemongrass and mint & watermelon, and profits are rising further with younger demographics keen on sweet flavours. Many cider breweries around the UK are expanding in the face of this growth.
One such brewery in Herefordshire recently recruited the help of temperature control specialist, ICS Cool Energy, to ensure that it could increase production and distribution levels cost-effectively, from 50 million litres a year to 110 million litres a year, whilst its production site was undergoing a large expansion.
Russ Baker, UK Sales Director of ICS Cool Energy’s Hire Division explains: “The opportunity for expansion at the brewery arose when the factory adjoining the existing plant went up for sale. Within the original brewery, the site had approximately 1,000kW of cooling to support the fermentation tanks and storage. By expanding next door, it needed an additional 2,500kW of cooling for the new plant.
“As a large amount of capital was being invested in the site expansion, we recommended a rental solution, to minimise expenditure and enable the brewery managers to look after the plant at a fixed, manageable cost. Our engineers could ensure that each element of the process would be working at optimum temperatures to achieve the highest quality product for the consumer.”
ICS Cool Energy installed a 1,000kW air-cooled chiller to the brewery’s seven additional fermentation tanks, which required a constant 7°C temperature to ensure the sediment in the cider does not cause discolouration or poor taste.
The temperature control specialist temporarily installed a further 1,000kW chiller to support the brewery’s new blending line. Baker continues, “A blending line mixes and filters the concentrate into the final product. As the process introduces proteins to the blend, the appearance becomes cloudy. To remedy this, it is crucial that the mixing and filtering process is controlled at a low temperature of 2°C.
“We supplied a further two i-C 535 96kW i-Chillers, each linked to a low temperature fan coil unit, capable of providing 32kW of cooling in operating conditions as low as -12°C. This was enough to achieve an optimum cold storage room temperature of 0°C to preserve the finished product prior to it being transferred into tankers.”
“Our engineers also supplied a 280kW low temperature chiller to the existing production facility, to slipstream its product through the pipes and into the tankers. The newly expanded site now means that the cider brewery has a total of 3.4MW of cooling, allowing it to increase production and also trial new product lines with further research and development.”