Market Garden's craft brewery losses dropped from 20% to single digits with Alfa Laval Brew 250
Andy Tveekrem (Head of Master Brewers Association) and Pat Daniels (Director of Brewing Operations at Market Garden) explain their experience with Alfa Laval Brew 250 centrifuge. Find out how technology and innovation helped them reduce losses, increase production capacity, and improve craft beer quality. Originally published on 15th June 2022.DATE 2023-11-28
What is the history of Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland, Ohio?
My history in beer started in this neighborhood, so I feel a real deep attachment to this neighborhood. It is a great place to be, and I've seen the potential for quite a long time. We started 11 years ago across the parking lot with a brewpub. In 2015, we started building out our production brewery right here. We're focused on beer styles with classic interpretation: German style lagers, wheat beers, West Coast IPA, and hazy IPAs.
What can Alfa Laval do for your craft beer production?
We always aim to produce high quality beer. We like to utilize the technology that's out there to the best of our advantage. Technology and quality oftentimes come hand in hand. Alfa Laval's focus is also on quality and technology, which has become a very good partnership for us. Our aims are aligned!
Alfa Laval’s focus is on quality as well as technology."
What impressed you most about Alfa Laval technology?
When we were thinking about a separator, we had a couple of things we wanted in mind. One was a fully hermetic machine, so we wanted to minimize oxygen pickup. Quite frankly, when Alfa Laval came up and said that you get zero parts per billion of oxygen pickup across this machine, I thought – yeah, bullshit, I want to see that. Well, that’s what we saw; it was no oxygen pickup. I was a bit flabbergasted because I’ve never had a piece of beer processing equipment that would do that.
Another thing for me was flexibility, a really turndown ratio. You can run this machine really slowly if you want to, no water to deal with like a hydrohermetic seal. With the hydrohermetic designs I've seen, you can turn it down about 50%, and then bad things start happening. You start sucking in air and water into your beer. So, just the ability to ramp it up and down as our process dictates, I think, is kind of another big thing.
One of our major criteria when we were selecting a separator was this bottom-fed design. It is kind of intriguing to me because it is nice and gentle, and it follows a kind of natural path. You come in the bottom and go out the top with a very slow shear. It is just much simpler and much more effective.
Can you tell me what you think of the Brew 250 centrifuge?
Our losses before adding the separator were all over the map, especially with our IPAs. We were just getting kicked in the behind, with 25 - 28% losses. It is pretty expensive when you throw a lot of hops into that beer, and then you lose that much. Watching our yields move from the 20's to the single digits on some brands pays for itself.
When we brought in the Brew 250, one of my biggest surprises was the range of beers we could move through, from wanting to maintain some haze in a hazy IPA to a brilliantly clear lager. So, the ability to dial that in was a huge surprise.
One of the main surprises was how quiet it was. It sits right in our cellar among all the fermentation tanks. You really don’t even need to wear earplugs. It`s that quiet. I mean, it is kind of impressive. It just seems like a very simple, elegant design. I really like that. Simple engineering is usually the best.
Alfa Laval said that they get zero parts per billion of oxygen pickup across this machine, and I thought - bullshit, I want to see that. Well, that’s what we saw, no oxygen pickup. I was a bit flabbergasted because I've just never had beer processing equipment that could do that."
What do you think about Alfa Laval services?
They sent a good technician out here, very knowledgeable and very helpful, willing to talk every step of what they are doing, through the process with us. The support staff has been great, but to be honest, we don’t find ourselves needing them.
It’s a high-quality piece of equipment well engineered, and the tech support is really good. Those are all the things that matter to me. As a brewer, I want to keep the brewery going and operating efficiently. For us, quality is obviously the top factor. So, working with a supplier that is so quality-driven above everything else is just worry free and something we take pride in. Top down, the Brew 250 just matches the quality and or expectations. So, from the onboarding process to the training, it has been well executed and the machine continues to give us consistent and high quality results.
Our losses before we added the separator were all over the map, especially our IPAs, with 25 – 28% losses. With the Alfa Laval separator, we watched our losses move from the 20’s to single digits. It pays for itself."
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Polisher for small breweries and сraft brewers
- Up to 180 hl/h
- Hermetic design means practically zero risk of oxygen pick-up
- Low power consumption
- Basic and easy to operate
- Skid-mounted separator and system
- Turbidity triggering of solids discharge
- Capacity control by inlet turbidity (included in upgraded Plus version)
- Siemens or Allen Bradley Automation (included in upgraded Plus version)