Case history: Yeast foam detected, overflow stopped

Yeast is an essential ingredient of the fermentation process for brewers, but it can also be a problem for the brewery.

March 26, 2014
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Case history: Yeast foam detected, overflow stopped

The Carlsberg brewery was founded in 1847 and is today the fourth-largest brewery in the world. The production and distribution center is located in Fredericia,Denmark and runs day and night. Carlsberg produces 2.2 million hectoliters of beer annually and employs around 45,000 staff worldwide. Every day, Carlsberg sells around 120 million beers globally.

Baumer has been supplying Carlsberg with instrumentation for more than 10 years, initially to the beer production lines near Copenhagen and since 2008 to Carlsberg’s new production and distribution center in Fredericia.

Fermentation is the process by which yeast converts the glucose in the wort to alcohol and carbon dioxide gas, giving the beer its alcohol content and carbonation. When fermentation is nearly complete, most of the yeast settles to the bottom of the fermentation tank.

The yeast is then removed and reused for several fermentation processes before finally being stored in an excess yeast tank and sold off as animal feed. In this final stage of filling the excess yeast tanks, Carlsberg experienced overflow problems due to the heavy buildup of foam that prevented the triggering of the traditional level vibrating forks.

The solution for Carlsberg was the Baumer CleverLevel switch that detects the filling level in the yeast tanks. The CleverLevel uses frequency sweep technology and is a level switch for all types of media, whether it is wet, dry, sticky or, in this case, foam.

The CleverLevel is maintenance free due to the minimal installation depth of 15mm and the self-draining sensor tip. It is also approved to both 3A and EHEDG standards. It can be configured visually and easily via the dedicated software and the FlexProgrammer.

The switching range can be adjusted as required to ignore foams during maximum or minimum monitoring. This function can also be used when the level switch is supposed to ignore adhesive substances, and the graphic configuration software also increases user friendliness.

Using traditional forks, one version is needed for dry media (powder, grain. etc.), one version for wet media and one version for sticky media. The CleverLevel can be used through the entire process, from when the barley arrives in the storage tanks to the finished beer.

Lone Højbjerg Petersen, maintenance coordinator at Carlsberg, Denmark says: “The CleverLevel switch has solved our problems with overflow in the excess yeast tanks due to its unique and easy configuration options. We are now considering using the CleverLevel switch in our CIP caustic tanks, where we experience similar issues with foam and overflow.”

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