All over the world, craft brewers put their trust in Krones. Because no matter how much of an experiment the beers produced may ultimately constitute – when making them, creative brewers, too, are keen to use dependable tools and to have a partner who can assist them with the requisite fund of experience. And there’s plenty of that around at Krones.
Since 1875, the Steinecker company manufactures brewing equipment. For meanwhile more than 35 years it’s a part of the Krones Group. At first, Krones was basically perceived in the brewing sector merely as a system vendor for high-speed machines and large lines. But meanwhile, Krones’ portfolio includes appropriate solutions for smaller breweries and creative brewers as well.
Almost ten years ago, Krones had already developed a compact-size brewhouse in the shape of the CombiCube B, which makes use of standardised modules and vessels for the mashing, lautering and wort-boiling processes. It is manufactured on skids, and will also comprise the filtration system, fermentation tanks and the requisite utilities.
Krones has ever since been offering small and mid-tier breweries a brewhouse solution incorporating tried-and-tested technology from Steinecker for a maximum annual output of 250,000 hectolitres, which scores highly in terms of fast commissioning and high layout flexibility: thanks to its skid-based construction, the CombiCube can now very simply be integrated into existing layouts and installed on a minimised footprint.
In the autumn of 2015, Krones unveiled its compact-size MicroCube brewing system. The concept is a complete downscaled installation, comprising brewhouse and fermentation cellar, and also includes the supply systems for water, heat and refrigeration. With brew sizes of 5, 10 and 17 hectolitres, the MicroCube is ideally suited for brewers who are just getting started on the beer market, only want to produce small batches, or wish to use the system as an experimental brewery.
The MicroCube takes “crafted”, the motto of the craft brewers, quite literally, in that the entire brewing process is performed manually; only for mashing, boiling and fermenting, it is supported by a software package with recipe control. When it comes to the footprint, too, it’s amazingly compact – the entire system can be erected on less than 90 square metres. The whole scope of delivery can be accommodated in three to four containers and the pre-assembled modules are installed and commissioned within a minimised timeframe.
5 | 10 | 17 hectolitres
25 | 40 | 60 | 80 | 100 hectolitres
Conventional Steinecker Brewhouse
As from 150 hectolitres
Not only in the brewhouse, but also for filling, labelling and packaging, Krones offers solutions for the small output range. One of the highlights here is the Craftmate can filler, which, as its name already implies, is the ideal “mate” when it comes to making craft beer – or to be more precise, getting the amber nectar safely into the can.
Craftmate gets even small production quantities (from 12,000 16-ounce containers per hour) safely into the can – and is doubly flexible about it: the omnicompetent all-rounder can handle different can sizes and formats and copes effortlessly with both beer and other carbonated beverages.
To make sure Craftmate is affordable for the small output range, in particular, it’s in some points been intentionally designed to be a bit simpler than Krones’ other can fillers: for example, the cans are raised and pressed against the valves purely by pneumatics, and the carousel’s height is adjusted manually.
In terms of know-how, by contrast, Craftmate needs fear no comparison with its “big” siblings: as a member of Krones’ family of can fillers, it, of course, incorporates Krones’ field-proven technology. So during the filling operation, there aren’t any helping hands as such, but there are 24 electro-pneumatically controlled filling valves. And with the guaranteed values for oxygen pick-up, filling accuracy and CO2 consumption, the new can filler is uncompromisingly the equal of its high-speed counterparts from Krones.
These and all other Krones machines and lines for brewing, filling and packaging the amber nectar can be found, by the way, under craftbrewing.krones.com – including success stories from satisfied brewers all around the planet.
But at Krones the focus is on more than just iron and steel: it’s also on everything connected with the subject of beer. Which is why at blog.krones.com/craftbeer you will find regular stories about hops, malt and craft brewers.
Steinecker Brew Center: a brewer’s paradise
Since 2018, Krones has possessed its own in-house experimental brewery at its facility in Freising. Besides its heart, a fully automated five-hectolitre brewhouse, it also comprises eight fermentation tanks, a variety of kit for beer filtration and filling, plus a high-tech taproom for tasting the products created – in other words: the Steinecker Brew Center is a complete small-scale brewery featuring the latest state of the art, in which every single step of the brewing process can be imaged, and people can join forces to work on the process-engineering side of product development. The in-house brewery thus offers both clients and Krones itself options for brewing beer, running trials and testing new technologies together.
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