Heat Exchanger & Chiller Applications for craft brewery

Sep 3, 2018 4:25:29 PM

Heat Exchanger & Chiller Applications for craft brewery

The craft beer business is opening new doors to implementing cooling equipment which comply with necessary QA, sanitation and efficiency requirements this industry calls for. Today, a great number of brewers choose to craft beer in such a way that they differentiate themselves from the mainstream beer brands. However, in doing so, they also seek to raise production numbers without altering their one-of-a-kind taste.

Thus, the cooling equipment playing a fundamental role in brewery must become highly tailored in order to ensure their processes being as pure as they can possibly be.

cooling equipment for craft brewery

What role does cooling equipment play in craft brewery?

To produce craft beer, a high number of steps needs to be taken, going from raw material treatment to several heating/cooling processes.

Without getting too technical, the steps for craft beer manufacturing are:


Step one: Maceration

Maceration is a process in which malt starches turn into fermentable sugars. This is one paramount step towards rounding a beer's substance and flavor. 

Then, there's a second stage involving separating the must from the malt after sugars are extracted. Once this is complete, then comes cooking.

Step two: Cooking

Cooking must allow for water evaporation, thus enabling substance riddance which could potentially alter the flavor. This is why high-temperature boiling is important.

steps for craft beer manufacturing

Step three: Rapid cooling

This is the step in which a cooling system finally comes into play. A Heat Exchanger is needed to rapidly lower the fluid's temperature so that it gets ready for fermentation, the last and most important step of all.

The must in beer, resulting from cooking, should get cooled down at specific moments. To that end, either plain water or other cooling agent could be used.

The heat exchanger happens to be a vital component in this process. 

Step four: Fermentation

Here, the already cooled-down must get oxygen and yeast. Fermentation allows for alcohol and CO2 creation. The fermentation timing varies, only to be followed by an aging process ending in the product being bottled. 

In some instances, there are processes in between these steps. An example is pasteurization of beer. As you may know, pasteurization is a health requirement which enables to get rid of either bacteria or unwanted enzymes present in the fluid using high temperatures.

As it's necessary to reheat at the right temperature, a heat exchanger also comes in handy during this process.

🍺 While you're at it, you must also read 👉🏽 The four main challenges to brew craft beer.


A Plate-based Heat Exchanger is a piece of technology which allows for thermal exchange between 2 fluids moving through a set of aligned, separate metal plates. Heat exchange happens thanks to the contact there is with each plate's surface. 

Alfa Nova exchangers of this nature lead the industry thanks to the breakthroughs made by this world-renowned European cooling Equipment Company.

To produce craft beer, plate-based heat exchangers are typically set spliced and non-welded, as pieces could be easily dismantled for their clean-up or customization according to the operation's needs.

Alfa Laval provides highly-efficient Heat Exchangers which will meet each project's health requirements and heat transference needs.

Each project is unique, and so you need to get to know some of the equipment tech specs:

  • Fluid properties.
  • Acceptable pressure drops.
  • Temperatures and flows.
  • Cleanup requirements.


What is the importance of a Chiller in the craft brewery process?

A chiller is a piece of cooling equipment which allows for water to be either heated up or cooled down by means of a heat pump. Its applications can range a wide number of industries, most typically providing solutions for those production processes in need of ice water. 

For instance, in craft brewery, chillers can be used for must cooldown, as its temperature needs to rapidly drop with either ice water or a special treatment depending on each case.

Every step towards craft beer manufacturing is fundamental and particular to every product. Yet, iced water plays a role in a number of stages, and so Chillers' use is commonplace in this industry.

While you're at it 👉🏽 Air or water-cooled Chiller: preparing a cost proposal



Craft beer Libertad saw a need for higher production in the face of greater customer demand. However, although the brand was looking t

o raise their numbers, they didn't want to lose their trademark taste which help them climb the ladder in the first place. 

Froztec carried out some engineering and suggested the necessary pieces of equipment. A Drake single-circuit Chiller was suggested so as to keep up with 30k-liter monthly beer production.

🍺  👉🏽More about this successful story: Cerveza Libertad.

chiller in the craft bewery process

If you are a part of this industry and think you need a similar solution for your production processes, it's important you know the necessary power and gear for your project.

Having dedicated engineers outlining the equipment capabilities to the detail will help you achieve the highest performance and power saving possible.

Froztec provides advisory for those contractors seeking new cooling challenges. Reach us; we will be more than happy to guide you towards greater project efficiency.

Design your refrigeration project in 5 steps

Lourdes Solís Letayf

Written by Lourdes Solís Letayf

Director of Marketing Latin America at Froztec Internacional Inc. She studied Political Science and Public Administration, Subsystem in Marketing at the Ibero-American University of Mexico City.