MicroCube – the ideal tool for the craft brewer
To translate their far-out flavour ideas into marketable reality, craft brewers need a reliable tool if they are to produce their beers at a consistently high level of quality. Krones has accordingly developed the MicroCube brewing system specifically for craft brewers running brew sizes of five or ten hectolitres. MicroCube is a complete brewing system, comprising brewhouse and fermentation cellar. The concept also includes the supply systems for water, heat and refrigeration. All shipping packages fit inside a container. The vessels’ diameters measure not more than 1,200 millimetres, the valve and pump module measures 1,000 x 1,000 x 2,150 millimetres. The entire scope of delivery can be accommodated in three to four 40-foot containers. The pre-assembled modules are installed and commissioned within a minimised timeframe, while their compact dimensions enable them to be erected on a very small footprint.
State-of-the-art technology for small brew sizes
The electronically supported manual operator control concept is extremely flexible and easy to operate. For the milling work, a two-roller grist mill with a grist output of 500 kilograms per hour is provided, featuring manual malt feed and grist removal. The mill provides a simple milling gap adjustment feature for optimum grist results.
For the mashing process, the mash-lauter tun is equipped with a wall heating feature. For the lautering process, it utilises the field-proven false floor familiar from large-tank designs. A pitot tube enables the lautering process to be manually regulated. A wall sight glass for monitoring the first-wort penetration and a flow meter for the mashing and sparging water have also been integrated.
The whirlpool is designed for optimum heating rates, with wall and base heating. A Stromboli riser, moreover, intensifies the evaporation of unwanted aromatics. A scaled sight glass in the tank wall is used to determine the contents. There is also an option for integrating a simple vapour suppression feature by means of spray heads in the vapour pipe or a vapour condenser for producing warm water.
The warm water is stored in a water tank with wall heating, temperature display and a “full” signal. The high-speed steam generator also supplied produces 50 kilograms of saturated steam an hour. For the brew size of five hectolitres, a 50-kilogram unit is provided, while for a brew size of ten hectolitres twice the quantity of steam is required. The refrigeration capacity needed is met by a compact cooling system. It chills glycol, stored in the glycol tank, for cooling the tanks and the wort. With a brew size of five hectolitres, a cooling capacity of twelve kilowatts is installed, while for ten hectolitres the figure is about 17 kilowatts. For a CIP system, clients can choose between a 1- or 2-tank version. The standard working procedure features a non-circulatory CIP process with vessel-based supply.
For the fermentation tanks, clients can choose between net capacities of 5, 10, 20, 25 or 50 hectolitres, with wall and cone cooling. Each of the tanks is fitted with a bunging apparatus, plus temperature and pressure displays, and secured against vacuum and overpressure.