Eagle Bay Brewing Co successfully streamlines brewing operations with AFSystems automated Batch Milling System
Eagle Bay Brewing Co, WA, specialises in brewing quality craft beer, but when it came to streamlining their brewing operations 12 months ago, they turned to uniFARM for a complete turnkey solution. With the help of a brand new Batch Milling System, Eagle Bay Brewing Co are now brewing better and more efficiently than ever.
Up until mid-2016, Eagle Bay Brewing Co were essentially crushing malt barley with high manual handling. grains by hand. The brewers would buy raw produce in 25kg bags, drop it through the old mill, carry it 20 metres to the brew shed, then climb a platform and tip it into the Stainless Steel receptacle below.
As the brewers were unable to bulk-buy grains locally or avoid double manual handling and lifting operations – including using scales to measure individual products for recipes – output remained on a much smaller scale than could ideally be achieved. In other words, the whole process was costly, time-consuming and recipes inconsistently.
Fortunately, uniFARM was able to deliver the multi batching 250kg system, a fully automated Batch Milling System, custom designed for space and operational functionality. The system featured the 26TN Silo; with uniFARM assembling the mill, designing the controls system, manufacturing the bin, and installing the electronic scales in the malting section and the room where two hoppers were placed.
Among a number of important components, Pneumatic Mill Control hardware with 3-phase and control of accurate weight; specifications and installation actions, the set-up included:
- 3 x 102mm 3 phase Augers
- 102mm in-load capacity for 280RPM on batch
- Grist Tank
- 373 RPM to MashTun – all adjustable with variable speed drives
- additional components for 3 x manual drop chutes
- 2 x 44R DOL sensor
- Mill stand and straight drop chute to Grist Tank – 1x each Batch & Grist Tank (Hopper 0.7m3)
- Modified Mill stand and outlet to match auger connections; along with Auger and Mill installation work for connections to Silos, Tanks / Hopper, Auger Stands and commissioning of the mill.
The grain is now drawn from the bottom of the silo into the mill room and fills the top of a batching hopper. The batching hopper sits on load cells, so once a certain amount of weight reaches the bin, the system stops drawing grain into the shed.
At this stage, special malts are added to the recipe manually (this process can be automated as well) prior to the milling process starting.
From this point, the grain moves from the batching bin up an auger and drops down through the crushing mill, turning it from malt grain into grist. It is then lands into the grist hopper underneath the mill. Once again, this hopper is sitting on a load cell, meaning it shuts down upon reaching a certain amount of weight.
Next, the grist travels from the mill shed to the brewhouse and drops into the large Stainless Steel receptacle (or ‘mash tun’), where hot water is added and the brewing process begins.
Barring the manual placement of any extra specialty products are required in each specific brew, every other step of this process is achieved automatically, thanks to a second control panel inside the brewery.
According to Eagle Bay Brewing Co product manager, Nick, uniFARM’s automated Batch Milling System has positively transformed the brewery’s operations.
“Productivity is up and product loss is down. This system allows us to reduce costs by purchasing bulk bags and storing the product in the silo prior to milling. The process itself is significantly safer and more efficient. It comes with less OH&S risk and requires minimal manual handling or supervision,” Nick explains.
“It also helps us achieve a more controlled and consistent recipe for the brew because each batch is measured automatically by weight. We even have more flexibility with recipe control.”
So, would Eagle Bay Brewing Co recommend a UniFARM automated batch milling solution?
“Yes, absolutely. In less than 12 months the investment in automation has already paid for itself in production time and opened up future options for specialty malt. It’s a fantastic result,” Nick says.