by Flexicon Europe, UK

Established in 2017, the Cervecera Peninsula craft brewery in Madrid, Spain brings a taste of the New World to the heartlands of Spain with its hoppy American-style beers. Operated by a father and son team, the company needed to move grain from the milling room to the brew tank and decided on a flexible screw conveyor from Flexicon Europe. The needed components were available via Flexicon's Quick Ship programme, which provides rapid delivery of frequently specified systems such as this.

'In the beginning, we had to do everything ourselves,' says Roman Jove, Cervecera Peninsula Founder and Head Brewer. 'We were putting in the grain by hand. We needed certain processes to be very simple. I had looked at many options, but Flexicon was recommended by brewer friends in the US.'

Moving milled grain to the mash house

The brewing process begins in the milling room where milled, malted grain is conveyed from a 225 litre (7.9 cubic feet) capacity floor hopper to a brew tank by a 6.5m (21ft) long flexible screw conveyor. As it rotates, the screw self-centres within the 67mm (2.6 inch) diameter polymer tube, providing ample space between the tube and screw wall to avoid grinding of the milled grain.

The mill produces two 400kg (880lb) batches-per-day of either malted wheat or a malted wheat-oat blend, all of which is transported directly to the brew tank by the conveyor. The design of the conveyor screw was specifically selected to efficiently transport the various free-flowing materials. With the drive motor located beyond the discharge point, the material does not contact seals or bearings.

Keeping things simple

Sr Jove describes installation of the conveyor as 'very simple.' It is cleaned after every five batches, a procedure that consists of reversing the screw to evacuate residual material, and in-place flushing of the interior. Alternatively, the screw can be removed through a lower end cap for sanitising.

The conveyor meets Cervecera Peninsula's requirements for gentle handling of the malted grain with no separation of wheat-oat blends.

'It moves all the material together at the same speed,' says Sr Jove. The enclosed tube also eliminates dust and spillage, as well as contamination of the product or plant environment. He concludes, 'It takes a lot of the work out of brewing and that's something we appreciate.'

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