Sven-Olaf Klüe

General Manager

Sven-Olaf Klüe has been working in the field of design, manufacture and applications of pillow plate heat exchangers worldwide for 27 years. For the past 15 years, he has focused specifically on the process-related applications of pillow plate heat exchangers in industrial applications.

Brewing water cooling

Efficient use of BUCO ice bank silos in brewing water cooling as industrial chillers for ice storage

Our BUCO ice bank silos guarantee you competitive advantages of reducing the otherwise necessary stack tanks for storage to approx. 1/6 of the necessary size in the beer industry. The space saving is achieved by using the latent melting heat of crushed ice as a cold store. Furthermore, the power consumption is evened out by shifting part of the cooling capacity to the sud-free periods. A substantial increase in capacity is achieved through storage without increasing the existing ammonia volume, avoiding the need for state approval procedures.

The starting line

Some large breweries are embedded in the urban area. Capacity expansions are essentially only possible through intensification measures, i.e. limited to the existing buildings and terrain.

What does a heat exchanger do?
Why the use of an ice bank silo now?

As part of the intensification and modernisation concepts of large breweries, there have been process-specific solutions implemented for the regard tot he provision of brewing water.

How was it done until now?

With single-flow cooling systems in the brewery, the feed water, which has been pre-cooled by chillers to ice water temperature and previously softened, is heated directly in countercurrent with the boiled wort. and previously softened to ice water temperature is heated directly in countercurrent with the boiled wort. This results in an intensive heat transfer takes place, heating the water to approx. 80°C and preparing it for the next brew. The pre-cooled water is normally kept in insulated storage tanks (stack tanks). For large quantities, this requires a considerable amount of space and investment for the short brew sequences aimed for.

What temperature values does your brewing process require?
Are you thinking of purchasing a brewhouse system complete with a hot water and a cold water tank?

Technical specifications of the chiller project

  • Total capacity: 25,336 kWh/24 h
  • Storage capacity: 10,000 kWh
  • Operation: NH3-pumped
  • Temperature of the ice water: 0.5 °C
  • Tanks: Two
  • Diameter: 3050 mm per tank
  • Insulation: 100 mm per tank
  • Height: 20.47 m per tank
  • Total volume: 108 m³/tank
  • Approximate ice capacity: 98.9 m³/tank

This storage takes place during batch-free periods, i.e. at weekends and at night.brewing water volumes due to high defrosting capacity and effective direct cooling in industrial refrigeration.

Ice bank refrigeration system?

Benefits accrued to the client as a result

  • Reduction of the otherwise necessary brewery stacking tanks for stockpiling to approx. 1/6 by installing ice bank silos. The space is saved by using the latent heat of plate ice as cold storage in refrigeration.
  • Equalisation of the company‘s industrial power consumption by shifting a part of the beer cooling capacities in the sud-free brew periods.
  • Significant increase in capacity through storage without increasing the volume of ammonia, thus no new approval procedure required.
  • Great flexibility in brewing water supply due to high melting capacities and effective direct cooling.
  • Extremely high brewery cooling capacity for peak loads.
  • High refrigeration efficiency in this unit due to direct cooling option in this refrigeration chiller.
  • Brewery chiller unit completely made of stainless steel.
  • Low refrigerant content in these process heat exchanger systems.
  • Minimal floor space requirement in these process heat exchanger systems.
  • Easy inspection, as the brewery evaporator system of this heat exchanger is not submerged in water.
  • Almost any storage tank geometry possible.
  • Use of existing industrial storage tanks possible.
  • Fabrication of ice or ice water for energetically more favourable direct cooling.
  • Glycol use as well possible.
  • Simplicity of control in these plate systems.


This industrial brewery storage takes place during batch-free periods, i.e. at weekends and at night. During the brewing process, cooling is only carried out directly at half the refrigeration capacity. For this reason, electricity consumption is limited or reduced and costs are saved.

Direct cooling can be used if there is an increased demand for ice water. Brewing water with a temperature of 12 to 19 °C is fed into the ice storage chiller systems, cooled and used for the industrial brewing process. When defrosting with hot gas, the ice plates loosen and fall down in large pieces. The system is ideal for optimising hot gas times and efficiency. A modified valve station has been installed. Ultrasonic probes are installed to measure the ice level.