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Why Does A Brewery Need an Air Compressor?

Compressed air plays an integral role in breweries both large and small around the world. From start to finish, all details in the brewing process are managed in fine detail and having the right air compressor is no exception.

What Kind of Air Compressor Does My Brewery Need?

Choosing the right air compressor for your brewery is just as important as the amount of hops you add to your latest batch. You must first determine what role or what use the air compressor will have in the brewery.

Piston/Reciprocating CompressorsPiston compressors are best for low-pressure tasks such as keg washing. These air compressors use rotating pistons to generate heat and compress and release air and are most often used in small microbreweries.

Rotary Screw Compressors – Rotary screw compressors are necessary for higher pressure tasks such as bottling or canning, which requires higher than 140 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) . 

Brewery Equipment Powered by Air

Commercial and craft breweries depend on compressed air for powering continuous-duty machines (like Meheen) for bottling, labeling, filling, and carbonating. These machines require a very precise amount of clean, oil-free air to accomplish the following items:

Aeration: Aeration is an essential process of introducing oxygen to the yeast cultures throughout the fermentation process. Oil-free compressors are ideal because they don't risk contaminating your malty masterpiece with oil - affecting the quality and the taste of the resulting beverage. 

Bottling: Bottling is one of the most common uses for air compressors in breweries and smaller commercial operations. Pressurized air is vital for moving beer from the conditioning tank to the bottle, and for keeping lines clean and free of water. Bottling uses a lot of air, so getting the right unit is critical. If you select an undersized or non-continuous rated unit, it will most likely get hot and start "spitting" oil into the lines. Even with a water trap, oil filters, and water filters, contamination will still get through pneumatic lines and wreak chaos on your equipment.

Cleaning & Maintenance: You spend countless hours investigating decisions like what malts, hops, and yeast strains to use in your next award-winning Lager and nothing can be worse than to find the entire batch is distroyed from contamination. Cleaning brew kettles, fermentation tanks, bottles, and kegs are all necessary chores. It's how you clean that makes a difference. To avoid spoilage, you want to avoid using contaminated air at all costs. Air compressors can be used to power cleaning tools such as pressure washers which are essential for maintaining a clean and sanitary operation. Many breweries will also use air-powered tools for regular maintenance and installation of new equipment.

Clean Air = Clean Beer: No matter what size the operation, you will want an oil-free air compressor that is UL-listed, comes with an ASME-certified tank and uses the right combination of air treatment accessories to produce the most contaminant-free air possible. But, if you're still using an oil-lubricated compressor, you'll need to incorporate refrigerated dryers and in-line air filters to remove moisture, oil, and other airborne contaminants. Whether you are a large-scale craft brewery or a microbrewery, choosing the right air compressor and accessories will go a long way to protect your investment and the award-winning beer you create.

The experts at Air Compressors Direct are here to help you develop a complete compressed air solution, providing you with the best selection and pricing delivered right to your door. Clarifying Several prominent microbreweries also use compressed air to power machinery during the clarifying process. After primary fermentation, many of the brewery’s beers are clarified using a pressure-driven centrifuge that removes heavier solids and results in cleaner, clearer finished product.

What Else Can an Air Compressor Accomplish in my Brewery?

In addition to keg washing and bottling/canning, air compressors are also useful tools for other tasks around the brewery. Aeration is an important process in brewing, which involves adding oxygen to the yeast during fermentation. Compressed air is also used to power machinery during the clarifying process. The pressure of the air removes solids and gives a cleaner final product.

If you need help deciding which compressor is right for your brewery, Chicago Pneumatic has you covered. You can contact any of our Chicago Pneumatic Distributors for assistance on choosing the compressor that’s right for you.

CP service technician in fron t of CP compressor
Whether you have questions about which compressor is right for you, or if you’re ready to improve your operations and start saving on expenses. Chicago Pneumatic has been around for over 100 years because we offer reliable and hardworking air compressors, as well as expert advice and support.

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Please contact [email protected] for additional information. For tech support for any Chicago Pneumatic product, please call us at (877)861-2722, opt 1. Or email us at [email protected] . We look forward to helping.

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