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A Winning Combination
Your passion is beer, ours is air compressors.
Compressed air plays a vital role in breweries across the country. From high-volume facilities to the smallest craft producers, a reliable compressor is as important as the right combination of malt, water and hops in an pale ale. Extreme care and thought goes into every aspect of the brewing process, each making a quantifiable mark on the final product. From concept to creation, no detail is too small to ignore and the compressed air system is no exception. Below is everything you need to know when selecting the right compressor for your brewery.
As we wouldn't know which malt to select for an IPA, picking the right compressor for your brewery can leave anyone unsure on such a big decision.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when comparing compressors:
1. Maintenance: Select an air compressor that is easy to maintain and to get into. Chicago Pneumatic compressors taking the guessing out of what to do. With detailed manuals to know what is required at each hour interval of your machine.
2. Replacement parts: Don't pick a machine that you have to track filters and parts down for. With a dedicated team ([email protected]) it's simple to order parts and keep your machine always working at it's optimal performance.
3. Noise: Yes, noise is something to consider when selecting your compressor. No one needs a nagging employee complaining about the noise of a machine. Ask about the decibel chart and where the compressor ranks.
4. Installation: You need to be thinking about where this compressor is going to go. A quiet screw compressor (QRS) should go inside and can be right beside your employees with minimal noise. Looking to put your compressor outside? Keep in mind, not all compressors are meant for outside. Weather is a huge component to harming your compressor, so make sure you ask if they have a "weather kit".
5. Certified Tank: What's that even mean you ask? OSHA requires the tank of your compressor to be certified with ASME. The ASME certification states the pressure vesssel has been manufactured to specific standards. It should also on the tag have a NB (National Board) number stamped into it.
6. Drains: Compressed air produces moisture in your machine. Drains are essential to draining that moisture out of your machine. Make sure you ask where the drains are located, are they automatic and how often you should be manually draining.
When you think about how oil-free air compressors work, you’ll need to realize that there is oil in the device, but that it won’t come into contact with the compressor. Only the gearbox has oil in it.
The gearbox of your air compressor is used to drive the two compressor elements. Gearboxes need lubrication to operate properly, and can be costly to replace, so maintenance checks should review them on a regular basis. The oil in your gearbox will lubricate the internal gears and bearings, as well as the bearing and timing gear located inside of each compressor element. Oil will be pumped from an oil sump inside the gearbox, and it’s cooled via an oil cooler and oil filter before it is used to cool compressor or gearbox parts. The filters are used to remove debris during its action. The main difference is that internal elements and parts of the gearbox will be treated with long-lasting lubrication. This puts more of a strain on the engine overtime, but requires less day-to-day maintenance.
Chicago Pneumatic SPIRAL products are clean running, making them an excellent air compressor for breweries or other applications where sanitation is essential. We offer both oil-free and lubricated compressors, the latter of which are equipped with advanced filtering systems to deliver 99.9% air/fluid separation. This keeps contaminants out of your work area, so you can brew a better, cleaner beer.
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.
Our Air Compressor Pro's are here to help you develop a complete compressed air solution, providing you with the best selection and pricing delivered right to your door. 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.