• Subject Name : Engineering

Industrial Control Solution

Design Brief

The basic design of a modernized automated brewery industrial control system has evolved manifolds over the centuries. The modern process is supposed to be completely automated from breaking down the malt to finally packaging and shipping the units. However, designing the whole process and setting up the machinery requires meticulous planning and a great level of technical expertise. All the stages in brewing are explained in brief as follows.

  • Milling: The physical crushing of malt kernels into smaller particles in preparation for mashing and lautering is the process of milling. The equipment commonly used for milling are roller mills or hammer mills.
  • Malting: In the malting process, controlled germination and drying up of cereal grain takes place. The equipment used commonly is the drum malting system with macerator.
  • Mashing: In this process, hot water is steeped on to the cereal grain which goes on to hydrate it, activates the malt enzymes and also converts the grain starches into fermentable sugars. The equipment commonly used for mashing are boil kettles or lauter tuns.
  • Adding Water: It affects the pH of the drink, provides “seasoning” from the sulfate-to-chloride ratio and can cause off-flavours from chlorine or contaminants.
  • Lautering: When the mash is separated into the clear liquid wort and the residual grain, the process for brewing used is know as lautering. It includes three steps: mashout, recirculation and sparging. The commonly used equipment for lautering is the lauter tun which works much like a large sieve.
  • Wort Boiling: Boiling is an indispensable stage in brewing. It sterilises the liquid. It also halts the conversion of starch to sugar. The equipment commonly used for boiling is the boiling kettle, also known as the wort kettle. Hops may be added at this stage in brewing.
  • Use of Hops: Hops are the flowers, or cones, of a plant called Humulus lupulus. To keep beer for longer and also to keep it fresh, hops are added, because they act as preservatives. Hops also help the beer retain its head of foam- maintaining the beer’s aroma and flavour, which is also called “hoppy” aroma, flavour and bitterness. Generally, hops add the final flavour and aroma to the drink. A hop back is a piece of equipment which is used to recirculate beer through the hops.
  • Whirlpooling: After the wort boiling stage, it is important to separate the hop pellets and trub from wort. The common method used for this process is called Whirlpooling. The equipment commonly used for this process is simply called the Whirlpool or the Whirlpool wort.
  • Cooling: After boiling and whirlpooling, it is important to cool the wort quickly. While it is still hot at 140 degrees Fahrenheit or above, bacteria and wild yeasts get inhibited. It is important to rapidly cool the wort below 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The modern equipment commonly used for cooling the wort is called the Plate Heat Exchanger (PHE).
  • Fermentation: Through the process of fermentation, the glucose in the wort is converted to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide by the yeast. This process gives the beer both its alcohol content and its carbonation. Fermentation could take weeks. The equipment commonly used at this stage is simply called the fermentation tank.
  • Conditioning: The conditioning process is almost the grand finale of the entire brewing process and also an essential one, for without conditioning, the drink would be flat. This process is also called bottle conditioning or bottle fermentation. Through this method, the beer in the bottle is made sparkling. This technique involves bottling beer that contains little or no carbon dioxide and then adding priming sugars that yeast will ferment in the bottle. The isobaric conditioning of beer takes place in special pressure tanks using other special equipment like filters, pumps, carbonisation stones, etc.
  • Filtration: This is a process which is commonly used throughout the brewing process. It removes solid particles from the liquid by passing it through a porous medium. Gravity may also be used to filter the mixture. The three main types of filtration mechanisms are mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration. The equipment and materials most commonly used for filtration in modern breweries are Candle Beer Filters with Kieselguhr, Plate Beer Filters, Filtration Materials and Beer Microfilters.
  • Packaging: This involves extracting or drawing the final liquid from a holding tank and filling it into bottles in a filling machine (filler). These bottles are then capped, labelled and packed into cases or cartons. The bottled beers finally go through a capper, which caps and seals the bottles.

Key Elements of Fermentation

Fermentation is the reaction which is used to produce alcohol from sugar. Fermentation is an anaerobic reaction, requiring no oxygen to be present other than the ones contained in the sugar. It has to be conducted in a sealed, air-tight container. Yeast is the other element required for the reaction to take place.


  • A sugar molecule
  • Main component of starch, cellulose and glycogen
  • Named after the Greek word ‘glycos’ meaning ‘sugar’ or ‘sweet’
  • First derived from raisins by the scientist- Andreas Marggraf in 1747
  • Contains 6 atoms of carbon, 12 atoms of hydrogen and 6 atoms of oxygen which are required to prepare alcohol
  • The structure of glucose is thought of as constantly switching between a chain and a ring because the carbon bonds of the chain are flexible enough join together to form a chain ring, but easily rebroken.


  • A living microorganism
  • Useful to the fermentation process as it helps the glucose molecule break down into its constituent parts, which then form alcohol
  • The enzymes contained in the yeast, rather than the yeast itself, breaks the chemical bonds of the glucose allowing the formation of alcohol. It is because of this that the yeast remains unchanged at the end of the reaction while the glucose molecule is deconstructed.
  • Substances that aid a reaction but remain unchanged at the end of it are called catalysts, yeasts being one.

Market Research

The global brewery equipment market is estimated to be valued at USD 16.8 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 24.0 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 6.1% from 2019 to 2025. The growing number of microbreweries, as well as brew pubs, have significantly driven the market for brewery equipment. The other factors responsible for driving the global brewery equipment market is increasing consumer preferences for artisanal and craft beer as compared to traditional beer or other alcoholic beverages. Further, product innovations in the brewery equipment market have led to the growing need for updated and sustainable brewery equipment by beer manufacturers.

By macro-brewery equipment type, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to account for the largest share in the macro-brewery equipment market

In the macro-brewery equipment market, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to be the largest market in 2025. During the fermentation process, the wort is kept in the tanks for few weeks and acid is released as a by-product, due to which, there are increasing chances of tank deterioration. In addition, since the tanks are occupied for a longer duration during the process, the requirement for more tanks by macro-breweries to increase production remains high. Due to these factors, the fermentation equipment segment is projected to account for a larger market share in the macro-brewery equipment market.

Control and Manipulated Variable

The fermentation variables (temperature, pH and agitation) were optimized by response surface methodology (RSM) algorithm, Design Expert 7.1 and a response quadratic model was generated that revealed a correlation between all these parameters and also provided 23 solutions for process validation. Under the optimized conditions, the effect of inoculum size revealed 5.0 and 2.5% (v/v) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Y-2034 and Pachysolan tannophilus Y-2460, respectively as optimum for sequential fermentation. The optimization of sequential fermentation led to improvement in total ethanol yield from 20.61 to 22.24 g L-1. Introduction Lignocellulosics, the potential substrate for biofuel production, are initially pre-treated by stringent physicochemical processes to break open its crystalline structure. The process also releases free sugars or sugar complexes, consisting of some glucose and almost all xylose as hydrolysates. Although the amorphous cellulose is saccharified to produce ethanol, the hydrolysates produced remain unutilized as the mixture of glucose and xylose are not fermented by Saccharomyces cerevisiae or any other single fermenting yeast. It has been observed that the hydrolysate, if properly fermented, can decrease the overall cost of ethanol production from lignocellulosic biomass by 25% 1,2.


Planning and Progress

As can be seen above, the team has put in a lot of effort into the planning, brainstorming, designing and implementation of the project. They have made a remarkable progress since the inception of the idea and are beginning to explore solutions to more problems as they come by. For example, an entire team is allocated the task of branding for the product, another for pitching sales to customers and yet another for handling issues related to logistics.

Ideation and Problem Solving

The sub-teams deployed for handling various tasks are proficient in their work and contributing immensely to the rise of the business. They are constantly coming up with newer and newer ideas. They are highly skilled, professional and with great abilities of problem solving. Most importantly, they are always there for the business given that it is a new venture and that if any problem should arise. They work under pressure and yet remain calm and determined, watching out for any potential threats to the project and maintaining detailed records of the key elements the project must incorporate or has already incorporated.


Fermentation is a well-known process used to produce alcoholic beverages. EU-funded researchers developed low-cost computer-assisted technology and methods for monitoring the process with the potential to enhance wine quality while reducing production costs.

The purpose of instrumenting a fermentation process is two-fold, namely to understand and to control that process, from which it follows that the instrumentation is not an end in itself, merely a means to that end.

Sensors during the process of brewing can be used to gather data on temperature and humidity of hops, use GPS to track a shipment’s location and report precisely when it will arrive at the brewery. IoT is rapidly changing the world of brewing to its advantage. The different kinds of appropriate sensors which can be used during the process of brewing are as follows.

  • PT100 (Platinum Resistance Thermometer/Resistance Thermal Detector): to measure the resistance of a platinum element
  • Dimethylferrocene-mediated enzyme electrode
  • Bluetooth routers: able to penetrate steel brewing tanks, connect to low-power energy sensors in the tanks
  • IoT-enabled Sensors: responsible for incorporating hops into the brewing process
  • Beer Monitor
  • Alcohol Monitor
  • Extract Monitor
  • Plato Monitor

Pros/Cons of Sensors





Good accuracy over a fairly wide range and combined with excellent stability; more resistant to EMI; excellent interchangeability

Response time; physical strength

Dimethyl ferrocene-mediated enzyme electrode

Extremely high stability; low cost; availability

Insufficient stability; progressive increase in response time


Most accurate; easy to operate; local display available



Most accurate; compatible with Windows; excellent price-performance ratio



Optical technology based on Attenuated Total Reflection (ATR); short response time and excellent long-term stability; highly accurate and virtually maintenance free



Optical technology; no need for electrolyte and membrane changes; short response time and excellent long-term stability



Optical technology; no need for electrolyte and membrane changes; short response time and excellent long-term stability; applicable for a wide range of concentrations and temperatures







Low power consumption; easily upgradable

Low bandwidth as compared to Wi-Fi; allows only short-range communication between devices

IoT-enabled Sensors

Efficiency and seamless comfort; connectivity; real-time maintenance and problem-solving

Cyber security and user data privacy; device compatibility; cost and training

Reference Sites for Industrial Control Solution








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