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    Brewing capacities at Kursk quadrupled
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    Brewing capacities at Kursk quadrupled

      When a major international beer company closed its brewery in Kursk, Russia, around ten years ago, it created a sort of beer vacuum in the region. Then, in 2012, Oleg Nosov and his business partner Grigory Davidenko decided to open their own brewery: the Kursk Beer Company Ltd. They brought many years of experience in beer distribution to the table and knew the industry inside and out. They decided to buy empty premises in Kursk and start building their first brewing plant. And now, just five years later, they built a second brewery.

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      Kursk’s first brewhouse was a Czech one, dimensioned to produce 30 hectoliters per batch. Kursk started with six brews per day and then added equipment to produce ten brews per day. The brewery utilized only 5 percent of its capacity that first year. Demand for beer grew, sales increased rapidly. Just three years later, the brewery was operating at maximum capacity, in part because its distribution area had been permanently expanded. The company owners, who were sales experts, and their team had done an excellent job.

      Now they had to think about how to produce even more beer. So, they spoke with several brewing equipment manufacturers. After the company’s president Natalia Portalimova had looked at a few reference projects in Bavarian breweries, she had made her choice: “Of all the vendors out there, Krones did the best job of convincing us that they could deliver 21st century brewing technology and expertise and excellent support at all times. Their people really know what they are doing.”

       

      Of all the vendors out there, Krones was the most convincing.

      Natalia Portalimova

      Process technology from start to finish

      Krones won the contract for the complete brewing plant, from malt intake to the bright tanks. For the new plant, Kursk Brewery built a new, two-story building with 1,200 square meters of floor space on their premises. Krones delivered the equipment and took care of electronics and technology, and the brewery’s own staff completed the electrical and mechanical installation.

       

      Classic five-piece brewhouse

      The system is designed to produce 60 hectoliters per brew, twelve brews per day. It operates at an evaporation rate of four percent and can mash in beers with wort at up to 14.5 degrees Plato.

      The brewhouse consists of:

      The remaining process technology equipment is on the ground floor an includes the following:

      This plant configuration can produce around 300,000 hectoliters per year. 

      Direct link to Freising

      The new brewery plant went into operation in August 2017, almost exactly one year from the date the contract was awarded. “The new Steinecker brewhouse made a great first impression: the very first brew was a success, and we were able to produce saleable beer right from the start,” explains Natalia Portalimova. “Of course, the most important task was to ensure that the sensory properties (appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel) were the same as those produced in our old brewhouse.”

       

      The new brewhouse made a great first impression: The very first brew was a success.

      Natalia Portalimova

       

      Krones had trained the brewery employees on site and installed a VPN connection for online support from our Freising plant. “The response time is very fast. We can be in touch with a specialist at Krones within minutes. That would be especially important to us in the high season, in case any questions come up. Fortunately, we don’t often need to use it,” says the company’s president, Natalia Portalimova.

      Brewing 24/7

      The new Steinecker brewhouse has increased the original plant’s capacity fourfold and also earns high marks for sustainability. “We have been able to significantly reduce energy and media consumption across the board compared with the old brewhouse, and we’re seeing far lower filtration losses,” says Portalimova. Personnel costs are also lower now, since the plant requires the same number of operating personnel as the existing, non-automated brewhouse had needed for far lower outputs. That also helps the brewery, which offers a wide range of specialty beers for specific niche markets, produce small batches of exclusive beers, including top-fermented varieties. From the very beginning, Kursk had opted not to process any unmalted grain but instead to brew exclusively with malted grain. Nevertheless, the variety of beers the brewery produces has doubled since its inception to twelve regular brews ranging from lagers to ales to hefeweizens. Kursk also makes a number of specialty beers on a rotating basis, such as an oatmeal stout, a porter, or an American Pale Ale (APA).

      The new brewing plant now operates around the clock: 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 360 days a year. Kursk Brewery has once again reached capacity.


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