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    Beer, Craft Beer
    Complete brewery at Royal Unibrew
    Complete brewery at Royal Unibrew

      The new CombiCube, with a brew size of 25 hectolitres, is something like a playground for the Albani Brewery. If the types of craft beer brewed here manage to be a success on the market, the brewery will from then on be producing them on a larger scale in the conventional 420-hectolitre brewhouse.

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      Royal Unibrew is Denmark’s second-largest brewing group, originating from the merger of the two Danish breweries Jyske Bryggerier and Faxe in 1989. With its many regional beer specialties, Royal Unibrew has a very broad brand portfolio, which it continues to upsize – on both regional and national levels.

      Since the group is presuming that consumption of craft beers and other beer specialties is going to rise still further, in 2017 Royal Unibrew installed one 25-hectolitre CombiCube brewhouse from Krones each in its Albani Brewery in the Danish city of Odense and in the Hartwall Brewery in Finland. For the latter, Royal Unibrew also ordered a Craftmate can filler.

      Albani is one of the group’s two breweries in Denmark. Its output there comes to roughly a million hectolitres, almost half of which is accounted for by non-alcoholic malt drinks. Here in Odense, the biggest city on the island of Funen, Royal Unibrew uses the new brewhouse for two purposes. Firstly, as a pilot brewery, or – to put it another way – as a playground for experimenting with new flavours, and secondly as a showcase brewery, offering daily guided tours and featuring a brewpub seating 140 guests.

      Complete brewery

      The equipment installed included

      … in the process-engineering section:

      • A three-kettle CombiCube for a brew size of 25 hectolitres
      • Twelve fermentation and storage tanks, in sizes of 25, 50 and 100 hectolitres
      • A yeast propagator

      … in the filling hall:

      The line is rated at 4,000 bottles an hour.

      Gathering some experience with new beers

      Brewer Flemming Skyggelund is visibly proud of the new brewhouse. In the first year, he tells us, he had already brewed 35 different beers: “We want to gather some experience with new flavours. That’s what consumers are looking for.”

      Consumers are looking for new beer flavours.

      Flemming Skyggelund


      Anything goes

      Usually, three brews a day are produced in the CombiCube in two eight-hour shifts. Occasionally, it may be as much as five brews, which then require two twelve-hour shifts with two operators each. The three-kettle brewhouse features a mash tun, a lauter tun, a brew-kettle with integrated whirlpool and vapour compressor and is controlled by the Botec F1 process control system. Three hop-dosing tanks make for a high number of hopping variants.

      Andreas Falkenberg is the brewmaster and the filling hall manager. He is certain that he wants to stick with this high number of different beers in the future as well. In addition, the plan is to use the CombiCube for trying out ten to 20 new types a year, some of which will be exclusively on tap in the adjacent brewpub. “The CombiCube brewhouse works well, and offers us the degree of flexibility we expected,” says Andreas Falkenberg. And since demand for the specialty beers had been huge after the very first year, the brewery will be expanding its maturing capacities by another four 100-hectolitre tanks in late 2018.


      Highly flexible filling operations

      The line handles a total of five different shapes and sizes of bottle, two of them holding 330 millilitres, two 500 millilitres and one 750 millilitres. “On the line, we are producing around 60 different SKUs,” explains Andreas Falkenberg, “and the new line has substantially upgraded our flexibility levels. It’s predestined for relatively small quantities, in particular. We’ve already been able to remove one bottle type, the 500-millilitre long-neck bottle, completely from the big line’s programme, thus saving on change-over times there. If, however, we’re handling larger batches for a certain type, then we can, of course, use the bigger bottling line, rated at 35,000 bottles an hour. Which is what we’re doing for the Schiøtz and Lottrup types.” For filling its craft-beer types into kegs, Royal Unibrew uses an existing kegging line. When certain beers are to be filled in cans, this is handled by the sister brewery in Faxe.

      The Kosme line has substantially upgraded our flexibility levels.

      Andreas Falkenberg

      Selected machines and solutions