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    Craft Beer
    25 years ago, the first brew-pubs emerged here, followed by microbreweries in Quebec Province on the east coast.

    Canada’s craft-brewing scene is older than you might think. 25 years ago, the first brew-pubs emerged here, followed by microbreweries in Quebec Province on the east coast. One of the first small breweries was the predecessor of Les Brasseurs RJ in Montreal formed when three microbreweries merged. At Les Brasseurs RJ, the brewers can now create their specialities at a consistently excellent level of quality and significantly enhanced efficiency based on a high degree of flexibility for many different types, thanks to a Steinecker CombiCube B brewhouse. An important cornerstone for the brewery’s further expansion.

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    “The old brewhouse was very simply constructed, it was overworked, and the efficiency was only a bit above 80 per cent,” says General Manager and Vice President Philippe Jaar. “At the same time, the space available was very cramped. When Krones premiered the CombiCube solution, we were enthusiastic. Our first reaction was: Wow! The unveiling of this system had a major influence on our decision.” In mid-2013, coinciding with the 25th anniversary celebrations of Roger Jaar’s original brewery, Les Brasseurs RJ installed the new CombiCube B brewhouse as a four-vessel system, featuring a mash kettle, a lauter tun, a wort copper and a whirlpool. It also incorporates the warm-water system, the wort cooler, a CIP system, and three hop supply vessels. For the first time, the malt is processed by a Variomill wet mill, with a new grain intake system installed as well. A Botec control system controls grain intake, the brewhouse and all auxiliary units. The CombiCube B brewhouse has been dimensioned for up to ten brews a day, with a cast-wort quantity of 80 hectolitres each. This adds up to a theoretically possible annual capacity in three-shift operation of 240,000 hectolitres. The old Brewhouse was 53 hectolitres, 8 brews a day.

    “Like a man walking on the Moon for the first time”

    Brewmaster Jérôme Denys has nothing but praise for the performance of the CombiCube B. “For me, this was like a man walking on the Moon for the first time. A whole new world. The footprint is unbelievably small; the automation gives us a lot more consistency in the brewing process, and we nonetheless remain very flexible. For the first time, too, I’ve been able to work with a wet mill. This technology operates significantly faster than dry milling, you don't get any dust, and it makes it a whole lot easier to mash the grist,” he explains. “The brewing technology also had a beneficial effect on the beers’ stability. We no longer have any problems with diacetyl, with DMS or with alcohol in the hops.” The three hop supply vessels feed both pellets and cone hops into the wort boiler. The brewmaster runs an additional cold hopping routine for Belle Gueule Houblon with 40 bittering units and for Cheval Blanc with 50 bittering units. The brewhouse has been designed for the infusion process: “Decoction takes up more time, and with this new technology, thanks to the good heat transfer with the dimple jackets, it’s no longer necessary,” believes Jérôme Denys. The evaporation rate is a mere four per cent. “When you’re operating a microbrewery producing more than 50,000 hectolitres, you need a CombiCube, otherwise this quantity is something you can no longer handle manually,” is the brewmaster’s firm conviction. “For me, Krones means firstly incomparable quality, and secondly outstanding service support. You don’t get that sort of thing very often, you can even ring up at midnight and receive the support you need. The new brewhouse does precisely what Krones promised us it would,” explains Jérôme Denys.

    “Synonymous with quality”

    From the management’s viewpoint, Philippe Jaar fully shares this enthusiasm: “This was an exciting decision: everything was very new for us, especially the automation. Brewing up to 30 different beers with different malts, hops, and disparate hopping techniques, plus of course the new wet-milling technology, that was a real challenge. Now we are definitely very, very satisfied with this decision. The beauty of the process lies in the continuously high level of quality. With the CombiCube, we now manage in just three days the same quantity we used to need seven days a week for. And we’ve upped the efficiency from 85 to 96 per cent. As far as I’m concerned, Krones is synonymous with quality,” he says.

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