From 5,000 to 35,000 hectolitres
The new machines and kit from Krones were delivered in late 2014, and early in 2015 the brewery was up and running with an annual installed capacity of 35,000 hectolitres. “And we’ll be selling that much by 2016 at the latest,” says a confident Philip Bucher. The young company is already planning to upsize its storage capacities to 80,000 hectolitres with outdoor tanks – a size that will be comfortably covered by the new Steinecker brewhouse and the bottling line.
The 1,800-square-metre hall now accommodates the brewhouse and the bottling line directly next to each other on a minimised footprint. This also has certain advantages, opines Philip Bucher, legwork is reduced, you can brew your beers and bottle them at the same time. It’s pleasant for the staff as well. “When you’re planning a bottling line, you very quickly end up with Krones,” he says. “As a lateral entrant, particularly, you’re well advised to go for a manufacturer who knows what he’s doing.” For the wet end of the bottling line, Doppelleu signed a turnkey agreement under which Krones undertook to integrate into the new line the empty-bottle inspector from the old line and the existing labeller, only purchased two years previously. Here, adhesives from KIC Krones ensure optimal label positioning. Doppelleu installed a Lavatec E2 bottle washer, plus a crate washer supplied by Krones. The washed returnable bottles are passed to the Kosme rinser-filler-closer block, in which if necessary the non-returnable glass bottles can be rinsed before being filled.
Downstream of the filler, a Checkmat F-X inspects the bottles for the correct fill level using X-rays, and the closure position. After the labeller, another Checkmat from the E series ensures meticulous inspection of the label placement. Krones linked up all the machines, existing and new ones alike, with its own conveyors. “In an output range of 12,000 bottles per hour, the Kosme filler is absolutely fit for purpose, not least because it also incorporates the Krones technology,” comments Philip Bucher. Within just six weeks from delivery on site the bottling line was up and running. “That was efficient, that was really good,” he lauds.
Combination of CombiCube B and customised brewhouse
When it came to planning the brewhouse, Doppelleu and Krones gradually felt their way forward to the ultimate version. The initial plan was for a modularised CombiCube B brewhouse. But it then emerged that this would not have been feasible, due to space and installation constraints, not only because of the 20-hectolitre copper brewhouse still operating, but also because of various special wishes from Doppelleu. The client wanted an internal boiler, for example, instead of the pillow plates as wall and base heating surfaces usually provided with the CombiCube B. Krones thereupon integrated a traditional Stromboli internal boiler in the CombiCube B. When it came to hopping, the brewmaster insisted on a fourth hop strike and also on a customised piece of kit that enables hops to be added on the way to the whirlpool. “We also stipulated a pretty short cooling time for the hot wort, of just 20 minutes. This means the thermal loading is lower, and the hop aroma is less affected. In return, of course, we’ve had to accept pipes with a larger diameter,” explains brewmaster Philipp Wagner. The result is a combination of a modularised CombiCube B and a completely customised brewhouse featuring a Pegasus C lauter tun, a ShakesBeer mash tun, a wort copper with a Stromboli internal boiler, a vapour condenser and a whirlpool. “I believe this means we’ve put together the best of both worlds to create a customised craft brewhouse tailored precisely to our specific needs,” emphasises Philip Bucher. Doppelleu assures optimum protection for its kit by using the appropriate lubricants from KIC Krones.
“Absolutely a dream job for a brewmaster”
Doppelleu also insisted on a TFS diatomite filter. About half the craft beer varieties are filtered, like a pale ale, “which then looks like a lager beer, but nevertheless exhibits the refined taste and broad spectrum of aromatics of a top-fermented ale,” says an enthusiastic Managing Director. “Lots of consumers in Switzerland like filtered beers. They go for the look as well as the taste.” With the new 80-hectolitre brewhouse, the Brauwerkstatt is currently producing four brews a day in one-shift operation. This is the responsibility of the two brewmasters and the three brewers. “Normally, as you know, a brewmaster’s task is to maintain quality levels, and most definitely not to change anything. Here, of course, the remit was precisely the opposite: to create something new and do it all as well as possible – that’s a creative job and an absolute dream for a brewmaster,” says a happy Philipp Wagner and adds critically: “Especially as there’s an ongoing global trend towards drinking water. We do then try to fine-tune the beer’s taste a bit, which we’re hopefully successful at.” For the Brauwerkstatt Doppelleu, craft beer primarily also means exciting new styles, tasty and distinctive beers, a diverse product range, and brewers who aren’t afraid to experiment.
“Both professional and pleasant”
“The collaboration with Krones on this project was both professional and pleasant,” is the verdict of a relaxed Philip Bucher. “We’re now in the reassuring position of being able to catch up with our capacities over the next few years. We can’t look into the future – things may keep on progressing at the same pace, or growth may flatten out.” The latter alternative, however, doesn’t look in the tiniest bit likely. The Doppelleu Brauwerkstatt AG has taken a pretty permanent place in the craft beer movement with its total of 13 diverse excellent-tasting beers.