There are more than 6,300 breweries in the United States that are dedicated to creating unique, tastebud-pleasing beverages. To achieve their goals, brewers rely extensively on malts, which are produced through the very systematic and scientific process of malting. Malting involves the germination of grains prepared under a variety of controlled manual and automated conditions.
Epiphany Craft Malt in Durham, North Carolina reached out to KSB in 2015 to inquire about pumps that could be used in a malting operation. Epiphany’s founder and maltster, Sebastian Wolfrum, had a good friend and malting mentor in Germany who had recommended that he look into KSB pumps. In collaboration with his mentor, Sebastian contacted KSB and provided datasheets for the malting system he would need for his new building and upstart business in Durham.
KSB Application Engineers worked with Sebastian to build-out the entire pumping system, based on a schematic, and some modifications for U.S. electrical requirements and other adjustments pertaining to the spatial layout of the building.
The engineered process of this malting operation would require moving steeped grain from one vessel to another, water through both hot and cooling loops, over to an air heat exchanger for the drying process, and a finishing nozzle spray at 5bar of pressure. Each step is critical and unique, requiring specific equipment to perform smoothly and reliably.
To satisfy the requirements of the hot and cold conditioning, the tank feeding spray, and flooding and draining of process chambers, custom-tuned select KSB pumps were proposed for each process.
Two end-suction KSB Etabloc pumps, with a suction flange of 65mm and discharge flange of 40mm, were set to operate at 35 m3/hr @ 18m. These Etablocs were chosen for their back pull-out design, so the casing remains in the piping arrangement during maintenance, and because the shaft seal requires no cooling water during operation. Additional advantages of the Etabloc include its sturdy bearing assembly, optimized hydraulics, high-efficiency rate, and replaceable wear rings.
The KSB KWPK pump was selected as these pumps have proven to be ideal for use in industrial processes – especially slurry transportation. The KWPK is designed to handle solids and is particularly useful in the food and beverage industry. For Epiphany, consistently moving steeped grains without clogging provided the up-time operation the business requires. Regarding the motors, Sebastian’s malting mentor required a working point with 80 m3/h and 9m – with 4.5 kW, “so the steeping vessels could be emptied in 20 minutes.”
KSB’s Movitec VF 4-6 six-stage, high-pressure, vertical inline pump was selected with stainless steel hydraulic components, pump casing, and baseplate. KSB Application Engineer, Stephen Robinson, noted “the Movitec provides superior corrosion resistance essential to this attritious application.”
Since 2016, the installed pumps have worked reliably for Epiphany, helping to make them a unique craft malter providing a sustainable, local source for breweries to acquire flavorful ingredients needed to bring their beer and beverages to market.