The aim of Knops brewery based in Dirleton outside Edinburgh has always been to produce beers that the customer will love to drink. Their witty video shows beer being drunk only by people with beards, a nod to the craft brewers. However, so accessible are their beers that no beards are required!!
The message is really getting out as they have recently moved to a new purpose built brewery complete with cask and bottle filling facility. The brewery, located in a walled garden on the Archerfield estate in Dirleton was owned by the late 15th duke of Hamilton. The walled garden complex is proving highly successful and features such attractions as a delicatessen, bar, restaurant and a new 10 barrel brew-house.
The new brew house was supplied by Enterprise Tondelli based in the UK and Italy. These brew houses are targeted for those brewers who want a first class installation that can be used as a show piece selling point for the brewer. Enterprise are aware of the proliferation of suppliers at the lower end where a selection of vessels and pumps is packaged together and called a brew house. However Enterprise supply systems where the aesthetics of the plant coupled with high efficiency and repeatability work together to give a first class project. In fact a recent order from a major brewer has the Enterprise brew house on show as part of a visitors centre and bar – so they must look good!
The equipment can be supplied in a variety of finishes from stainless steel, copper and mahogany cladding depending on preference. Knops Brewery opted for the stainless steel finish to allow for perceived cleaning advantages. Installations on the continent tend to be copper and wood for siting in brew pubs.
The mash tun has a cleverly designed agitator to give a homogenous mix. Step mashing is possible and the system has automatic control of times and temperatures of all of the phases of the process. Around twenty separate recipes can be stored to ensure repeatability and consistent quality. A special high efficiency steam jacket gives accurate temperature control and speed of heating up.
Wort is transferred to the lauter by gravity thus reducing aeration of the product. The separate lauter tun which is supplied as standard, means that greater extract from the malt is achieved. As well as reducing costs this means greater versatility of ingredient can be used such as fruit and nuts to give the brewer a wider palate for brand distinction. To assist with the extract an inverter controlled monopump is used for transfer from the lauter to copper.
Returning the wort to the combined mash tun/copper where boiling takes place. Direct steam in the jacket reduces running costs. This is following by whirlpooling in the copper where the agitator used for mashing rotates and minimises air pick up. This is achieved by the motor working in counter rotation automatically selecting a different paddle profile specifically designed to remove trub.
A selection of open, closed fermenters and conditioning tanks along with a mobile CIP set, steam boiler, water treatment plant etc from Enterprise Tondelli complete the brew house. Four additional vessels have also been added to keep up with the growth of sales.
To allow total quality control from start to finish, Enterprise Tondelli also supplied an automatic bottling line. The line rated at 1,000 bottles per hour is complete with a three station body, back and neck labeller for self adhesive labelling followed by a rotary rinser / filler /crowner plus interconnecting conveyors. It also improves just in time order fulfilment for greater customer satisfaction.
Mr Robert Knops head brewer said “Enterprise Tondelli gave a lot of support in the planning and design phases which were very helpful- they even helped with the drainage layout to try to ensure a dry floor. As the extract rate achieved was so much better than with our old setup, we had to refine our recipes to use less malt thus saving us money. Also the bottling line was supplied for 1,000 bottles per hour but we are regularly running above that and have even achieved rates of 1,800 bottles per hour”
Knops Brewery also produce a range of beers for Archerfield estates that are sold in the walled garden. Large pictures windows and regular tours ensure an intimate, high quality and interactive customer experience in the brew house. No beards or booking required! Just turn up!
A selection of their beers and stock lists can be found at www.knopsbeer.co.uk
Enterprise Tondelli supply brew houses and all ancillaries for 2.5 HL to 200 HL from their specialist brew house manufacturer Simatec Srl in Turin, Italy. Simatec also has their own brewery Soralama where they brew their own award winning beers – so they know both sides of the job. Enterprise bottling equipment ranges from 600 bottles per hour to 60,000 bottles per hour.
UK Managing Director of Enterprise Tondelli, Craig Wilson said “We are very pleased to be associated with this project and wish Knops Brewery and Archerfield Estates every success and look forward to their continuing growth.”