102. The hop disintegrator—A solution providing more work safety and product quality

Michael Dillenburger (1); (1) Dillenburger & Hertel GmbH, Freising, Germany

Brewery Safety
Poster

In 2013, Dillenburger & Hertel was asked by one of its customers for a possible solution to proceed with the highly compacted nature hop vacu packs. The customer complained about the need to disintegrate the hops taken from vacu packs using saws, hammers and/or picks in order to achieve a particle size that allows wetting and solution of hops into wort—otherwise the yield is very poor, and thus, the losses are incredibly high. Another main issue involving disintegration via saws and picks is work safety: as the risk of injuries is very likely, the authorities sometimes require other solutions. Thus, we started working on the construction of such a machine together with a Bavarian machine designer who also works for the brewing industry. It was determined that the machine should enable maximum work safety but still allow uncomplicated, easy handling. The machine now has a chamber the hop is placed into. After the chamber cover is closed, the process can be started by pressing a button. While disintegrating 5 kg of hops from vacu packs took about 30-40 min with the conventional procedure, the machine can handle a 5 kg vacu pack within about 8 min. Thus, an enormous time gain is enabled. But, even more important is the gain in work safety: all rotating parts of the machine are inaccessible, and the chamber itself is secured so that the motor stops when the chamber cover should be removed. It is assumed that the problems the customer in Germany had also occur with other users of hop vacu packs and that they are probably even more severe, given that the work safety regulations in the United States are even more rigorous. In addition, the hop load for many craft breweries is many times higher compared to German breweries. The higher the load of hops is, the more evident the gain in time will be. Thus, the machine often pays back very easily via the saved labor expenses. In regard to injury, the entire business case is a no brainer. Thus, we would like to inform people about the new apparatus. The presentation’s intent is to make brewers in general and craft brewers in particular aware of an alternative solution in terms of processing hop vacu packs with higher labor and product quality safety.

Michael Dillenburger was born in 1977 in Trier, Germany. After attaining to German Abitur (A-level certificate) and his military service in 1997, he took up his studies in brewing and beverage technology at Technische Universität München in Weihenstephan. In 2004 he completed his studies with a diploma thesis on the phase equilibria of wort-relevant aroma components with Dr. Hertel, receiving the Dipl.-Ing. degree. From 2005 to 2007 Michael worked for Emil Scheibel Schwarzwald-Brennerei in Kappelrodeck, Germany. As a production manager he was responsible for the manufacture of the finest fruit spirits, their distillation, maturation and provision to filling in drinking strength, as well as the manufacture of liqueurs, their recipes, mixing and creation. After quitting the branch, he has been working as a CEO assistant for a patent and law firm near Munich In January 2008 Michael became head of the sales department of Hertel GmbH, Salzburg, Austria. That company was founded by Dr. Hertel, Michael’s tutor during his diploma thesis. The company’s scope was marketing the patent-granted Rectification Wort Boiling System. In April 2013 he took responsibility for the company together with Katja Hertel after Dr. Hertel passed away. For continuation of Dr. Hertel’s ideas, Dillenburger & Hertel founded a company of the same name.