Konrad Mueller-Auffermann (1); (1) Krones AG, Freising, Germany
Yeast, Fermentation, and Microbiology
Continuous processes are known to have numerous potential advantages compared to batch modes. Still, the technology has never succeeded on a broader scale for main beer fermentation, mainly due to quality deviations. Based on the knowledge gained from previous studies, an alternative plant and process concept, therefore, was developed in order to efficiently produce a stable, high-quality beer in a continuously operated production plant. The concept foresees the use of classical cylindroconical tanks, which are modified by the installation of central pipes, so that two separate, yet interconnected, reaction spaces result. Particles and organisms can sediment conventionally and may be removed and recycled if required. The findings of numerous preliminary experiments were used in order to construct a pilot-scale plant with a daily production capacity of 50 L. With it, four long-term trials were performed before the ideal parameters were determined to produce beer of the targeted quality. Currently, a first industrial plant with 40,000 hL/annual capacity was commissioned based on the introduced principle. In a cooperative research project the applicability of the developed processes is being investigated.
Konrad Müller-Auffermann had already two years of international experience, before he studied Brewing and Beverage Technology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). During his studies he worked for several major construction companies, partly in foreign countries. In 2009, Konrad was employed by the Research Center Weihenstephan for Brewing and Food Quality (TUM) as a consulting engineer specialized in international brewing, fermentation, and filling technologies. One year later he became head of the Research and Development and Hygienic Design Department at the institute. The focus of his Ph.D. thesis was continuous main fermentation methods and includes alternative plant and process designs. In 2015 Konrad became head of Breweries Product Development of KRONES AG.