Is Tunnel Pasteurization Best for Craft Beers?

In the food and beverage industry, pasteurization is a crucial part of producing many different goods. That includes craft beer and other fermented drinks. It is important because it destroys pathogens and increases the product’s shelf-life. It makes it safer and cheaper for the consumer. Pasteurization of craft beers is essential for its production.

There are different ways to pasteurize a beverage. It usually depends on the size of the batch and the method that the brewer feels more comfortable with.

These methods can vary in cost, efficiency, and practicality. One of the most common and practical methods is tunnel pasteurization.

Microbreweries and any other types of production can find tunnel pasteurization extremely useful. This article will provide more information about this type of pasteurization. There will be an explanation of its benefits, how it works, and where to find the best batch pasteurizers.

Over the years, more microbreweries and craft beer producers have adopted tunnel pasteurization. This pasteurization process is ideal for mass production and consumption of beer. It is also good for other fermented drinks as well.

Tunnel pasteurization increases the product’s shelf life. It allows producers to ship it to other cities and states instead of limiting it to one specific region. 

Benefits of Tunnel Pasteurization

Tunnel Pasteurization destroys pathogens and microorganisms. These are usually found in the liquid and the package of the product. 

Also, by pasteurizing the liquid inside its package, the brewer can stimulate yeast growth. When combined with sugar and water, yeast causes fermentation. Fermentation then results in alcohol and that sizzling characteristic of fermented beverages. 

By inducing yeast growth inside the package, there will be a second fermentation. This provides more complex flavors to the liquid inside. 

For the pasteurization of craft beers, this method can be helpful to increase shelf life. As mentioned before, this is beneficial for shipping products to other regions and states, expanding sales. 

Another benefit of tunnel pasteurization is that it does not need a lot of work. Flash pasteurization, in comparison, is much more demanding. It has a larger number of processes involved in the pasteurization of the product. With tunnel pasteurization, the procedures are much shorter and much more efficient. 

Tunnel Pasteurization of Craft Beers

Tunnel Pasteurization can seem costly at first for a microbrewery. But its benefits, practicality, and sale results make it worth the money spent. 

When purchasing a tunnel pasteurizer, one should consider different aspects of its production. The size, shape, and material of the bottles affect the conditions for pasteurization.

They affect how the heat interacts with the liquid. Larger containers, holding more liquid, heat up slowly. 

If the liquid temperature inside the bottle gets too high during pasteurization, the flavors can change. So can the foam of the beer. If it does not get hot enough, pathogen extermination may not be 100% effective. 

Tunnel pasteurization is also not recommended for pasteurizing kegs. It is the same for other large beer containers. Because of their size, these packages interfere with the heating and cooling of the beer inside. It then slows down the pasteurization process and makes it less effective. 

For keg beers, they recommend using the flash pasteurization method. Here, the liquid gets fermented separately from the package. 

Types of Tunnel Pasteurizers

At PRO Engineering / Manufacturing Inc., there are two types of tunnel pasteurizers, depending on the size of the brewery.

The Large Series of tunnel pasteurizers is one of today’s most cost-effective lines to operate. It has reduced energy, water, and maintenance costs and low downtime. 

The SlimLine family of tunnel pasteurizers is a much smaller series. It can accommodate microbreweries that do not have a lot of production space. It has most of the features present in the Large Series, but with a cheaper price, smaller size, and lower footprint. 

Tunnel Pasteurization for Craft Beers Conclusions

Pasteurization is an essential part of beverage production, and craft beers are no exception. With tunnel pasteurization, breweries can find an effective way of killing pathogens and microorganisms. They do it with the beer and the package in a practical, safe, cheap manner.

The benefits of tunnel pasteurization are many. It is profitable for microbreweries and craft beer producers to invest in tunnel pasteurizers, as it expands sales. 

At PRO Engineering/Manufacturing Inc., brewers can find top-tier tunnel pasteurizers. If you are interested, you can request more information by visiting our contact page. Explore our website for many other products and tips on brewing, fermentation, and pasteurization of beverages.

What Is Tunnel Pasteurization?

Tunnel pasteurization is one of the most used and famous methods of pasteurizing beer and other beverages today.

The other most famous one is flash pasteurization. Flash pasteurization pasteurizes only the product.

Tunnel pasteurization pasteurizes both the package and the product. This makes it more practical when fighting pathogens found in beer bottles and cans. It makes the product safer for consumption.

Tunnel pasteurization works by taking filled bottles and cans of beer and running them through a tunnel. It is a chamber made of stainless steel. Inside it, the product and its package pass through 3 to 12 different temperature zones.

First, they are exposed to progressively higher temperatures, sprayed with hot water. These temperatures then stabilize for a while in the process called pasteurization.

With large tunnel pasteurizers, the liquid inside the can or bottle can reach up to 165 °F. Bigger brewing companies usually use these.

After being held at its greatest heat for a while, cold water is sprayed around the package. The temperature around the cans and bottles starts to drop and become cooler. Then, it reaches the desired temperature for the beer to be stored.

Learn More About Pasteurizing!

If you’d like to learn more about pasteurization in general, pasteurizing unique sodas, or the equipment involved, we’d love to help!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have, and we’ll do our best to help you. We want you to feel confident in your understanding of this vital process and how you can make it work for you!

For more information on tunnel and batch pasteurization contact PRO Engineering/Manufacturing, Inc. at[email protected]or call(414) 362-1500 and ask for Ed Michalski, CEO.   

Edward A.Michalski Bio  
Ed Michalski started his career in the beverage industry by designing stainless steel, higher flow, spray headers for Pabst Brewing. Along with the header design, he also developed a process to produce the new headers.   Ed, along with his brother David, formed PRO Engineering/Manufacturing, Inc. 

Based on what they learned by re-designing and refurbishing other manufacturers’ pasteurizers, Ed and PRO started to offer the pasteurizer marketplace superior new pasteurizers.  

PRO Engineering/Manufacturing has been designing and manufacturing tunnel pasteurizers and batch pasteurizers for over four decades.  

ABOUT US:
PRO Engineering and Manufacturing was established in 1977 by Ed and Dave Michalski as a steel fabrication shop. For more than 40 years, PRO Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. has been delivering solutions for beverage product shelf stability and consumption safety. As leading innovators in post-fill pasteurization, our skilled team offers the best in high-quality pasteurization equipment.

CONTACT US:
Phone: 414-362-1500 | Email: [email protected]

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Location: 11175 W Heather Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53224, USA