Beer Pumps- Graco Saniforce Pumps and the Counter Pressure Canning Systems

January 30, 2015
Graco SaniForce Double Diaphragm Pump

Graco SaniForce Double Diaphragm Pump

At Holland Applied Technologies, we are actively involved in most corners of the sanitary and high purity fluid handling industry. We have a great deal of expertise and application knowledge ranging from pet food to bioreactors. One niche we have been working with more and more is the craft brew industry. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise- in 2013 the craft brew industry accounted for $14.3 billion of the $100 billion beer market and has continued to grow through 2014 and into 2015. As we continue to deal with craft and microbreweries, we found the same questions coming up. This post will be the first in a series of posts focusing on applications and common questions we have helped our craft beer customers with.

About 18 months ago, we were contacted by a local OEM provider of counter pressure beer canning systems. Dealing almost exclusively with craft breweries who pride themselves on making (and canning) the perfect beer, this OEM was having a foam issue. The problem was occurring as beer from transferred from the brew kettles into the fill bowl atop the machine. Traditionally, machine manufacturers have used centrifugal pumps for this transfer operation. The C series pump has long been the work horse of the beer industry. But what this machine manufacturer was finding was that the centrifugal pump-which by definition uses rotational kinetic energy move fluid- was causing excessive foaming within the fill bowl. This resulted in partial can fills and the loss of a significant amount of product at the start of every canning run.

To help solve this problem, Holland suggested the use of a Graco Saniforce air operated double diaphragm pump. Instead of imparting so much rotational energy that can result in foam, the AODD uses compressed air which alternates between chambers to create a partial vacuum and cause the diaphragm in the opposing chamber to create suction. Coupled with a series of ball check valves, this results in the fluid being pushed and pulled through the pump chambers- a much less torturous path for the beer. Other benefits to Graco’s Saniforce pumps include great suction lift, stainless steel construction, 3A compliant surface finishes, the ability to handle a range of viscosities, high efficiency, and good self-priming capabilities.

After extensive testing, the OEM found that the Graco Saniforce largely mitigated the foaming issue. In doing so, the counter pressure canning systems were more efficient, resulting is less waste and higher throughput. And because the only utility required to operate them is compressed air, we no longer needed to worry about what kind of electric power the end user had on site.

So for your next beer transfer or filling application, remember- you have choices outside of the trusty old C114. The AODD Graco Saniforce pump is great for applications that require suction lift, low shear, and high differential pressure applications. That’s not to say that centrifugal don’t have a place in a brewery- they most certainly do. In fact, we’ll elaborate further on their application, as well as other pump technologies used in craft beer applications in future posts. But if you can’t wait for the future posts and you have a question now, please contact a Holland Sales Engineer today for more help with your next beer pumping application.