Fulton drops in
As part of £750,000 upgrade to its existing brewery equipment, Hampshire-based Triple FFF Brewery Company has installed a 60J gas-fired vertical steam boiler from Fulton Boiler Works.
The brewery was founded in 1997 and currently brews a number of real ales such as Moondance, Comfortably Numb, Pressed Rat and Warthog, Dazed & Confused and Alton’s Pride. It has also won over sixty industry awards including Best Beer Gold Award at the CAMRA beer festival and, more recently, Best Beer at the Southampton Beer Festival.
The Fulton 60J, which has replaced Triple FFF’s existing electric boiler, is being used to supply heat for the real ale brewing process as well as steam for cleaning and sterilising kegs and process equipment.
Commenting for Triple FFF, Managing Director Graham Trott says: “Our aim is to brew ale that real ale drinkers will want to drink. By using steam from the Fulton 60J in the cleaning and sterilising process we can eliminate the chemicals that many Craft Breweries use. We believe this improves the quality and taste of our beers and extends shelf life by up to six weeks.”
As well as producing cask ales for on- and off-sales, including its two brewery-owned pubs, Triple FFF also produces and bottles its beer for supermarkets such as Asda Wallmart. The extra steam available from the 60J has also enabled Triple FFF to increase throughput to over 640 firkins (5,700 gallons) per week, which is equivalent to more than £100,000 at retail prices.
Commenting for Fulton, Sales and Marketing Director Gordon Bareham explains that steam is the preferred means of heating for the brewing industry due to the direct relationship between steam pressure and temperature. “By limiting the pressure of steam, you limit the temperature. Using steam instead of direct gas or electric heating, as Triple FFF did, eliminates the danger of heat exchange surfaces becoming too hot, which often result in ale developing a burnt taste.”
Steam from the 60J boiler is used for each stage of the brewing process. First, to produce wort, a process during which water is heated in a Hot Liquor Tank and then mixed with crushed, malted barley in a Mash Tun. Next, the wort is transferred to the Copper, where it is boiled and hops are added. This mixture is then transferred to a fermentation vessel, via a heat exchanger, where yeast is added to start the fermentation process.