Archive: Mar 2022

Refrigeration for Breweries: What You Need To Know


Breweries have been around for thousands of years and have significantly impacted the development of modern refrigeration systems. Ammonia has been a standard refrigerant for many large breweries in The United States and Europe for over 100 years, but some smaller breweries have only made the transition to ammonia refrigeration systems recently. Ammonia is a natural refrigerant, which has a much smaller environmental impact than other refrigeration systems. Brewers are recognizing the many benefits ammonia refrigeration systems have to offer.

Refrigeration for a Brewery: History

The history of brewery refrigeration began in Vienna in 1870 when Carl von Linde presented the very first refrigeration machine at a brewery conference. In 1876, Linde invented the first ammonia compressor to serve as the foundation for brewery refrigeration systems. Before Lindeā€™s invention, certain types of beers could only be brewed during the cold winter months. Breweries were among the first industries to implement the use of mechanical refrigeration as it allowed them to brew year-round.

Ammonia continues to be a popular cooling source for many systems because of the unique benefits it offers (such as high energy efficiency and having zero global warming potential) . In addition to breweries, supermarket distribution centers, (typically super markets use freon.), and ice rinks, a many other food processing facilities rely on ammonia for proper refrigeration.

Refrigeration for a Brewery: Ammonia Refrigeration

Refrigeration is a necessary element in the beer brewing process as it significantly impacts the taste and quality of the final product. Breweries require refrigeration at all times, particularly during the summer months when temperatures rise. The yeast used in the brewing process is a highly sensitive ingredient that requires sufficient refrigeration. If yeast is exposed to warm temperatures it can negatively impact the flavor of the beer.

Ammonia cooling offers a variety of advantages compared to other refrigerants. Some of these unique benefits include:

  • Lower Energy Consumption/Reduced Electricity Bills: Refrigeration makes up about 40% of total electricity consumption. Direct ammonia cooling systems can reduce energy consumption by up to 14%, reducing electricity expenditures.
  • Improved Cooling Output/Environmental Friendliness: Ammonia cooling systems are capable of cooling larger amounts of liquid more quickly than other refrigerants, and as a naturally occurring substance with zero GWP (global warming potential), it is much safer for the environment.
  • Increased Capacity: Low-charge ammonia systems have a large cooling capacity, allowing breweries to produce significantly more product than previously possible.

Brewery Refrigeration from Kuhlman, Inc.

If you need reliable refrigeration for a brewery, consider using an ammonia-based system. These systems can help maintain a consistently refrigerated storage environment for breweries of all sizes. Kuhlman Incorporated can help you find the right system to ensure your facility receives optimal refrigeration to produce high-quality, better-tasting beer.

As a premier provider of industrial refrigeration systems since 1957, Kuhlman has the resources and expertise to outfit your brewery with top-quality ammonia refrigeration. To learn more about our brewery refrigeration systems, contact us today. If you would like to discuss your unique requirements with one of our experts, request a quote at any time.