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Controlled cooling for loose cannon

20 September 2010

On the outskirts of Oxford lies the picturesque market town of Abingdon, home to ‘Loose Cannon’ a new micro-brewery, which is said to make a big impact in the world of real ale

The brewery set to produce Real Ale is headed by Will Laithwaite and has opened to begin its first brew, after the completion of the sites redevelopment.

Cool Energy, specialists in temperature rental, has been working closely with Will and his team to build a 60 pallet in-house cold store providing onsite cooling to house casks of ale, before its final journey to the customer.

Will’s love of ale led him to step aside from the family business (Laithwaites Wines) and begin a new venture in his own right. He’s opened the site in the market town of Abingdon as it has access to a strong network of local independent pubs and is centrally located providing easy access for customers to buy direct from the brewery.

Commenting on the secret to a successful brew, Will says ‘cooling is key’. Cooling of the brew begins in the fermenting tanks which are controlled by ICS chillers at a constant temperature of 21 degrees C. This keeps the ferment under control and it can then be chilled further to prevent the yeast from continuing to ferment.

Following this, the ale is cold conditioned at a temperature of 6-8 degrees C, the process of conditioning causes proteins and yeast cells to precipitate out, while also stabilising the ale and allowing it to absorb Co2 to give the beer life. Following a day of cold conditioning the ale is then transferred into casks and kept in the Cold Store, provided by Cool Energy at a constant 10 degrees C. This preserves its shelflife.

Temperature control is considered at each stage of the brewing process, with an ICS Chiller providing cooling for the bright, fermenting and conditioning tanks. Without chillers or cold stores the ale temperature would be uncontrollable resulting in an inferior product.

The Cold Store used by Loose Cannon has been supplied by Cool Energy and is a flexible modular set up the system is currently capable of housing 60 pallets of casks, although the modular system used can easily be restructured and expanded by moving the front wall forward and increasing the cooling duty to allow for a greater cold store capacity.

Commenting on the installation Steve Prior, Cool Energy’s UK portable cold storage manager said: ”From initial concept to completion and handover this bespoke build project was fully installed and commissioned within a three-week timeframe”.

Cool Energy says it has a range of cold stores, catering for many applications and with a flexible modular system it can create cold stores from a four-pallet capacity upwards.

With support from local ale drinkers and independent pubs across the region who haven’t had a local brewery since 1999, Loose Cannon will offer what it says is a unique opportunity – it will allow customers to visit the site, see ale being made and buy direct from its on-site shop.

Cool Energy, which also operates throughout England, Ireland and Europe, rent air and water-cooled chillers, air-blast coolers, air-handling units, fan coils, air conditioners and cold storage solutions for long or short periods.

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