Adelaide, South Australia
On the back of Australia’s growing fascination with craft beer, iconic brewer Coopers decided in 2017 that the time was right to return to the maltings business after a 16-year hiatus.
It did so in a big way, with the construction of a $65 million purpose-built facility at its Regency Park site in Adelaide. This allowed Coopers to regain full control over one of the key ingredients in its beer: malt.
The project represented the single biggest investment in the company’s 150-year history.
Built by South Australian firm Ahrens Group and spanning some 13,000m2, the facility houses the world’s best equipment, sourced from Germany.
Critical to the maltings process is a large refrigeration plant, designed and installed by Adelaide-based industrial refrigeration specialist, Cold Logic.
The plant is sized to supply chilled water to the actual beer brewing process at a rate of 100,000 litres every two hours. It also chills 360,000L of RO (reverse osmosis) water from 30°C to 15°C each day to be used in the steeping process. And lastly, the chilled water is used to condition air during the germination and steeping process, which forms the main load of the plant throughout the day.
The chilled water system is controlled on tank levels and the plate heat exchanger leaving temperature. Pump speeds are controlled on the delivery pressure to minimise the energy required.
Three ammonia compressors, with a total concurrent operating capacity of 3,600kWr at design conditions, were installed on site. Two units act in a lead-lag arrangement and the third compressor on stand-by.
These are matched by three evaporative condensers installed on the rooftop some 24m above the plant room. Each condenser is 6m long and 3m wide, and features two axial fans connected to individual VSDs (variable-speed drives) for speed control.
With the Coopers malting facility operating 24/7, all year round, redundancy was an important aspect of the chilled water plant design. It resulted in one permanent stand-by compressor being used to provide 50 per cent redundancy.
The new facility was officially opened on November 30, 2017 by His Excellency, the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia.