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Sydney brewer 4 Pines recently opted for Aerofloat’s compact, low maintenance and completely sealed DAF as part of its brewery expansion.

Sydney brewer 4 Pines has embarked on a new growth strategy following its acquisition in September last year by global alcohol giant, AB InBev.

The capital injection enabled 4 Pines to expand its operations, starting with an upgrade to its Brookvale brewery in order to increase production by up to 50 per cent.

A key component of this was to ensure its systems adhered to environmental standards. Sydney Water has strict compliance guidelines around wastewater from breweries, stipulating the acceptable pH range and the concentration of suspended solids before it is discharged to sewer.

Ensuring its Brookvale facility met Sydney Water’s discharge requirements was essential.

However, the available space provided a challenge for wastewater treatment: there was only a small 15m2 footprint available and the area was next to the public bar where food and beer is served. The brewery needed a wastewater system to remove the solids from the wastewater and correct the pH before discharging to the sewer.

Dissolved Air Flotation (DAF) was the desired technology of choice, but traditional DAFs required twice the available space and emitted odours from their open top tanks, not a great option considering its close proximity to diners.

So the company looked to a solution from Aerofloat, an Australian company that specialises in food and beverage wastewater treatment.

The company was able to provided a custom wastewater solution for 4 Pines based on its patented DAF technology, which has a completely different design to traditional DAFs.

Aerofloat’s double hopper design allows for a very compact, low maintenance and completely sealed DAF that can be vented above the roof line, minimising odour.

Traditional DAFs usually require at least twice the space that was made available, so the Aerofloat DAF’s compact size was combined with the use by Aerofloat’s engineers of 3D CAD modelling to custom design a solution to fit in the small footprint.
“We wanted to ensure the wastewater treatment equipment didn’t encroach on our bar area, as it was important we had enough room to maintain a pleasant eating area for our customers and not interrupt the brewery operations” said 4 Pines brewmaster Lindsay Crawford.

The Aerofloat DAF achieves its compact design by eliminating the need for a reaction tank, sludge pump, sludge hopper, and mechanical scrapers.

“It’s not just about the equipment though,” Aerofloat’s head of engineering Michael Anderson said.

“It was crucial to think about the layout and operator usability. With the 4 Pines treatment system in such a confined space, it was important to consider access to equipment, chemical delivery, access for sludge disposal and create an ergonomically efficient layout to ensure a safe working place without disrupting the brewery or bar.”

Part of the design process was ensuring any potential odours were captured and vented outside to prevent any contamination in a food grade environment. As the Aerofloat DAF is fully sealed, Aerofloat’s engineers were able to model the fit out so the DAF was connected directly to a roof vent, venting any potential odours outside.

Also, the Aerofloat DAF is essentially a set and forget system, as it automates chemical dosing, chemical make-up, level control, water consolidation and pH correction.

Any routine maintenance required is minimal, due to the unique self-cleaning shape of the DAF with hopper top and bottom tanks, that recirculate settled solids and prevent the need for routine cleaning.

Remote monitoring capabilities allow 4 Pines technicians to log onto the system from anywhere in the world to check the operations, monitor the waste and make adjustments as required. Aerofloat engineers can also login on request and give advice to optimise the efficiency of the treatment system.