Brewing & Beverage

Trust the Helpful Heat Exchanger Experts

Whether you’re just getting started in the exciting world of brewing or are working to improve your existing operation, it’s important to ensure you’re using quality equipment in your processes. Our knowledgeable engineers can help you determine if a shell and tube heat exchanger can benefit your business, as well as help custom design a model specifically for your unique operation. Request a quote today to get in touch with an Enerquip engineer who can help you get the process started.

An Excellent Brew Starts with a Quality Brewing Setup

An excellent brew can only come from a quality brewing setup. Just as using substandard ingredients may affect the flavor, color or scent of your final product, utilizing low-quality equipment can result in a less desirable beer or cider.

To select a quality heat exchanger, you must first consider materials of construction. Stainless steel is a popular option for its sanitary properties, resistance to fouling and durability.

It’s also important to work with engineers who understand the importance of building equipment that complies with ASME standards: All of Enerquip’s shell and tube heat exchangers are compliant and ASME code stamped. Exchangers that are 3-A compliant are also ideal for brewing operations, as these strict standards for food and beverage processes ensure products that pass through the equipment are safe for human consumption.

Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers for Better Cleanability

Some brewers opt for plate heat exchangers to cool their wort. These are often smaller and are very efficient and can be beneficial to a brewery operation, but they do have a few drawbacks.

Keeping equipment clean is essential in any process, but when working with wort and yeasts, it’s especially critical to keep parts sanitary to prevent cross-contamination or fouling. When pumping wort out of the kettle and into the wort chiller, particles from the barley can flow along with the liquid into the plate heat exchanger and cause it to clog. There are some methods brewers can take to prevent this, like being cautious not to jostle the kettle or its contents prior to pumping, or whirlpooling the mixture and letting all matter settle beforehand.

Plate heat exchangers are very difficult to clean when they become fouled. Brazed plate packs cannot be opened, so they must be replaced when the fouling gets too advanced. Plate packs with removable plates and gaskets must be cleaned often, which is very labor intensive, and may require expensive replacement parts. One of the simplest ways to avoid this problem, is to use a shell and tube heat exchanger.

There’s nearly no risk of clogging a shell and tube heat exchanger with your wort. If fouling does occur, you can easily clean them in place (CIP), or simply remove the bonnets on both ends and quickly brush out the tubes and spray them out. Then, simply reattach the bonnets and you are back in business.

Contact Enerquip about Heat Exchanger Applications in the Brewing Process

Have questions about the best heat exchanger application in your brewing process? Contact us or request a quote today!


Enerquip Brewing Heat Exchanger

Brewing and Beverage Heat Exchanger Applications

Wort Cooling

The beer-making process begins with the wort, made from hot water and malted barley. The brewer boils the mixture, and the resulting liquid – wort – is what will be fermented into beer. However, before the fermentation process begins, the wort must be cooled as quickly as possible. Taking too long to cool the wort can result in a spoiled product or affect the flavor.

While homebrewing and smaller operations may be able to do this efficiently using just ice and cold water, larger commercial operations benefit from using equipment that cools wort quickly. A shell and tube heat exchanger is a highly effective and sanitary way to chill wort.

Shell and tube heat exchangers consist of multiple tubes connected in a tube bundle, which is installed inside a larger shell. Hot product enters the exchanger inside the tubes, while a cold liquid enters into the shell. As the hot and cold liquids flow through the exchanger, heat is transferred through the tubes separating the two streams, cooling the product to the desired temperature.

Shell and tube heat exchangers are versatile in their flow pattern options. Countercurrent flow is the most popular, as it offers the fastest and most efficient heat transfer. This refers to when the shellside liquid and tubeside liquid flow in opposite directions, each entering and leaving the exchanger at opposite ends.


Heat exchangers are important at the end of the brewing process as well. Some brewers choose to pasteurize their beers to kill harmful bacteria that may exist in the product, as well as to ensure the product doesn’t spoil too quickly. There are two methods of pasteurizing beer: flash pasteurization and tunnel pasteurization.

Flash pasteurization: Increase the temperature of the beer steadily yet quickly to 160.7 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 seconds for American ales. For lagers and European ales, heat the beer to 161.6 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 seconds.

Tunnel pasteurization: Immerse filled cans or bottles in 165 degree Fahrenheit water until the internal temperature of the liquid reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Shell and tube heat exchangers are ideal for flash pasteurization, used for direct heating or in conjunction with a HTST (high temperature short time) hold-tube as a skid system, and are often used for this purpose in other types of food and beverage as well.


During the brewing process, it is often desirable to eliminate a portion of the water from the beer in order to thicken the beer and increase the alcohol percentage. This can be done by heating up the large brew kettles to a high enough temperature to evaporate some of the water. This is typically a very long process, requiring large amounts of utility energy.


Enerquip Exchanger Offerings for the Brewing and Beverage Market


Off-the-Shelf Sanitary Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

With over 40 years of experience, Enerquip’s resourceful team can provide you with sizing and design selection assistance. Enerquip’s skilled sales engineers use state-of-the-art modeling software to recommend the right heat exchanger for each heating or cooling application. Your end result will be a high quality, sanitary heat exchanger with lead-times that are better than the industry average.


Custom Sanitary Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

Enerquip’s design experts and engineers have experience in custom heat exchanger design in a wide variety of industries. When our off-the-shelf heat exchangers won’t work for you, you can count on Enerquip to bring you an optimal heat exchanger for your application with the fastest lead times in the industry.



Enerquip understands that a leaking heat exchanger tube bundle can result in contaminated product and costly down-time. That is why Enerquip stocks several sizes of replacement tube bundles and O-rings for immediate delivery. Enerquip can also supply replacement bundles for competitor’s heat exchangers, often faster than they can. We can cross-reference many common exchanger models, and quickly create a custom drop-in replacement bundle, allowing you to re-use your existing shell and bonnet. Many customers consider upgrading their bundle in the process, to add more surface area, or request a higher grade alloy that will last much longer than their original bundle did.


Commercial Grade Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

Our commercial grade, non-sanitary heat exchangers are designed and manufactured to TEMA guidelines. They are made of all SS materials and suitable for non-product applications such as utility heating and cooling, thermal oils, tank jacket heating and cooling, waste stream cooling and more.


Compact Shell & Tube Heat Exchangers

Our line of compact heat exchangers are ideal for small batch processes, point-of-use streams, research and development and pilot scale applications. Accommodating lower product flow rates under 10 gallons per minute isn’t always easy. With larger shell and tube heat exchangers, low flow rates are often associated with reduced tube velocity, which hurts heat transfer efficiency, as well as flow bypass issues. The smaller tubes in our compact heat exchangers encourage greater turbulence and tubeside velocity, which translates to improved heat transfer rates. The reduced tube diameter also puts more product in contact with the tube wall, providing greater heat transfer from the heating or cooling medium to the product.