GEA does not only provide technology for beer brewers, but also the new process piping for the sparkling wine producer in the heart of Germany‘s northernmost wine-growing region Saale-Unstrut.

The historic sparkling wine company

Since the early 90s, continuous investments have been made in the historical sparkling wine company located in Freyburg on the Unstrut. In connection with the installation of the tartrate stabilization system of GEA, GEA Brewery Systems started the integration of process technology and piping systems.

In spring 2011, Rotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien decided to make the production equipment in Freyburg fit for the future. The filling capacity is to be raised from currently 20,000 bottles per hour to 28,000 bottles per hour. This capacity increase thus affects the overall production process.

In detail, this means:
• Set-up of three fermentation halls with 36 fermentation tanks each (each with a filling volume of 160,000 l)
• Process piping of the new fermentation halls
• Increase of the filling and emptying capacities in the existing fermentation halls 1 – 7
• Capacity increase of the filtration and tartrate stabilization equipment
• New bottling system for 28,000 bottles per hour

Step by step

Piping system with fixed switching panels

In the first construction phase in early May, GEA started to realize the process piping in fermentation hall 8 with 36 fermentation tanks. This also included the process link-up with fermentation hall 7 for wine, sparkling wine, water and exhaust air.

In total, 1250 meters of stainless steel pipes with a nominal diameter of DN 50 to DN 80 will be installed in this area on stainless steel brackets, as fixed piping as it was already done in the existing fermentation halls. Already at that time, this piping system with permanently installed switching panels (see picture) replaced the old hose system, because it is much easier to handle by the operating staff and ensures improved work safety.

The fermentation tanks were designed with manually operated shut-off valves, because they are filled and emptied only twice a year. The swivel bends have an expansion valve to make it easier for the operating staff to loosen the screw connection (6 – 8 bar g operating pressure). All installation and welding work is carried out by our qualified staff. Special attention is paid to the long pipes with the corresponding gradient as well as the projection of welding seams, which shall not exceed 10 % of the wall thickness. For all pipes, the TIG inert gas welding method is used; then the outside of the welding seams is passivated (pickled). The pipes are placed parallel to the rows of tanks and end before each tank with a manual disk valve for wine or sparkling wine. For economic reasons, there are group connections for exhaust air to the respective ring lines.