Coors Brewery - Burton

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Using the most up-to-date processes and technology, this new plant was installed at Coors (previously Bass, previously Carlsberg Tetley Burton Brewery) where it treats deep and shallow well water from numerous sources.

The Brewery’s single site brewing and packaging plant offers the most versatile and comprehensive facilities in the UK, producing over 2 million barrels a year of different ales and lagers. The plant operates at an average of 34,000 bottles per hour and 162,000 cans per hour. 530 million pints of beer are produced for the UK.

The new plant, comprising two identical process streams — each designed to produce 100m³ of permeate per hour incorporate Iron Removal Filtration, Reverse Osmosis and Ultraviolet Sterilisation Systems.

The decision to install the plant was the result of thorough investigation and an overall view of its water supply, usage and treatment systems carried out at the Burton Upon Trent Brewery with strong emphasis on potential future requirements.

Design Information

Description Influent Characteristics Average Product Concentrate
Flow m ³/d 3 x 125m³/h 3 x 125m³/h 3 x 25m³/h
Suspended Solids mg/l 1 - 3 Nil <1
Conductivity (average)2500 µS/cm 2500 µS/cm 100 µS/cm 10,000 µS/cm
pH 8 6 8.5
Temperature° 11-13 11-13 11-13


The Process
In operation, raw water is collected and stored in 32m³ capacity tanks sited at high level in one of the brewery’s existing buildings. These are fitted with computer linked level controls to activate raw water pumps when make-up water supplies are required.

From the storage tanks, pressurised raw water is fed to the inlet of the iron removal filtration system by low pressure feed pumps. The filters are of a horizontal design with plenum plates to support a gravel bed and filtration media of manganese dioxide and 0.56mm ES sand. This fully dispersed mixture ensures complete oxidation of soluble iron to an insoluble filterable form. The filter’s backwash phase is assisted by the introduction of air from below the filter media which increases agitation of the bed to remove filtered debris and particulate iron.

Filtered water then passes to the inlet of a stainless steel cartridge filter system which removes any additional particulates down to 5 microns. The cartridge filter is provided with inlet/discharge pressure transmitters which allow constant monitoring of differential pressure.

Reverse Osmosis
Each reverse osmosis system will be arranged to operate in two stages. The first stage inlet manifold provides filtered water for each of twelve pressure tubes, each containing seven reverse osmosis membranes. Centrifugal pumps, driven by 110kW variable speed motors, provide the high pressure (up to 23 Bar) required for reverse osmosis to take place. Feed water enters the pressure tubes at one end and passes through the membranes where it is separated into two streams — permeate and reject. Reject liquor from the first stage passes to the second stage (of six tubes) where further separation takes place. The permeate water from both stages combines and passes to a treated water storage facility, whilst reject liquor is directed wither to the backwash water storage tanks, as required, or discharged direct to drain.

Ultraviolet Sterilisation
All treated water passes through an ultraviolet irradiation system which completely disinfects the water immediately prior to distribution and subsequent usage.

Process Control
The complete plant, including well pumps, raw water storage, the treatment processes, treated water storage and distribution, are controlled by a single PLC. This is operated by a sophisticated SCADA system, (SETCIM) linked to the brewery’s existing process control facility. The electrical control and management information systems for the project form 25% of the contract value.

Eight years after the first installation of 2 x 100 m³/hr streams of RO ACWA received an order to provide a 3rd stream to cope with Coors increased brewing capacity.

The brewery has a range of deep and shallow boreholes on site with an average quality of 2700µs/cm. This has to be purified to around 150µs/cm or better for use in the brewery. The overall installation includes sand filters, antiscalant dosing, reverse osmosis, pH correction, treated water storage, distribution pumping and u/v disinfection. The portion of water for brewing is “Burtonised” by addition of Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Sulphate.

Project Details

Client: Coors Brewery - Burton, England

Industry: Iron and Manganese removal Sand Filters, Cartridge filters, Antiscalant Dosing, Reverse Osmosis

Application: Process Water, Brewing