Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Wednesday 13th June 2012

The majority of pumps from leading pumps and pumping system manufacturer Wilo, find their way to undertaking very worthy jobs, but not necessarily in the most interesting of industry sectors. So when Wilo pumps are found very much ‘doing the business’ for a brewery, it makes them an altogether more interesting proposition for a lot of people!

The Paulaner brewery in Munich in southern Germany produces over 2 million hectolitres of beer every year – that’s a lot of steins and even more pints! Wilo submersible-motor pumps send brewing water from four 240-metre deep wells up to the brewery. It’s the high-quality water from depth that ensures the purity of the brewing water. Also the Wilo pumps are popular with the brewery because of their reliability and longevity. One of the current pumps has been operating perfectly since 1984.

All beers – no matter how they are brewed are more than 80 per cent water. So this vital and very basic element of the beer is a crucial ingredient for the quality and taste of the brew produced.

The Paulaner brewery in Munich pumps its own brewing water from four on-site wells which are up to 240 metres deep. In this way, what they call locally ‘tertiary water’, which dates back to the last ice age and is about 13,000 years old, is pumped out of the rocks under the city and used to brew the beer. Because of its age and the great depth of the wells, this particularly soft brewing water is free of environmental influences and makes an important contribution to the excellent taste of the beers they brew with it. The brewery relies totally on submersible-motor pumps from WILO to extract it, and these pumps ensure a reliable supply of water – that amounts to a staggering annual production of over two million hectolitres.

Paulaner is one of the top ten breweries in Germany and it is associated very strongly with the Bavarian brewing tradition and the Bavarian lifestyle. The brand's tradition dates back to 1634, when the Minim monks - called "Paulaner" in German after their founder, St. Francis of Paola - in the monastery of Neudeck ob der Au, began brewing beer. Today the Paulaner brewery has 15 different beer specialities, and is, among other things, the national leader in the unfiltered wheat beers sector of the beer marketplace. The experience of the brewers, the use of the best raw materials and the utilisation of modern technology guarantees the best product quality in line with the Bavarian Purity Law of 1516.

High-quality pump technology for special brewing water

To ensure that the quality of the pristine glacier water used as brewing water is not impaired in any way during extraction, the use of high-quality materials in the extraction pumps is very important. It’s for this reason that brewers have relied on pumps from Wilo – in particular Wilo-EMU K and Wilo-EMU NK series or their predecessors - for almost 30 years. EMU pumps have been used for brewing in Bavaria for fifty years. EMU started operating as a subsidiary of WILO in 2003 and merged with them in 2010.

Currently, the Paulaner brewery has nine Wilo-EMU submersible-motor pumps in stock. Four of these are installed in deep wells in order to pump the water up from the depths of the wells. Pumping is undertaken from only one well at a time until a predetermined amount of water has been extracted. Then the pump switches off and the next well is used. By working in this way, all four deep wells supply the same amount of water. In total, the four pumps deliver 900,000 m³ of glacier water each year.

Long lifetimes for optimal supply security

Much is clearly demanded of the pumps, but they are sturdy and durable. The oldest pump on the site was manufactured in 1984 and is still in service. It has had to be repaired just the once, back in 2004.

The regular maintenance programme for the pumps contributes significantly to their reliability: "If we regenerate or restore a deep well, the pump in it will also be replaced. That's usually the case every four to five years. After it's been removed, we send it to Wilo for overhaul. Then it is put in stock as a reserve pump", says Dr.-Ing. Johannes Fischer, chief department manager of Energy Systems and Industrial Engineering at the Paulaner Brewery. “As a result, the supply of water is largely secured, and production interruptions practically eliminated. Thanks to Wilo pumps, beer drinkers around the globe can enjoy Paulaner's beer specialities at any time.”

It’ll be a great relief to beer drinkers around the world that Wilo pumps can offer the reliability and the constant flow of high quality water that makes their favourite tipple available, literally on tap!

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