Hofstetten Brewery

Duaan Lewis
1st November 2017 in Case Studies
Beer has been brewed in the Hofstetten brewery since 1449, making it the oldest private brewery in Austria. The brewery certainly hasn’t slowed down with old age as they now produce over 700,000 litres of beer a year!
In 2015 it became a smart brewery by implementing Loxone technology. The Loxone Miniserver takes care of a number of things for the team at Hofstetten brewery from lighting control, temperature monitoring and even some safety features. 

About the project

Name: Hofstetten Brewery


Location: St. Martin im Mühlkreis / Upper Austria


Loxone Partner: Elektro Gahleitner GmbH & Co. KG

What makes this brewery so smart?

Production Line Monitoring

The brewery’s machinery already somewhat automated the actual brewing process. However, if the process malfunctioned there wasn’t anything in place to alert the brewmaster. That’s where Loxone came in. If something is amiss, the Miniserver will now immediately trigger a sequence of notifications – including a telephone call to the brewmaster himself. This is extremely beneficial as even the smallest error in the production chain can be incredibly expensive.

Temperature Monitoring

In order to brew great beer, temperature is a key factor. To simplify the temperature monitoring process, the brewery wanted to implement intelligent temperature control. For example, in the silos, the barley needs to be cooled down to 10°C during the winter. Meanwhile in the cellar, the beer ferments in tanks at a constant temperature of 2.5°C. Should there be any sudden changes in temperature, the brewery master is informed immediately via the Loxone app.

Security Features

The whole brewery is monitored by smart smoke detectors – even the room with the silo tanks where the dusty barley is stored. In the event of a fire, the brewery owner and the employees are notified immediately, where they will have the choice to activate the sprinkler system and/or call the fire brigade, saving their business from potentially devastating damage.

Lighting

The brewery now has the beautiful colour-changing LEDs which provide great light for working, but can also be changed to create an atmospheric effect for the guided tours they offer. They have pre-defined lighting moods which can be scrolled through by using our Touch switch. The staff also have NFC Tags which they can use to instantly set the relevant areas into “show mode”.

Lighting

The brewery now has the beautiful colour-changing LEDs which provide great light for working, but can also be changed to create an atmospheric effect for the guided tours they offer. They have pre-defined lighting moods which can be scrolled through by using our Touch switch. The staff also have NFC Tags which they can use to instantly set the relevant areas into “show mode”.

Energy Saving 

In addition to the beautiful lighting scenes, Managing Director Peter Krammer is also pleased with the amount of energy he is now saving. Using LEDs helps with this, however, the greatest energy saver is the automated lighting. Lights being accidentally left on over night and at weekends, now thankfully is a thing of the past. If an area is no longer in use the lights will automatically be turned off.

Other Features

Heat Recovery

The steam that once was a byproduct of the brewing process is no longer wasted, but rather captured and condensed into 90ºC hot water that can be used to maintain the required temperatures throughout the brewery, without having to unnecessarily draw in extra energy to do this.

Maturing Control

Regardless of the outside temperature, the beer in the cooling cellar at Hoffstetten needs to mature at 2.5°C for five weeks. The Miniserver ensures that this temperature is maintained. Any unexplained deviations are immediately reported to the members of staff.

Silo Control

The brewery produces all of their own ingredients, which are stored in huge silos. In times past, these commodities were shovelled manually, but now they use a conveyor belt – automated by the Loxone Miniserver. As soon as the conveyer belt is full, it automatically stops. Thanks to predefined follow-up times, no barley stays on the conveyor any longer than it needs to.

Automatic Windows

Taking wind and rain into account, Loxone controls the roof windows at the brewery. If the temperature in the warehouse starts to get too high the windows are automatically opened. If it starts to rain, they’ll be closed. 

Energy Management

The Loxone Miniserver knows the exact power consumption at any time. During power spikes, designated appliances (such as cooling machines, air blowers etc.) are temporarily switched off to prevent overloading.  

Gate Monitoring

If the gate in the delivery zone is still open after 6 p.m. Managing Director Peter Krammer will get a notification straight to his phone. 

Always informed

Every brewer at Hofstetten has the Loxone App on their smartphone. This means that temperature curves, lighting etc. can be seen at any time. In the event of a malfunction, everyone will be instantly notified meaning that someone can respond quickly.

Expandable and flexible

The nice thing about the Loxone system is it’s flexible. We still have a lot of plans which we would like to carry out in the next few years. With Loxone, we are equipped for the future, for example, to implement an intelligent sewage treatment system that precisely controls the amount of water waste, or to implement a solar PV system that can help with energy demand when the brewery is in full operation.

Peter Krammer

Brewmaster & owner , Hofstetten Brewery