BUSHMILLS

PROJECT SPECS

JOB TITLE

Software Alterations & Improvement

COMPANY

The Old Bushmills Distillery

LOCATION

Co. Antrim

DURATION

4

WEEKS

OBJECTIVES

  • Increasing the capacity of mash through the software

BUSHMILL

Software Alterations & Improvement

The Old Bushmill Whiskey Distillery is one of Ireland’s oldest distilleries¬†and produces a wide range of alcoholic products.

The plant has the capacity to produce roughly 5 million liters of pure alcohol per year. For the past decade, Irish whiskey has been the fast-growing spirit in the world, & the Bushmills distillery was capable of meeting its orders. However, with the demand ever-increasing, the distillery had options to optimize the current setup or design and finance an expansion.

Both proposals were put forward to MWCS for consultation. For the sake of the plant and future operations, MWCS proposed that plant optimization was the best solution.

The bottleneck of the distillery was the Lauter Tun; its capacity of 480 hL ran three times a day, seven days a week to make the 5 million lpas possible. Fortunately, some parameters were open to being optimized without compromising the quality of the final product. These were:

  • The introduction speed of the sparging: The sparging temperature set point was slightly reduced with an increased flow rate simply to decrease the amount of time spent sparging.
  • The rake speed of the Lauter Tun: The contents of the Lauter Tun were being left in for roughly four hours. The rake speed was increased to reduce this time frame by 20-30 minutes.
  • Additional control for the pump draw off speed was introduced. The program is now able to use the outlet flow rate¬†with all contents in the Lauter Tun to produce a stable outtake of wash. This was to reduce the likelihood of needing a deep cut.

As a result of the changes, the capacity of each mash increased by 1.5 weekly liters per mash, which in turn was an extra 1 million lpa per year. By improving one aspect of the distillery’s process, we improved plant production by 20%.