Conference article

Control system design for the starch mashing phase in the production of beer

Alberto Leva
Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Italy

Filippo Donida
Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Italy

Download article

Published in: Proceedings of the 7th International Modelica Conference; Como; Italy; 20-22 September 2009

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 43:86, s. 730-739

Show more +

Published: 2009-12-29

ISBN: 978-91-7393-513-5

ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


The starch mashing phase; the first one in the brewing process; has a fundamental influence on the quality of the final product. In particular; a good temperature control can significantly reduce the product variability; and also improve the process efficiency by (slightly) reducing the mashing phase duration. In this work; controloriented models o f the mashing process; including biochemical reactions’ representation and energy balance equations; are used to synthesise and test some temperature control schemes. The mix of equation- and algorithm-based modelling allowed by Modelica allows to size the control equipment to the (nearly) final detail; including for example the comparison of different types of heating actuators.


Brewing; process control; process/control co-simulation


[1] E. Alvarez; J.M. Correa; J.M. Navaza; and C. Rivero. Injection of steam into the mashing process as alternative method for the temperature control and low-cost of production. Journal of Food Engineering; 43(4):193–196; 2000. doi: 10.1016/S0260-8774(99)00144-2.

[2] C. Brandam; X.M. Meyer; J. Proth; P. Strehaiano; and H. Pingaud. An original kinetic model for the enzymatic hydrolysis of starch during mashing. Biochemical Engineering Journal; 13(1):43–52; 2003. doi: 10.1016/S1369-703X(02)00100-6.

[3] B. de Andrés-Toroa; J.M. Girón-Sierra; J.A. López-Orozco; C. Fernández-Conte; J.M. Peinado; and F. Garcia-Ochoa. A kinetic model for beer production under industrial operational conditions. Mathematics and Computers in Simulation; 48(1):65–74; 1998. doi: 10.1016/S0378-4754(98)00147-5.

[4] D.A. Gee and W.F. Ramirez. Optimal temperature control for batch beer fermentation. Biotechnology and Bioengineering; 31(3):224–234; 1988. doi: 10.1002/bit.260310308.

[5] S. Jiliang; Y. Wei; and G. Dexin. Study of compound optimal control for beer saccharification temperature. In Proc. 26th Chinese Control Conference; pages 356–359; Zhangjiajie; PR China; 2007.

[6] T. Koljonen; J.J. Hämäläinena; K. Sjöholmb; and K. Pietiläb. A model for the prediction of fermentable sugar concentrations during mashing. Journal of Food Engineering; 26(3):329–350; 1995. doi: 10.1016/0260-8774(94)00061-D.

[7] A. Leva; F. Donida; and M. Bordoni. Objectoriented modelling and simulation of starch mashing. In Proc. 3rd IFAC Conference on Analysis and Design of Hybrid Systems; Zaragoza; Spain; 2009.

[8] The Open Source Modelica Consortium. OpenModelica home page; 2009.

Citations in Crossref