Devil’s Elbow Brewery is fast becoming a highlight on any visitor to Dubbo’s itinerary. Named after a bend in the Macquarie River that runs through Dubbo, the brewery is set in the town’s industrial precinct with over 400 people on site during the working week. Being the only food and beverage option in the area means business has arrived thick and fast to the brewery. Weekends bring the greater Dubbo crowds, as well as tourists looking for a unique spot for lunch or dinner – and the chance to sample some locally crafted beer.
When it came to addressing the strict wastewater requirements of Dubbo Regional Council, the team behind Devil’s Elbow found they needed a pH correction system to suit their specific needs.
Brendon O’Sullivan, CEO and general manager for Devil’s Elbow, visited 4 Pines Brewery in Sydney’s suburb of Brookvale after hearing the success of the wastewater treatment system there.
The team at 4 Pines recommended O’Sullivan get in touch with Aerofloat.
“We visited the site at 4 Pines and found that the Aerofloat pH system there was exactly what we were looking for. I got in touch with the Aerofloat team straight away,” said O’Sullivan. “Aerofloat were easy to talk to and very experienced – they really knew what our requirements were despite us being in such a niche market. They were able to build a system to specifically suit our needs and space.”
O’Sullivan values the voice of the brewing community around Australia.
“The craft beer community is outstanding. We’ve had support and ideas from every brewery we’ve spoken to, from Queensland to New South Wales and down to Victoria. We feel really lucky to have been recommended to work with Aerofloat,” he said.
Aerofloat installed a pH correction system to ensure compliance of outgoing wastewater. The system includes a 2,500L tank complete with a collection pit transfer pump and an inline solids filter, mixing pump, pH monitor, chemical dosing pumps and flow meter.
“The area we had to work with was pretty tight – around 2.5 x 1.5 metres. The system was built to fit the site perfectly,” said Aerofloat’s operation’s manager, Tim McCann.
“This particular system was unique as we designed it to be transportable using a standard sized ute,” said McCann. “This kept transport costs from Sydney to Dubbo at an absolute minimum and allowed us to arrive on-site with the system as soon as Devil’s Elbow were ready for installation.
“The system also includes a remotely viewable data logger, meaning the pH data and discharge flow rates are continually recorded.”
Having the automated system instrumentation allows Devil’s Elbow staff to monitor and predict pH over time. It also means that the system is under constant surveillance, with 24-hour monitoring in place. Devil’s Elbow staff are alerted automatically when any unusual activity arises, allowing them to focus on other tasks.
“Our local council requires us to provide monthly reports on wastewater effluent – the automated system means we can meet our commitment to that,” said O’Sullivan.
The brewery officially opened to the public on July 1, 2019, with four of the proposed 10 beers already available including its signature mid-strength lager Dub Vegas, the Nun Launcher pale ale, the Nosey Bob Red Ale and a German-style Small Arms Lager.
“We needed our pH correction system in place in time for production – Aerofloat ensured that we met that deadline, on budget,” said O’Sullivan. “Aerofloat’s engineers made the pre-installation process easy by giving us clear instructions on what we needed on site.”
Aerofloat was able to apply its own company technology while incorporating parts from other suppliers.
“The turnaround from the Aerofloat team was terrific. Aerofloat built the system in a few days, and the installation took less than a day. It was simply a matter of lifting the skid off with a forklift and connecting the plumbing. A couple of walk-through lessons with the Aerofloat engineers following installation, and we were ready to go,” said O’Sullivan.
The system has been in operation since June this year and is giving excellent results.
“The system has worked a treat. We are really pleased with how easy it is to operate, and how effective it is. Council have already been on site and are really happy with the results,” said O’Sullivan.
Being the largest craft brewery in the Dubbo area, Devil’s Elbow also offers a cafe and coffee roasting, and a full kitchen serving up to 200 pizzas an hour.
“The brewery is a stand-out in the Dubbo area, creating as many as 40 new jobs and increasing tourism in the Dubbo area. Being right on one of the major highways leading into Dubbo means we attract passers-by as well,” said O’Sullivan.
Devil’s Elbow has long been a pipe dream of O’Sullivan and the other three founders, all of whom are long-time friends. O’Sullivan and his team enjoyed working with Aerofloat – as a family-run, Australian-owned company, the Aerofloat team understood how to support the Devil’s Elbow crew in their new venture.
Aerofloat have given expert advice to the team as needed and the pH correction system is working effectively.
“The Aerofloat system has been operating as smooth as silk from the word go,” said O’Sullivan. “We have remote monitoring on there, allowing us to keep track of the system. It’s nice to know that if we encounter any issues, we’re not alone. Aerofloat’s engineers can log in remotely and will be able to get us back on track without needing to be on site.”
Aerofloat offers the food and beverage industry a full range of wastewater treatment expertise, including pH correction systems, full wastewater systems, software programming and electrical support for all its automated wastewater system instrumentation.