How Milpaws’ value-added services helps O’Fallon Brewery craft the perfect brew.

Posted on 4/4/2018 by SuperUser Account

In the spring of 2015, O’Fallon Brewery, a long-time customer of Milpaws, was preparing a new facility in Maryland Heights, Missouri. The new facility would be a significant upgrade from their previous location in both size and capability.

O’Fallon had several unique fluid conveyance challenges with the design and build of their new, larger brew house and beer cellar. Not only were they scaling up production, they were also changing their layout, which in turn meant a change in process. Milpaws was ready and willing to work with O’Fallon Brewery’s engineering contractor to get the job done and get the brewery ready for production.

Moving Beer from Brewing to Fermentation

Custom Hoses attached to Brew tanks

The O'Fallon Brew cellar with Milpaws Custom hose.

The challenge that presented itself was having to move unfinished/unfermented beer to the fermentation tank. In the original facility, this was simply a matter of running one hose from one tank to another fermentation tank that was right next to it. In the new facility, there are four brew tanks, and eight fermentation tanks, each with different applications for different styles of beer. These two “tank

farms” are on the opposite side of a 10,000 sq. ft. brew house, cannot be permanently connected due to their constantly changing status and usage, and are also filled and emptied multiple times a week.

In addition to the logistical aspect of physically moving the beer, there are production capabilities that need to be integrated with every step of the brewing process. Co2 gas, compressed air, and water are all critical elements of the brewing process that need to be integrated at varying stages of production.


Brew Master Brian Owens gave Milpaws four directives at the start of hose design and layout:

  1. Eliminate the reliance on fixed stainless steel tube and piping - he wanted his brew house to be relatively agile and easily re-worked for different styles of beer and beer making.
  2. Install reliable hose assemblies that can withstand dragging and frequent movement.
  3. Utilize unique, European-style sanitary fittings.
  4. Integrate water, air, and Co2 into the overall brewing process utilizing hoses and quick disconnect couplings.

The first directive was easy to meet. We utilized ContiTech’s Plicord Brewline hose, widely considered to be the premier beer hose in the marketplace. It is flexible enough to handle hard angles but sturdy enough not to collapse or kink. It also has a smooth ridge-less cover to reduce drag and increase ease of movement.

Custom Hose Installation The Plicord Brewline offers a flexible but reliable hose for product transfer.

The second directive was a bit more challenging. We knew the hose itself was going to be able to withstand daily dragging and manipulation, but when building an assembly, you have to think about all aspects of the hose. In order to meet this directive, we chose a crimp-style fitting configuration to ensure the hose could withstand dragging, end-pull forces and provide excellent abrasion-resistant cover.

Crimped Fittings The crimped European fittings allowed for a more reliable hose system.

This led us to the challenge of the third directive. The unique European fittings required are not a common brewery fitting here in the U.S., making them incredibly hard to find in any configuration. Milpaws machined the required fittings in our CNC lathes that were then crimped with our standard ferrules and hose. The fittings were made from 316 Stainless Steel that we sourced locally. Once we received part approval, we moved forward with a limited production run to be used exclusively on O’Fallon’s hose assemblies. This is a value-added service we offer in order to be a “one-stop shop” for our customers. In most cases, our competitors would encourage their end users to adapt to a more common fitting or simply not be able to provide a solution. It also allows us to be a primary source for O'Fallon Brewery in the future since we now have familiarity with this unique European style fitting, and can provide these components with our in-house CNC machining capabilities.

Hose Reel We utilized hose reels to make washdown faster and more efficient.

For the fourth directive, we had to integrate compressed air, water, and CO2 gas into the brewing process, utilizing hoses, manifolds, reel systems, and quick disconnects couplings. To accomplish that, we placed water wash-down reels throughout the facility to assist with clean up, as any brewer will tell you, beer making is a sticky business! We equipped these reels with ContiTech heavy-duty Frontier water hoses and nozzles. The reels made it easier to stow the hose and not waste time and energy trying to hang a heavy water-filled hose.

Hoses connected to manafold Pictured above is the Co2 manifold with color-coded hose assembly.

Next, we had to integrate the Co2 gas, a critical element needed for fermentation, filtration, and keg filling. We mounted and integrated a 4-port manifold with quick disconnect couplings and on/off valves at a central location within the brew house. Once this manifold was installed and integrated with the on-site Co2 generator, Milpaws supplied four yellow color-coded hose assemblies with quick disconnects couplings. These four hoses allow O’Fallon the capability to simultaneously mix and fill a fermentation tank, empty/purge another fermentation tank, and also fill kegs. This allows O’Fallon the opportunity to increase productivity while maintaining multiple batches of beer at different stages of production.

Finally, we provided a four-port manifold with quick disconnects couplings and on/off capability for compressed air. The manifold was mounted in a central location of the brew house and four ContiTech Frontier hose assemblies were provided with quick disconnect couplings for ease of connection. While not as common, the four-port manifold was designed for simultaneous use. Compressed air is most commonly used in the fermentation tank cleaning and purge process, cleaning hoses, and overall cleaning of the brewery. Now, they can do all of those things at the same time, and still have a spare compressed air inlet for any air tools that may need to be used for brewery maintenance.

The O'Fallon Brewery project was a perfect example of two core principles that drive Milpaws sales efforts - consultative sales and excellent service. We utilize a consultative sales approach and a willingness to work with not only the end user but also other contractors to deliver value-added fluid conveyance solutions. In addition to the consultative sales process, we continue to service O’Fallon brewery and the products we supplied, as we believe in having “Customers for Life”. Brian Owens and his team at O’Fallon Brewery continue to place their trust in Milpaws to deliver and maintain the solutions we provided. No matter what your fluid conveyance challenge may be, discover how Milpaws will work with you to develop a solution that will make you more efficient, reduce down time and increase your capabilities.