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Wine is a cultural asset. In order to keep alive the ancient tradition, people increasingly use centrifugal separation technology for modern and economic wine production. During the whole winemaking operation, clarification plays an important role. Thus an efficient clarification system often determines the taste, aroma, and character of the wine and therefore its overall quality and its market value.

In 1911, Gustav Otto, son of the inventor of the Otto engine, founded "Gustav Otto Flugmaschinen-Werke" in Munich. On March 7, 1916, his company merged with "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke", which is the official foundation of "Bayerische Motorenwerke" BMW.

In 1920, Gustav Otto introduced and sold a motor-assisted bicycle named "Flottweg" and subsequently built in his new company "Otto Werke G.M.B.H München". Dr. Georg Bruckmayer bought "Otto Werke München" in 1932 and renamed the company "Flottweg Motoren-Werke". This new company manufactured aircraft engines, motor-assisted bicycles and motorbikes.

In 1943, the company relocated to Vilsbiburg. After World War II, the company manufactured precision parts for the printing industry. To promote a second business, the company started to develop the first centrifuges in the early 1950's. 1956 saw the first Flottweg Decanter, Type Z1, delivered to BASF AG, Ludwigshafen followed by the High Speed Decanter in 1964.

The 3-phase decanter emerged in 1971 followed by the Flottweg belt press in 1984, the Flottweg Sedicanter in 1993 and the Flottweg Sorticanter in 1995. 1998 Brought with it the start of the Flottweg C-type disc stack centrifuges. By 2011, the 8000th Flottweg Decanter had been processed.
Decanters in wineries are used everywhere where liquids with a high solids content have to be clarified. Must clarifica­tion is one of these applications. But not only are economic aspects important, quality is a crucial factor as well. The trub content of the must depends on pre­treatment such as grape gathering and grape transportation. Trub is automatic­ally generated when the grapes are treated.

Generally, machine­gathered grapes contain more trub than hand­gathered ones due to high mechanic forces. The press system also influences trub quantity. Must produced by screw extrusion presses is inclined to contain more trub than must produced using membrane presses.

Traditionally, must clarification is done by static sedi-mentation and subsequent kieselguhr filtration of the sedimentati­on trub using vacuum rotary filters. Compared to centrifugal decantation, this procedure results in longer contact of the must with trub particles. Trub particles, however, may have negative effects on the must since they often contain much phenol. Decanters are able to quickly treat must residues with a high solids content due to centrifugal acceleration.
While investment costs for a decanter are indeed higher than for vacuum rotary filters, the low operating costs of a decanter offer decisive economic advantages.

The decanter needs significantly less preparation and clean­ing time than vacuum rotary filters since decanters do not need filter additives. Therefore, there are no costs for waste disposal while kieselguhr is classified as hazardous waste, resulting in continuously increasing disposal costs. As the decanter discharges a very dry cake, the solids can be used as fertilizer for the vineyard and thus be reasonably reintro­duced into nature.

Furthermore, Flottweg decanters are designed for the high hygienic demands of wineries because all product­wetted parts are made of high quality stainless steel.

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