Both motorized and solenoid valves can be controlled through the brewery’s control panel. They can be used in brewery piping, to control liquid flow or beer cooling systems. But which is better?
Electric valves are more suitable for large diameter pipes/pipes, e.g. 50 mm and above (glycol inlet on fermenters is only 25 cm) and are usually used for industrial pipelines, which are better used in dry environments. If there is no specific requirement to use electric valves, solenoid valves are actually good enough for a microbrewery, with fast switching speeds, small valve bodies, simple wiring and more economical.
If the purpose of using an electric valve is to vary the wort flow and avoid “hammering”, then an electric valve is not really necessary because the wort pump is VFD controlled and the manual butterfly valve has 12 positions to adjust the flow, which already brings ease of operation and enough flexibility.
If the brewer needs to adjust the flow precisely, then an electric valve is necessary and also needs to be used in conjunction with a flow meter, which is usually not needed for the entire brewhouse, just some special features. Another reason for using electric valves is that some brewers prefer a higher level of automation in larger breweries (e.g. 5000 liters), but this also means a higher budget.
For this reason, some of them also use pneumatic valves as an alternative.