top loading autoclave by priorclave

Brewery Autoclaves and Sterilizer Equipment

In the beginning, a sterilizer that is no more complex than a kitchen pressure cooker is great. Sterilizing starter solutions, glassware, and steel instruments, preparing agar slants, they can do it all—if you’ve got the time to spare, don’t have to sterilize much, and have someone free to babysit it while it sizzles and sputters. But most breweries quickly outgrow a pressure cooker-style sterilizer. Unfortunately, almost every “laboratory autoclave” currently sold in North America is a poor fit for almost every brewery in North America. Most “lab sterilizers” large enough to be useful in a brewery are repurposed medical-grade steam sterilizers. They’re optimized for operation in medical settings. If you need to continuously process flat trays of forceps and scalpels 24/7/365, that’s great!

But these sterilizers are neither sturdy nor flexible enough to withstand the rigors of product development, testing, or quality assurance. They rarely prove reliable without the ongoing support of a dedicated maintenance and facilities team (something a healthcare facility can afford). A food and beverage quality assurance and quality control operation can quickly destroy a medical-grade autoclave. For decades, Priorclave has focused exclusively on manufacturing non-medical research-grade steam sterilizers for industry. These are optimized for safety, long-term affordability, low-maintenance reliability, and flexible operation.

Top-Loading, Front-Loading, and Tabletop Brewery Autoclaves

For handling brewery waste loads (beer, hops, wort, plastic pipette tips waste, yeast bodies) on top of more conventional QA lab loads (labware, instruments and tools, plates, growth media, etc.), we recommend a 150 liter top-loading sterilizer. These are our #1 top-sellers worldwide, especially well suited to microbiology work in breweries. Established global powerhouses like Heineken, Coors, and Carlsberg rely on Priorclave top-loaders—as do micro- and regional breweries taking the art and craft in whole new directions.

Vertical units can accommodate the tallest flasks, fermentors, and bioreactors at one-third the price of a comparable front-loading autoclave. And they fit all that power in a small footprint: Priorclave’s top loading autoclaves are among the most compact full-size units on the market today. That said, we can accommodate any size brewery lab, in any configuration. We regularly ship front-loading sterilizers as large as 320 liters, as well as those small enough to fit on a tabletop. But every Priorclave is built to the same high standards, with industrial and commercial users in mind: They feature in-chamber heaters (more efficient and less maintenance than independent external steam generator) and cylindrical pressure vessels (easier to operate, less expensive to maintain, and more reliable over a longer working life, when compared to similar-sized medical-style rectangular-vessel units). Your autoclave will only use electricity during heat-up and sterilization and won’t waste water with bleeder valve cooling or “Venturi”-style vacuum ejectors.

Autoclave Equipment Customer Service

The real difference isn’t the autoclave; it’s the support: Priorclave customers consistently report 93% to 100% satisfaction with their purchase over the course of years–with that rating improving the longer they’ve owned the unit. In our most recent customer satisfaction survey, most owners rated installation and first use “very satisfactory,” with more than a quarter calling it “delightful.” More than 90% of our current customers report that they would almost certainly buy another Priorclave and recommend our autoclaves to colleagues.

Because we do not serve the medical industry, our attention isn’t divided. Lab equipment manufacturers who serve both medical and industrial sectors regularly take two weeks to make an “emergency” service call to a food and beverage client. Meanwhile, one of our factory-certified authorized service agents (ASAs) can be to your brewery within two days. Ninety-percent of all on-site repairs can be completed that same day. A large portion of autoclave issues can be resolved remotely, so Priorclave North America is pleased to offer one of the best warranty programs in the industry, with free lifetime technical support and consultation. Wherever you are, support is as close as a phone call or mouse click.

The Brewery Autoclave That Grows With You

Priorclave’s research-grade autoclaves are built to be efficient, reliable, highly flexible, and offer years of steady service. Every piece of Priorclave lab equipment is individually built to order. We use a robust, modular design, enabling easy upgrading as your requirements change. Even the smallest unit has a 316L stainless steel vessel and is outfitted with our fully programmable Tactrol Control System, which offers sterilization and waste cycles that rank among the quickest verifiable sterilization cycles available from any research-grade autoclave. All of our autoclaves carry an ASME stamp and are ETL listed to UL and CSA standards. Select models have been assigned a Canadian Registration Number (CRN). (See our full accreditations for details.)

Ready to find out what a Priorclave can do for you? Contact us for an honest, no obligation assessment.