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jebzter
06-05-2012, 11:42 AM
Do any craft brewers here use a 4 vessel brewhouse? I am looking at opening a brewery in the very near future, and am torn between a 2 vessel(which seems to be the norm for craft breweries) or a 4 vessel system. I have seen larger breweries like Laguinitas and Stone use 4 vessel systems, it seems to be more efficient and a better use of inventory space than a larger 2 vessel system. Any input on this subject would be helpful.

william.heinric
06-05-2012, 04:05 PM
I've worked on a 4 vessel 10 bbl, and a 2 vessel 50 bbl. I greatly preferred the 4 vessel set up. Takes up some extra floorspace, but I think that it gives you much more flexibility, especially if you're going to do multiple styles.

Bill

jebzter
06-05-2012, 10:51 PM
That is the same conclusion that I have come to as well, and I'm willing to need a little more space for the added flexibility and process efficiency.

Trickster
06-06-2012, 08:03 AM
Have you considered a 3 vessel brewhouse for your start up? Remember cash is king when opening a business, especially a brewery. Don't over extend yourself. I went with a 3 vessel brewhouse and an oversized HLT and CLT so I could brew all day with no water issues. This is probably the most cost-efficent way to open a brewery because should open with room to grow on your brewhouse meaning you only need larger tanks or more of them to grow, and not a new brewhouse.

BrewinLou
06-06-2012, 08:39 AM
Can you go into details of the flexibility? I would think the multi vessel BH would be far more advantageous if you were planning on brewing around the clock, and far cheaper to go with a two for a new brewery.

On the three vessel BH, which three did you go with?

Trickster
06-06-2012, 09:19 AM
I went with a mash / lauter tun, kettle, and whirlpool. With this set up the first beer takes the longest then each brew after the first takes about 3 hours. I can brew 5 batches a day with this set up. The HLT is 2.5 times the size of the brewhouse with a single stage heat exchanger so the CLT (2 times the size of the brewhouse) water coming out of the heat exchanger is around 150F and goes directly back into the steam powered HLT. Highly efficent as far as time and water usage.

Cheers

yap
06-06-2012, 09:57 AM
I went with a mash / lauter tun, kettle, and whirlpool. With this set up the first beer takes the longest then each brew after the first takes about 3 hours. I can brew 5 batches a day with this set up. The HLT is 2.5 times the size of the brewhouse with a single stage heat exchanger so the CLT (2 times the size of the brewhouse) water coming out of the heat exchanger is around 150F and goes directly back into the steam powered HLT. Highly efficent as far as time and water usage.

Cheers


if you have a MLT/BK/WH and a HLT and CLT wouldn't this be a 5 vessel brewhouse?

Pompeiisneaks
06-06-2012, 02:35 PM
if you have a MLT/BK/WH and a HLT and CLT wouldn't this be a 5 vessel brewhouse?

if I understand it correctly, the HLT and CLT aren't considered part of the brew system's count of tanks. only the MT/LT, BK, and Whirlpool would be. so

2 vessel usually means MLT and BK/WP
3 vessel is some other combination like MLT, BK and WP or MT, LT, BK/WP.
4 vessel is MT, LT, BK, and WP.

From what I've seen in my limited experience :)

jfulton
06-06-2012, 03:17 PM
Only the wort/malt handling hot vessels are considered for the brewhouse vessels number. HLT and CLT don't count. Besides increased throughput per given time period, having a mash mixer in the brewhouse allows for easy step mashes and most importantly, a relatively homogenous temperature throughout the entire mash. Some brewers use steam jackets in a mash/lauter tun to do step mashes. While this works to some extent, it is by no means ideal, as the rakes are not designed to mix the mash. You also force a bunch of flour under the screens doing this. Trying a whirlpool in a 30 BBL brew kettle with an internal colandria is challenging. 15-20 BBL without any internal fixtures is about as big as you can go and still be somewhat effective at removing your wort without a pile of trub to boot. As said previously, extra vessels add a chunk to your initial start-up cost, and your ancillary equipment will be expensive no matter how you slice it.

jebzter
06-06-2012, 06:33 PM
The flexibility I am speaking of is that if I wanted to do a smaller volume of certain beer, then I am limited to the smallest batch size that I can do and still have an appropriate depth of my mash. So I may have to do double and triple batches for my high volume sellers in a smaller 4 vessel system, but could do a smaller batch of a limited run beer. Where as I could buy a larger 2 vessel system, that works for my high volume brews, but is too much for my limited run stuff.

yap
06-07-2012, 06:01 AM
if I understand it correctly, the HLT and CLT aren't considered part of the brew system's count of tanks. only the MT/LT, BK, and Whirlpool would be. so

2 vessel usually means MLT and BK/WP
3 vessel is some other combination like MLT, BK and WP or MT, LT, BK/WP.
4 vessel is MT, LT, BK, and WP.

From what I've seen in my limited experience :)

Yeah I know that's "technically" how you're supposed to count them. I guess its just a personal thing that always kind of bugged me. Try making beer without a HLT and/or CLT. It isn't easy (but yes I know it can be done). If you are trying to budget for a start-up then you have to account for them whether you call them part of the "brewhouse" or not...

Sorry. Just being picky I guess....

kai
06-07-2012, 07:52 AM
Try to make beer without a fermenter and a bright tank too, y'know...

Perhaps the way to think it is the liquor tanks can be used for other processes in the brewery (such as blend water for CIP). Then they're not part of the brewhouse.

Dailybeer
06-07-2012, 03:33 PM
if I understand it correctly, the HLT and CLT aren't considered part of the brew system's count of tanks. only the MT/LT, BK, and Whirlpool would be. so

2 vessel usually means MLT and BK/WP
3 vessel is some other combination like MLT, BK and WP or MT, LT, BK/WP.
4 vessel is MT, LT, BK, and WP.

From what I've seen in my limited experience :)

"limited experience" my @$$

Cheers to you Phil!

gitchegumee
06-07-2012, 11:18 PM
Most three vessel systems that I've seen are Mash Mixer/Brew Kettle, Lauter, and Whirlpool. Typical German setup. This is my personal favorite as you can do just about any type of mash you want. Very flexible. Efficient. Precise.

BrewinLou
06-08-2012, 08:24 AM
There is also the Mash Kettle, and Wort Receiver to toss a couple more vessels in the mix.

Anyone care to comment on the advantages or disadvantages of a Wort Receiver versus a Whirlpool?