PDA

View Full Version : Startup Brewpub Questions: Process and Wisdom?



omearabros
04-29-2013, 11:26 PM
First, thanks in advance to all on ProBrewer helping us make our dream come true! Cheers to you guys, without whom we would never have made it beyond the garage and the glass carboy.

We're another couple of homebrewers opening a small brewpub! We're studying like crazy, enrolled in intensive courses and doing pilot brews as often as the day job will allow. But there's one problem -- we're going to be funded, with equipmet on order in the coming months, and we've never brewed at this scale. (5BBL, 60 seat brewpub in a small town.) In other words, we're going into commercial brewing blind. We've got classes coming up, and some hands-on brews with local brewers, but we're trying to get a grasp of this stuff pre-classroom.

We're reaching out for any wisdom about the process, the brewhouse, and daily operations that isn't in the books, or readily available online. What can we expect as far as learning curve at the helm of the brewhouse? Is anyone willing to step us through their personal process, keeping in mind I'm well-versed in the basics and the equipment ON PAPER but have no true experience.

Think of it this way: We know the basics of the valves, the controls, the CIP system, the heat exchanger and glycol system... but we've never turned a butterfly valve or heated 5BBLs of sparge water.

Feel free to comment, PM or email me directly. You can't imagine how much pro advice helps us along the way.

Again, Thank you!
Tim
brewing@omearabros.com

Packey
05-02-2013, 10:18 AM
Brewery: Open valves slowly...especially the one on the bottom of the mash tun. When we initially started brewing on our system, we'd throw the valve below the mash tun to half way kinda quickly and the grain bed would collapse resulting in a stuck mash. No fun. Also, no valve should be opened 100% until you learn your system.

Don't assume that the concrete guy sloped the floor away from doors or walls. In other words, get a good squeegee and keep it near you when washing stuff down (especially if there is carpet just outside the door).

Back of house: Hire a great chef/kitchen manager that can handle that side of the business.

Front of house: Create a SOP for opening and closing. Bartenders/servers/bus boys/bar backs can and will be lazy if you let them. Make sure that the cleanliness of the bar/seating area is a priority before they leave at the end of the night. Pull out and clean under any beer coolers, speed racks, ice bins, sinks, storage areas is done AT LEAST once a week.

Learn how to count the drawer for your register(s) and make sure that the FOH manager knows how you want it done and tell him what he/she should do with deposits at the end of the night.

Don't trust that the installer of the drip tray or anything that uses a compressor to chill air has run the hose to the drain...or gave you a hose that's long enough.

Get a pest control company to come out and inspect on a regular basis (once a month). There's nothing more embarrassing than the time when you're speaking to a customer about your beer and they swat at a fruit fly.

Hope this helps.

omearabros
05-02-2013, 12:19 PM
Brewery: Open valves slowly...especially the one on the bottom of the mash tun. When we initially started brewing on our system, we'd throw the valve below the mash tun to half way kinda quickly and the grain bed would collapse resulting in a stuck mash. No fun. Also, no valve should be opened 100% until you learn your system.

Don't assume that the concrete guy sloped the floor away from doors or walls. In other words, get a good squeegee and keep it near you when washing stuff down (especially if there is carpet just outside the door).

Back of house: Hire a great chef/kitchen manager that can handle that side of the business.

Front of house: Create a SOP for opening and closing. Bartenders/servers/bus boys/bar backs can and will be lazy if you let them. Make sure that the cleanliness of the bar/seating area is a priority before they leave at the end of the night. Pull out and clean under any beer coolers, speed racks, ice bins, sinks, storage areas is done AT LEAST once a week.

Learn how to count the drawer for your register(s) and make sure that the FOH manager knows how you want it done and tell him what he/she should do with deposits at the end of the night.

Don't trust that the installer of the drip tray or anything that uses a compressor to chill air has run the hose to the drain...or gave you a hose that's long enough.

Get a pest control company to come out and inspect on a regular basis (once a month). There's nothing more embarrassing than the time when you're speaking to a customer about your beer and they swat at a fruit fly.

Hope this helps.

Great info, thank you! This is the kind of thing we're looking for! Much appreciated.

Tim