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Thread: Looking for 1.5 BBL fermenter ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Holly Springs, NC
    Posts
    31

    Looking for 1.5 BBL fermenter ideas

    Hi all. I am wondering if you can steer in the right direction here. I am working on an equipment list for what would essentially start off as a nanobrewery brewing about 1.5BBL batches. I am looking for fermentation vessel ideas or suppliers. I am not sure if I would wanna go the route of jacketed vessels out in open space or unjacketed in a cold room to control fermentation temperatures. I am open to either suggestions. I would be interested in fermenters that can hold 1.5BBL capacity and also some that would hold 3BBL for double batches as well. Appreciate the direction and assistance.

    Mike
    Mike Sulyi
    BillyGoat Brewing Company
    mike@billygoatbrewingco.com
    www.billygoatbrewingco.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Hyattsville,MD
    Posts
    284
    Invest your money in 3 bbl jacketed stainless steel conical fermenters. If you're willing to double batch some beers you might as well double batch them all...1.5 bbls is not a lot of beer(trying to find 1.5-2bblfermenters will cost as much if not more than a 3bbl...remember economy of scale!!), but you will double your profits.

    If your business becomes successful perhaps you could then size up to a 3 bbl system(cutting your time/labor in half)...hey guess what you'll already have full brew length fermenters instead of 1/2... Plus you will have better control over fermentation temperature which is crucial. Ambient cooling/heating might seem to work with 5 gallon home brew batches but in larger scale brewing there will be more volume and heat that will be inconsistently/inefficiently controlled.

    There's a lot of ways to cut corners and save money, but its my opinion it shouldn't be done with fermentation/conditioning tanks.
    Cheers,
    Mike Roy
    Brewer
    Franklins Restaurant,Brewery & General Store
    Hyattsville,MD

    Franklinsbrewery.com
    @franklinsbrwry
    facebook.com/franklinsbrewery
    Franklinsbrewery.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Dauphin, Pa
    Posts
    87

    Tanks

    It all depends on how much money you can afford to spend.



    Check these out.

    http://www.tank-depot.com/product.aspx?id=854

    or


    http://www.plastic-mart.com/class.php?cat=19
    Cheers!
    -Alan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fawn Grove, PA, USA
    Posts
    545
    I have to agree with MikeRoy, the biggest issue you'll face is the logistics in fermentation timing, your gambling with the assumption that in plastic tanks all your fermentations are going to be the same, time, temp, etc. You really need individual tank cooling and control to get consistency. Then when you crash your tanks you have to crash all of them unless you build two separate rooms. I know there a few guys out there doing it, I just don't think its the most cost or time efficient thing to do. You can boil and lauter in just about anything if get creative, but cellar work just takes what it takes. If your serious about it go ahead and wrap you mind around it costing you to set it up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Holly Springs, NC
    Posts
    31
    Thank you guys for the great responses. I do agree and put a priority in making sure that fermentation temperature is controlled, that is important to me in all the homebrewing I have and do too. I can really see the advantages of having individual cooled and controlled fermenters as well. I did have a pretty tough time trying to even find 1.5BBL fermenters as well and I do agree the more beer you brew the better off and more $$$ you can make. The plan is to grow from a nano into a micro and so on too so the investment up front would be smart and worthwhile as well. I do appreciate the suggestion for the plastic fermentation vessels too, I have seen pics of them but never found them to buy and such. Well you guys saved me lots of headache trying to search now I can have a better direction. Again thanks and I am sure I will come along with plenty more questions. Keep this place going as great as it is, definite resource to read and learn too. Cheers!!
    Mike Sulyi
    BillyGoat Brewing Company
    mike@billygoatbrewingco.com
    www.billygoatbrewingco.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    171
    Mike,

    I use several 60 gallon (good for 1.5bbl) plasic fermenters and 110 gallon (good for 3 bbl) plastic fermenters and they make great beer. I put them on heavy duty casters and wheel them around. First they go into the walk-in cooler to drop the temp after brewing. Once they are at proper pitching temp I add yeast and roll into a room with a window AC unit that keeps things at a nice cool 62F. Adjust that step for whatever conditions your yeast needs. They get wheeled back into the walk-in to crash cool and drop yeast prior to racking.

    I've added a racking port so I can xfer with a tiny filter used for homebrewing because most of the yeast and trub stays in the bottom of the cone. Each fermenter cost a total of about 500 bucks, with all fittings, shipping, etc. that's a lot cheaper than a 3 bbl jacketed unitank and associated equipment.

    Hit me up if you need more info.

    Andrew
    Parish Brewing Co.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hummelstown, PA
    Posts
    11

    How DIY do you want to get

    I found this fermenter project using food grade 55 gallon stainless steel drums. The final cost is right around 1700 dollars depending on your skills to find a good price on materials and knowledge in welding. The site: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/2-54...-build-135991/. I am leaning toward the food grade plastic. Like every other brewer out there my capital is low and each dollar has to count.
    Greg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    12

    Conical

    It looks like a 50 gal conical from Stout Tanks & Kettles costs $950 - probably another $600-$800 for jacketing - so building your own doesn't look like it makes sense if you can get a jacketed for same cost as building your own single wall. A new jacketed 3 bbl is listed at $3,500. Frank Ma has listed similar prices for new, jacketed fermenters at the same and larger sizes in the classified section here at probrewer.

    The plastic conical probably won't give a brewer enough control over the fermentation environment, as someone else said. At 1.5 bbl size, you can probably still control temperature downwards in a cellared environment with a fan conducting heat away from the stainless, and control up by placing fermenter in an insultated box with a heating pad. At 3 bbl jacketing is probably critical for many beer styles/yeasts in order to get the heat transfer rates you need during vigorous fermentation.

    I like your approach - nano-micro-etc.

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