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Thread: 4 vessel brewhouse

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    35

    4 vessel brewhouse

    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.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2007
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    Solon, IA
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    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    35
    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.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    59

    3-Vessel?

    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.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2005
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    Louisville, KY
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    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?
    Joel Halbleib
    CBO "Chief Brewing Officer" / Zymurgist
    Bluegrass Brewing Co
    636 East Main St
    Louisville, KY
    www.bluegrassbrewing.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    59

    Mash / Lauter Tun, Boil Kettle, and Whirlpool

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    328
    Quote Originally Posted by Trickster
    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?
    Scott LaFollette
    Blank Slate Brewing Company
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    13

    4 vessel brewhouse

    Quote Originally Posted by jebzter
    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.

    All depends on what your goals are in sales of your beers
    If you like to discuss this further, please contact me
    Thanks
    Fred

    Fred.scheer@kronesusa.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    137
    Quote Originally Posted by yap
    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
    ~Phil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth
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    183
    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.
    ______________________
    Jamie Fulton
    Community Beer Co.
    Dallas, Texas

    "Beer for the Greater Good"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    35
    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.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    328
    Quote Originally Posted by Pompeiisneaks
    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....
    Scott LaFollette
    Blank Slate Brewing Company
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    183
    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.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    58

    limited experience my @$%

    Quote Originally Posted by Pompeiisneaks
    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!
    Jeff Schrag
    Mother's Brewing Co.
    Springfield, Missouri

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,516
    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.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager
    and Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

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