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Thread: pilot system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2

    pilot system

    I'm looking for a good pilot system for trials and recipe design before opening a microbrewery. Does anyone have any idea about these systems, such as Sabco's, HDP's Etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Durango
    Posts
    83
    Stainless steel specialists out of Montreal, Canada. Ask for Yvon. Way Way better than anything Sabco makes and for a fair price. www.stainlesssteelspec.com

    They can make anything in pilot size.
    Bottoms Up!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Henley-on-Thames, England
    Posts
    204
    Yargan,

    You might want to search the forum for 'pilot' as there was some debate regarding the usefulness of a pilot system...e.g. you won't make money, takes 8 hours to brew 10 gallons or 10 barrels, recipes won't scale, it will gather dust, you are pissing about, etc.

    My thought is that brewing as often as possible can't hurt you as a brewer.
    I personally wouldn't buy a 10 barrel or more system without having a pretty good idea of the beers I'm bringing to market and playing with the recipes on a 10 gallon scale is a lot cheaper than 10 barrel.

    If you don't have the time to built something from the ground up and have some coin, there are some turnkey systems out there. Not sure what size you are looking for, but one of the 'homebrew' choices too look at would be B3 (Beer, Beer and More Beer - www.morebeer.com). They do systems up to 40 gallon in their standard 'sculpture' design and I think even sell a 3bbl system.

    I am firing my 20 gallon system (B3 2050 - http://www.morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=15256) from them for the first time on Friday and am happy to let you know how it goes. So far, completely satisfied with the system and customer experience. I am not tied to B3 other than being a customer...

    Cheers,
    Jeff Rosenmeier (Rosie)
    Chairman of the Beer
    Lovibonds Brewery Ltd
    Henley-on-Thames, Englandshire
    W: www.lovibonds.com
    F: LovibondsBrewery
    T: @Lovibonds

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    474

    pilot usefulness

    We have a pilot system...just a small 5 hec system (about 3 bbl).

    While a small system DOES take just as long as the big one, we find it incredibly useful. I can brew 2 batches at once, and my brew day isn't any longer (well, not really) (our other system is a 20 bbl) and I can do small batch cask ales and seasonals on the small system.

    Works for us. I'd recommend getting maybe a 1-5 HL system for sure. If you want to build one, that's easy, too. Spend money on a good ss tig, and when you're finished building your own system, your mad style welding skills will stand you in good stead for the rest of your brewing career!!

    DanF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    38
    I looked the the sculptures from More Beer, and decided to build one myself (though I had them do the kettle welding.) I've done 20 brews in on this system and I love it. For what its worth...

    http://www.evan.com/brewery

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Saint John, New Brunswick
    Posts
    9

    Recipes not scaling

    Rosie

    I was wondering about recipes not scaling from a pilot system to a larger brewery. If you or anyone else can give me some more in depth info on why it would be appreciated.

    Jamie

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    393

    ...they don't

    lots of reasons why...if you don't understand any of them you aren't ready for a brewery or a pilot system. Read up my friend. Understanding is the key to better beer.

    The short list

    Color changes
    Bitterness changes
    evap changes
    Heat transfer (in general and situational)
    Trub formation and settling

    Learn your big system and stick with it. Small batches are for homebrewers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Nashville
    Posts
    691
    Larry,

    Got to disagree a little. Yeah, there will be changes, but once you figure out how to compensate your recipes for the increase in IBUs and the changes in color, etc, you can get a good feel for a recipe on a small system before you brew on the bigger one. I developed most of our recipes on a home-made 10 gallon RIMS system and only had to adjust my efficiencies to scale it up to a reasonable approximation on our 10 bbl system. It's a great way to evaluate new hops, grains, and yeast strains that you want to try. It just sucks to do the same amount of work for 10 gallons as 10 bbls.
    Linus Hall
    Yazoo Brewing
    Nashville, TN
    [url]www.yazoobrew.com[/url]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    258

    small brews/pilot brews/homebrew

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Horwitz
    lots of reasons why...if you don't understand any of them you aren't ready for a brewery or a pilot system. Read up my friend. Understanding is the key to better beer.

    The short list

    Color changes
    Bitterness changes
    evap changes
    Heat transfer (in general and situational)
    Trub formation and settling

    Learn your big system and stick with it. Small batches are for homebrewers.

    I agree with Larry, it is really hard to duplicate from a small "homebrew system" to the size you are planning to brew. Larry correctly point out a short list of changes that can and will happened. Through this changes, you will have NOTICEABLE changes in flavor.
    I recommend to join the MBAA and get the TQ and have access to the
    online papers you can learn from.
    Happy Brewing
    Fred

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Saint John, New Brunswick
    Posts
    9

    Thanks

    Hello,

    Thanks for the advise guys, I am definitely going to keep reading. I am also hoping to get on with the local brewpub for some experience.

    Cheers
    Jamie

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    FEOI
    More beer no longer makes the 40 gallon or 3bbl systems. I just talked to their sales rep.
    Also I talked w/ Yvon at stainless and he was VERY nice and helpful. As most will know a brand new custom stainless brewhouse like stainless will produce, even at the 1bbl to 2bbl range will be expensive. So many variables involved with how expensive of course.

    matt g

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Taos, NM USA
    Posts
    341
    In some regards, isn't 10 gallon batches a scale up option to keep? Even as a hop breeder, I need small batch ability. I can change the hops, malt, yeast, methods, water, etc... for 3 batches per day with one person. I see differences often and for not much $- and I need to know the differences. As a hop breeder, if I have only 5-10# of a new variety with wonderful qualities/aromas, who's to use it and see how it brews if not for small batch capabilities? I look for a local brewer that can use all 5-10# of a unique new hop in one batch- and that's small! I have alot of varieties. I can't get a new variety to a brewer that needs 100# of hops per batch- yet. And so larger brewers will never know that new varieties of hops can provide new answers- only the small scale brewer with roots in 10 gallon batches. Those folks help me learn what variety of hops to focus on the next year. And who would ever try a 10bbl batch of New Mexico Chico Ale without trying the 10 gallon batch first?
    And I do wish I had a larger system to brew with- it's just the cost of it and.......I'm busy growing......hops.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    126
    If anyone is interested in building a gas-fired pilot system fairly inexpensively without having to weld, may I suggest consideration for commercial kitchen stockpot ranges and the new Blichmann Boilermaker brewing kettles. You will have to design your own connectivity but that's not very hard to do with all the available products in the homebrew industry. If you are looking for a RIMS/HERMS system, it will get a lot more involved, but there are plenty of resources for that as well....just google "Brutus 10" for an example. I'd imagine having a system like this at a brewery would be a great cure for boredom among brewers, and an inspiration for seasonals or adding beers to your repetoire.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    West Chester, PA
    Posts
    393
    Bored? Who's bored?
    Larry Horwitz

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    38

    Brutus 10

    That Brutus 10 is darn similar to mine (link above.) Though now that I brew in 10hl size, I don't find much time to use the pilot. That said, it was great for perfecting the recipes that I later scaled up and launched as house brews...

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