From homebrew to brewhouse
I'm working on converting a few homebrew recipes for use in a microbrewery, for the purpose of placing my first wholesale ingredients order. From what I've read, I expect to be able to pretty much run a straight ratio when it comes to grist. My homebrew efficiency has always been pretty good, and close to what I expect to get at the micro level.
It's the hops I'm not sure about. I know that as you step up in volume, you tend to get better utilization. Are there any standard conversion numbers I can use to estimate how much hops I'll need? We'll be boiling seven barrels at a time.
Cabin Fever Craft Beer Co.
Whenever I wanted to scale up a 5 gallon recipe to 7 bbls, instead of trying to calculate my hops based on the smaller batch, I'd estimate what kind of IBUs I was looking to get and calculated based on 7 bbl recipes I already had.
Of course, it helps to have some 7 bbl recipes to work with! Fortunately, other brewers were usually happy to pass on some guidelines...
Be cautious, I don't agree with the linear scale up of grist. Depends on your recipe and what you are doing but in my opinion and experience, nothing scales linear from homebrew to large scale. Be careful with your specialty malts, crystal, choco, roast, ect. These don't scale linear in my experience.
As for effeciency, there are too many variables so you will figure that one out after the first few brews and adjust your recipes accordingly.
I did this a few months ago when we opened our brewery. Were 7 BBL also. I scaled up using IBU calcs. The trickey part is when you start dry hoping if you are? For more specifics email me.
you need to determine your brewhouse efficiency to really hit your targets. It's the "key to the vault" when formulating a beer, IMHO. As for the hops, I agree with the post above, determine your target IBUs and go from there. Having been a homebrewer, I quickly realized there was no way to accurately "step up" my formulas without knowing the efficiency of my home system (usually they are very poor, 65% in some cases), or the percentages of malts used in the grist a.w.a. the O.G./A.A., etc.). As you brew professionally in the years to come, you will probably adapt to thigs being this way, and will be able to reproduce your favorie "homebrew memory" beers because you will know your system inside and out, as well as the yeast strains you use.
Last edited by mr.jay; 10-23-2006 at 03:39 PM.
Reason: forgot something