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Thread: Dairy tanks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Lewistown, MT
    Posts
    7

    Dairy tanks

    Has anyone Made a brew house with dairy tanks?

    I am looking into maybe trying to make a brew house using dairy tanks but I'm not sure what all I need to put on it and how big of tanks I need. I am thinking a 7 bbl system. Does anyone have plans that they would be willing to share or any suggestions for me? I will buy all the fermenters and brite tanks new I just looking into making the brew house.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    55
    The thing about using dairy tanks is every system will inherently be different. You gotta figure out what you've got and what you need and modify as needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Lewistown, MT
    Posts
    7
    I dont have anything right now. Is there specific things I should look for? How many gallon tank would I need for the mash tun and boil kettle for a 7 bbl system?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    16
    My mash tun is a 200 gallon rectangular dairy tank, with false bottom fabricated from copper tubing with slits cut in it. My hot liquor tank is a 200 gallon round dairy tank (no heating element, just holds pre-heated water for sparging, and elevated on tall legs so I can use gravity for doughing-in and sparging), and my boil kettle is a 600 liter (about 158 gallon?) former wine fermenter. The MT and HLT are big enough for standard gravity 7 bbl batches, but I only do 4 bbl batches now since that is all I can get out of my kettle. The MT works great, but I have to shovel the grain out the top rather than rake it out of a manway. Hope to be upgrading to a 7 bbl kettle in the next year or so to get full capacity out of the MT.

    Buy and read the book "Brewery Operations Manual" by Tom Hennessy, it will answer a lot of your questions as you start up.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Lewistown, MT
    Posts
    7
    Thank you for your information! I just ordered Toms DVD Im not sure if that shows much on this or not. I may have to buy the book too! I am also looking into taking one of his classes in Denver. I think that would be a great class.

    Thank you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    7

    I built my own

    I built most of my brewery from old dairy tanks. The BK, MT, and HLT are the older style flip lid dairy tanks. They are rectangular, but work for my needs. I built a manifold for the MT and use a dairy agitator paddle for the BK. I have two fermenters that are the horizontal cylinder dairy tanks. I have two brites that are rental grundies, but I'm going to try and replace them with something else, we'll see what I get. Mash gets decent efficiency, you just have to build a really good manifold.

    Honestly, it's not a perfect system (I doubt there is a perfect system without spending the really big $$$), but it's functional and works for my needs. I've never raced another brewery with the same sized system to see if there's a difference in how long it takes to brew. I call it a 10bbl system, but it depends on the ABV of the beer being made; it'll do anywhere from 7bbls to 14bbls. I got creative and built the entire thing when I found several dairy tanks for sale for less than the price of a pallet of used 1/2 bbl kegs.i

    If you go this route, get a good chiller and a good pump and get to know your system really well. Get a pump that can clean your system properly - or else you're going to spend a lot of time cleaning...

    Also, become friends with your local food grade welder!
    Last edited by freysbrewing; 04-24-2017 at 07:08 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Culpeper, VA
    Posts
    15

    I used steel fermenters

    I used new wine fermenters as both BK and MT when I started.
    http://www.thevintnervault.com/produ...ting-Tank.html

    Had a coppersmith wrap the kettle in copper for looks. Wrapped the MT with wood slats. They were very pretty.
    Used a 6 burner hot plate for BK.
    http://www.equippers.com/patriot-gas.../par411112.asp

    BK would get 5 BBL to a boil in 2 hours (fired up as soon as sparge started, so ~60 min after sparge) Cost about $9 in NG for each brew including hot water.
    Built a PVC manifold for MT. Went ~70% efficient (the geometry is not efficient, too tall for width)

    Used Tankless HWH as HLT with Commercial controller so I can fill at 185 and sparge at 160.
    https://www.amazon.com/Rinnai-RL94iN.../dp/B0058DQLPW
    https://www.amazon.com/Rinnai-MCC-91...ial+controller

    With a Type 2 hood over BK my startup hot side 5BBL was ~$10k equipped and installed.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    19

    ?

    how do you use a dairy rank as a brew kettle ??

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    125

    CIP/Hot plate burners

    Quote Originally Posted by FarGohn View Post
    I used new wine fermenters as both BK and MT when I started.
    http://www.thevintnervault.com/produ...ting-Tank.html

    Had a coppersmith wrap the kettle in copper for looks. Wrapped the MT with wood slats. They were very pretty.
    Used a 6 burner hot plate for BK.
    http://www.equippers.com/patriot-gas.../par411112.asp

    BK would get 5 BBL to a boil in 2 hours (fired up as soon as sparge started, so ~60 min after sparge) Cost about $9 in NG for each brew including hot water.
    Built a PVC manifold for MT. Went ~70% efficient (the geometry is not efficient, too tall for width)

    Used Tankless HWH as HLT with Commercial controller so I can fill at 185 and sparge at 160.
    https://www.amazon.com/Rinnai-RL94iN.../dp/B0058DQLPW
    https://www.amazon.com/Rinnai-MCC-91...ial+controller

    With a Type 2 hood over BK my startup hot side 5BBL was ~$10k equipped and installed.
    Very cool and creative set up! How did you CIP your wine tanks? Did the hot plate burners hold up well and the stand strong enough for the weight of the full brew kettle? Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Culpeper, VA
    Posts
    15
    Had a tube steel stand welded that fit over hot plate for the kettle to stand on.
    No CIP. Extend handle scrubber and elbow grease. Every few brews lay it down on the floor, crawl inside and scrub completely.
    Mash tun had to be shoveled out from the top and wet vac out the last 6 inches.

    Worked great but took a bit of extra work every time. Did 100 brews on it without issue. Upgraded to 'real' equip late last year. Tangential and bottom drains are really nice. The beer is the same. Im happier.

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