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View Full Version : The right setup for a new brewery?



HBC2193
02-17-2015, 05:58 AM
Hello everyone,

I'm planning to open a 10bbl nano-brewery in my hometown. I have a building, we got our trademark, and funding for the equipment. Before I commit to a turn key purchase I was hoping for some insight regarding the right mix of equipment.

Our general concept is to serve as a downtown brewery, with tap room, and providing keg distribution to roughly 8-12 local business during the first year. No plans to bottle or can initially. To accomplish this I'm looking at a 10bbl, 2 vessel brewhouse (steam), with 4 10bbl jacketed fermentors, and 2 10bbl jacketed conditioning tanks. My plan is the brew once per week and keg off the conditioning tanks, then serve or distro using the kegs. The fermentors and and conditioning tanks will be on the tap room floor.

Where I begin to confuse myself is with the conditioning tanks. Will two work? Do I need four? Do I need any? Some have told me I can keg off the fermentors. Would it be best to get unitanks and ferm, condition and keg off these?

Open to your advise.

Steve

BeerBred
02-17-2015, 07:50 AM
I don't think a 10 bbl would be classified as a nano. With that setup, go with one bright with a carb stone and package off of that.

beermkr
02-17-2015, 08:10 AM
Your fermenters should absolutely be unitanks. Having the two brite tanks adds some flexability in your brewing schedule so if you are funded for it I would do it. The last brewery I built had five fermenters and five brites. We served everything from kegs so I used 3 brites as conditioning/settling tanks and two as carbonation tanks. Worked well and I pumped 80 batches through it in 6 months and was on a production upswing when I left.

Bainbridge
02-17-2015, 09:38 AM
We started with four 10's and a 10 brite. Within six months we'd ordered a new 20. Then another... So save room for easy expansion. Plan on it. Bigger glycol system than you need to start, bigger cold room, funding for more kegs, etc..

Two brites would be nice, but you're better off with 5 unis and a brite. Get an extra carb stone for a couple hundred bucks and you and use any one of the 5 unis as a second brite whenever you need to.

Depending on how many receptive businesses are near you 8-12 accounts might be underkill. (Is that even a word? Should be.) I think by year two we had more than 70, with two dozen being good, regular accounts.

NHBrewer23
02-17-2015, 10:58 AM
I'm not familiar with the space you have, but it seems like kegging every batch to serve in the taproom with limited distribution may be more work than it needs to be. Since the bulk of your business is going to be within the taproom, I would suggest serving from serving tanks/ bright tanks. If you have space for a large enough cooler, you could get away with using single-walled tanks with carbonation stones to serve from. Or spend the extra money on jacketed brights.

You are roughly looking at about 20-1/2's per batch/ per week. You will need enough kegs in inventory to keg-off an entire batch every week. That is a lot of time cleaning and filling kegs when a single CIP and transfer could be utilized. Not to mention the space the kegs will take up.

HBC2193
02-17-2015, 11:49 AM
Just so I understand, I can brew from the 10bbl brewhouse, ferment on our tap room floor with four 10bbl jacketed unitanks, transfer to a single 10bbl conditioning tank, then keg and condition the beer in the kegs for distort and serving. Correct?

Steve


I'm not familiar with the space you have, but it seems like kegging every batch to serve in the taproom with limited distribution may be more work than it needs to be. Since the bulk of your business is going to be within the taproom, I would suggest serving from serving tanks/ bright tanks. If you have space for a large enough cooler, you could get away with using single-walled tanks with carbonation stones to serve from. Or spend the extra money on jacketed brights.

You are roughly looking at about 20-1/2's per batch/ per week. You will need enough kegs in inventory to keg-off an entire batch every week. That is a lot of time cleaning and filling kegs when a single CIP and transfer could be utilized. Not to mention the space the kegs will take up.

beerguy1
02-17-2015, 02:14 PM
Just so I understand, I can brew from the 10bbl brewhouse, ferment on our tap room floor with four 10bbl jacketed unitanks, transfer to a single 10bbl conditioning tank, then keg and condition the beer in the kegs for distort and serving. Correct?

Steve
From what I see yes, that can be done. As was said earlier you will be going thru lots of kegs (assuming you are moving some beer in the tap room). Start saving your money for a larger conditioning tank that way you can move from fermenter to the conditioning tank with multiple brews. You will have lots to do with that set up but you are good to go.

Warriorcoach
02-17-2015, 05:21 PM
I am not a brewer, just an aspiring lurker. The OP's plan is very similar to what I have been kicking around on 3.5 or 7 bbl scale though. I can see what he feels. If he wants 7-10 beers on tap he can get by with having them in kegs instead of having 7-10 brites. More work but less start up expense, especially if leasing kegs, correct? As the business grows the OP can start to purchase brites to cut down on time and labor.

Floor Malted
02-17-2015, 10:53 PM
I am not a brewer, just an aspiring lurker. The OP's plan is very similar to what I have been kicking around on 3.5 or 7 bbl scale though. I can see what he feels. If he wants 7-10 beers on tap he can get by with having them in kegs instead of having 7-10 brites. More work but less start up expense, especially if leasing kegs, correct? As the business grows the OP can start to purchase brites to cut down on time and labor.

There are a couple breweries doing this in my area. It works but with more labor involved.