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Max Theoretical Output of 7 bbl system

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  • Max Theoretical Output of 7 bbl system

    Hey group,

    Very new to the forum and just as new to the brewing community... other than as a consumer. So I'm sure I will have the most rookie questions you'll ever read, so I fully expect hazing as part of the initiation process. Just a preface.

    I'm working for a group that is looking into buying an established brewery. I wont be heading up the production process but I'm doing my own research as I'm in charge of doing the financial projections and opportunity within the system currently in place at the brewery. The number I cant seem to find a straightforward answer for on any of these forums is this:

    What is the max theoretical output, annually, for a 7 bb system. I know there's a lot of factors, but if you brewed nonstop with no issues, assuming all ales? (if you have an algorithm that I can factor in % of lager and ale, even better)

    An equation would be great. I know there is data out there, but the equations with the variables I've been giving are short of what the brewery is currently producing, without even maximizing output.

    Let me know what you've got.

  • #2
    In simplistic terms, you need to calculate your fermentation capacity. So let's say you are making ales that take 2 weeks. For one 7 Bbl fermentor, you can produce 7 bbls X (52 Weeks in a year)/(2 week turn) = 182 Bbls. This doesn't take into account seasonality, but rather gives you a maximum capacity.


    • #3
      Wrong question...

      You could (theoretically) brew 24/7 with a fast brewlength and fill dozens of fermenters--regardless of ales vs. lagers. 6 brews per day puts your theoretical output to 1,260bbl/month. But theoretical answers are not very realistic. The question you might want to ask is how many fermenters do I need for a certain output. Then you need the turnaround on a fermenter. This is when ales vs. lagers comes into play. Maybe 14 day turnaround on ales; 30 day turnaround on lagers. Maybe you buy double-size fermenters. So one fermenter would yield 28bbl/month ale and another would yield 14bbl/month lager.
      Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--


      • #4
        I run a brewery with 3bbl system and have been pretty busy since opening our doors in Oct 2020, we brewed 116 batches last year for an approximate 359.6 taxable barrels of volume. We brew ales and lagers, also seltzer and have a barrel program. Some weeks you will brew everyday, some weeks you'll brew once. We are exponentially busier in the Summer, in fact we brew double our late winter/spring volume between June-August. Then we are crazy busy in the winter (ski town). Are you in a city? Town with season fluctuations? If you give me more input I can probably give you a good estimate.


        • #5
          SO many variables...
          The real question is: how much beer can you sell? Or *need* to sell to cash flow.
          Finished beer has to go somewhere, whether it's cans, bottles, kegs or serving tanks. You can brew nonstop but eventually you'll be full up, and if you're not selling it all quickly, you'll have old beer and red ink...
          Figure your cash flow need, put in some slop and back into that volume required with the "right sized" cellar and packaging scenario, and get selling! Your reality may vary...
          Best wishes!