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  • Unitank vs. Bright Tank?

    Hello out there, looking for some input...we are in the fortunate position of working on an expansion right now, moving into a 7 BBL system from a 1 BBL, but I have been in a dilemma on determining my tank order. I was originally going to go with 3 fermenters and 1 bright tank (all jacketed), but I discovered from the manufacturer that the fermenters will hold the same pressure as the bright tanks. I find my self thinking why not just get 4 fermenters and dedicate a fermenter as a bright tank? For future flexibility, it seems to make more sense to have a tank that has a dual purpose? The price is also about the exact same...Am I missing something? Feels like an obvious choice to me, but this is a new frontier for us and I wanted to seek some advice from this great forum...thanks in advance!

    CHEERS!

    Scott Witsoe
    Owner/Brewer/Dreamer
    Wit's End Brewing Company LLC
    “Slow Beer for Fast Times…”
    www.witsendbrewing.com

  • #2
    With a Brite Tank, you're implying post-fermentation/filtration for many styles.

    I guess it would be if you intend to transfer to them from primary (and consider the vessel secondary) or trying to do it all in one tank and move directly to packaging from there.

    Personally, I associate BBTs with post-fermentation and racking off from a majority of the yeast sediment and (possibly) going through filtration depending on the style of beer in addition to tweaking the volumes of CO2 beyond what a Spunding will give you.
    Kevin Shertz
    Chester River Brewing Company
    Chestertown, MD

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    • #3
      7bbl Uni-tank

      Originally posted by WitsEndBrewing View Post
      Hello out there, looking for some input...we are in the fortunate position of working on an expansion right now, moving into a 7 BBL system from a 1 BBL, but I have been in a dilemma on determining my tank order. I was originally going to go with 3 fermenters and 1 bright tank (all jacketed), but I discovered from the manufacturer that the fermenters will hold the same pressure as the bright tanks. I find my self thinking why not just get 4 fermenters and dedicate a fermenter as a bright tank? For future flexibility, it seems to make more sense to have a tank that has a dual purpose? The price is also about the exact same...Am I missing something? Feels like an obvious choice to me, but this is a new frontier for us and I wanted to seek some advice from this great forum...thanks in advance!

      CHEERS!

      Scott Witsoe
      Owner/Brewer/Dreamer
      Wit's End Brewing Company LLC
      “Slow Beer for Fast Times…”
      www.witsendbrewing.com
      Hello,Scott

      Do you need 7bbl unitank?
      May I know your email?
      We can quote you....
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      Gavin

      Please E-mail me at any time

      We Specialize In Designing And Fabricating High Quality Tanks/Equipments For The Brewing Industry!

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      sungoodmachinery@vip.163.com
      gavin@sungoodmachinery.com

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      Great Quality,Affordable Prices,24hours After-sales Service!
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      • #4
        I am running my two fermenters as true unitanks. We run two week cycles; ferment warm for about a week, cold condition carbonate and package for the remainder. A carbonation stone is mounted in each tank. It gets the job done, however, I am looking forward to having a bright tank in the future. Jerry

        Une Année Brewery
        uneannee.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ChesterBrew View Post
          With a Brite Tank, you're implying post-fermentation/filtration for many styles.

          I guess it would be if you intend to transfer to them from primary (and consider the vessel secondary) or trying to do it all in one tank and move directly to packaging from there.

          Personally, I associate BBTs with post-fermentation and racking off from a majority of the yeast sediment and (possibly) going through filtration depending on the style of beer in addition to tweaking the volumes of CO2 beyond what a Spunding will give you.
          Thanks for the reply, the flow I had in mind was to do primary and secondary in one vessel, then transfer to the BBT (or in this possible case a fermenter), for carbonation and conditioning before kegging. I will not be filtering. Again, my thought is why not have a fermenter acting as a BBT? Is there something about a dish bottom that is better? Thanks again...

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey Scott! Hurrah on the new brew system!

            I was thinking the same thing when we bought our three seven barrels. The problem for us is... it never works out with our brewing schedules. We would not be making nearly enough beer if we had to have one empty fermenter to rack into when another beer is done. We are still using a manifold on a c02 tank overnight to carb our kegs, but we are looking into getting a brite. The post above is also correct in the volumes of beer. After dumping 10-15 gallons of trub, it gets hard to tell what you actually have in the fermenter, and it can also make it a real nail-biter when you are adding any kind of extra adjuncts post fermentation.

            When you look at it on paper, it doesn't make sense, I agree. But when you have everything in, I think you would be glad you had 3 fermenters and a brite instead of 4 fermenters.

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            • #7
              Hey guys, great thread!

              This is still the area where I am having a tough time making a decision. We were initially planning on just doing 3x Uni's, but now I'm leaning toward adding 1x BBT in addition to these. It seems that it would be the best long term solution to have this from the beginning and would prevent us from having to add anything to our system for the first 1.5 to 2 years of operation. If anyone could provide any thoughts on this, it would be greatly appreciated! Please note that we are also not filtering our beer and will be focusing on strictly Ales.

              Also, I was hoping that WitsEndBrewing would be interested in giving an update on what they decided as far as having the BBT instead of the Uni?

              Thanks everyone!

              Andrew
              Last edited by MacatawaAleCo; 04-10-2014, 06:33 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by atwest87 View Post
                Hey guys, great thread!

                This is still the area where I am having a tough time making a decision. We were initially planning on just doing 3x Uni's, but now I'm leaning toward adding 1x BBT in addition to these. It seems that it would be the best long term solution to have this from the beginning and would prevent us from having to add anything to our system for the first 1.5 to 2 years of operation. If anyone could provide any thoughts on this, it would be greatly appreciated! Please note that we are also not filtering our beer and will be focusing on strictly Ales.

                Also, I was hoping that WitsEndBrewing would be interested in giving an update on what they decided as far as having the BBT instead of the Uni?

                Thanks everyone!

                Andrew
                Hey Andrew, I elected to go with four jacketed 7BBL unitank fermenters, no brites (per se). My intent is to dedicate one of these tanks as a "brite" for now and figure the rest out later if I am lucky enough to consider more equipment. I do not have the new system installed quite yet, but I will be sure to post my experience when everything is up and running...

                Cheers!
                Scott

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WitsEndBrewing View Post
                  Hey Andrew, I elected to go with four jacketed 7BBL unitank fermenters, no brites (per se). My intent is to dedicate one of these tanks as a "brite" for now and figure the rest out later if I am lucky enough to consider more equipment. I do not have the new system installed quite yet, but I will be sure to post my experience when everything is up and running...

                  Cheers!
                  Scott
                  Hello Scott,
                  My suggestion would have been to go with all unitanks also. I get what you are wanting to accomplish which is versatility. Having a brite tank is nice but when a budget gets in the way you should always go with your bang for your buck. If you are worried about tax determination then Jerry rig a sight glass to the tank. Have fun with those new unitanks when they arrive.

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                  • #10
                    A word on maintenance as well.

                    If you don't have one or more dedicated brites that you pay a lot of attention to, make sure you get high quality pressure gauges for all your tanks, and maintain, test and adjust them regularly. The tendency is towards using the gauges on FV's to answer the question "Is there pressure and can I open it safely yet? Yes/No." and not "Precisely how much pressure is in there?", because it doesn't really matter unless it's being used as a brite. (Beyond "Yikes! 20 psi and my VPRV hasn't gone off ?!? Vent that bomb immediately!!!", obviously.) So in the past we've made mistakes where we used an FV as a brite for one reason or another, but didn't double check the accuracy of the gauge on the tank. Wonky carbonation was our reward. :/
                    Russell Everett
                    Co-Founder / Head Brewer
                    Bainbridge Island Brewing
                    Bainbridge Island, WA

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great

                      Great insight guys, it is much appreciated!

                      I think we have decided on 3x 17 BBL Uni's in an effort to keep our cost down! It is just so nerve racking to try and commit to one or the other!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JNelson View Post
                        I am running my two fermenters as true unitanks. We run two week cycles; ferment warm for about a week, cold condition carbonate and package for the remainder. A carbonation stone is mounted in each tank. It gets the job done, however, I am looking forward to having a bright tank in the future. Jerry

                        Une Année Brewery
                        uneannee.com
                        Reviving an old thread here. If you're still lurking, you say it gets the job done. Not high praise for the setup -- what don't you like about it?

                        We currently have four 7bbl FVs and four 7bbl BTs (in our walk-in, along w/ kegs, servicing 8 taps in the brewpub). We're looking to add two 15 bbl FVs an use them as true unis. Also add two more 7bbl BTs (cannot fit 15 bbl BTs). Thought is to help service the taps and to give us packaging volume. Obvious disadvantages to this set up I'm overlooking?
                        Dave Cowie
                        Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
                        Nevada City, CA

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