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3 Vessel Brewhouse with Combined Mash Tun/Kettle

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  • 3 Vessel Brewhouse with Combined Mash Tun/Kettle

    Has anyone seen a 3 vessel set up with a combined mash mixer/kettle, dedicated LT, and dedicated WP? The way I'm envisioning it, it would be the same as a 2 vessel system that has a combined mash tun/kettle/whirlpool and dedicated lauter tun, but you'd separate the WP. I feel like it would give you the best traits of each of the standard 3 vessel options. You'd get a dedicated whirlpool and still maintain the ability to control your mash. It should give a slightly better turn time than the combined kettle/WP and should also be a bit cheaper because of the dedicated WP.

    Anyone seen this or see anything obvious that I'm missing?


  • #2
    Mash Mixer/Kettle

    Contact Hofbrauhaus in Newport Kentucky, it is a Beraplan System with the Mash Mixer/Kettle with separate Lauter.

    Rebel Malting Co.
    Reno, Nevada USA


    • #3
      Thanks, Lance, I'll get in touch with them.

      Ray, I think you misunderstand. It'd be:

      Vessel 1: steam jacketed mash mixer/kettle
      Vessel 2: lauter tun
      Vessel 3: whirlpool

      The process would go from vessel 1 to vessel 2, back to vessel 1, then to vessel 3.


      • #4
        The idea of going from one vessel to another then back to the first one is not a very efficient one. Considering our process is linear, mash->lauter->boil->whirlpool, it would make sense from an efficiency standpoint to make sure the product flows in the same manner. If you look at the time required for each step, the whirlpool is the shortest, and makes the most sense to combine into another vessel. If you boil in your mash tun, then you can't mash in another batch until your boil is finished, which means you cant do concurrent batches. For a three vessel, the best way to do it would be mash->lauter->kettle/wp. If you are not wanting to do more than one batch in a day in under 10 hours, then a combined mash tun/kettle would work. I have done lean analysis on the brewing process, and having a mash tun, lauter tun, kettle/wp is the most efficient way to brew short of a 5 vessel brewhouse.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jebzter View Post
          [...] If you look at the time required for each step, the whirlpool is the shortest, and makes the most sense to combine into another vessel. [...]
          Is that still true if you include time for chilling? On a small scale, it seems like the time to go from 200F to 70F isn't significant, but on a larger system, I assumed the dedicated whirlpool was so that you have time to chill. Otherwise, where does the wort sit while chilling? It seems like boil time is roughly equivalent to whirlpool plus chilling, so you can begin running your second mash to the kettle right away. Or am I missing something here?

          I'm also wondering if most people whirlpool, let the cone form, and then run through a HX to the fermenter, or if anyone chills while whirlpooling so most of the cold break remains in the kettle. I've only tried the second approach on a small scale. I'd guess that knockout would take a lot longer, because the delta-T between the hot and cold side of the first stage of the HX decreases, but maybe it's not significant if using a 2 stage HX (e.g. chill the whirlpool part way with a tube-and-shell, then to the fermenter through a plate-and-frame HX).

          Last edited by rdcpro; 04-05-2016, 07:38 PM. Reason: clarification


          • #6
            We chill after whirlpooling, which is common, the time to do it is very short as well. We go from 200F-70F in 30 minutes, using only city water through a two stage HX, it is on a 10bbl system. It wouldnt be too difficult to recirc with the HX back to the kettle to bring the temp down, but since the kettle is essentially an open vessel, I wouldn't want to go below pasteurization temps for very long to make sure we don't bring any infections to the mix.


            • #7
              Thanks for the replies. Whether or not the process is linear from vessel to vessel shouldn't matter as long as the whole process is quicker. The boil kettle is already the long pole in the tent because it's occupied during the entire lauter process plus the boiling. Adding whirlpool and cooling time to that vessel means that the residence time of that one vessel will generally be longer than the other two combined (even if your cooling time is only 30 min, which is half the industry average). I'm not saying that separating the boil kettle and whirlpool like I suggest will necessarily decrease your turn time. I've graphed it out numerous ways. If you're cooling time is only 30 minutes, then my process might end up being a little longer, but if your cooling time is 60 min, it ends up being a little shorter. Not a huge difference, though--like 15 minutes. The bigger advantages are having a whirlpool that's designed to be a whirlpool with the appropriate aspect ratio/bottom slant and the cost savings since whirlpool is the cheapest vessel.

              I was able to confirm with Hofbrauhaus in Newport that this is the system that they use. Thanks, Lance.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ray Lee
                It is perhaps not mash/kettle + whirlpool combined. I am a little confused of the heating for kettle.
                The combined three vessels are usually mash/kettle in one tank, lauter+whirlpool combined in one tank;
                Or mash/lauter + HLT combined in one tank, kettle /whirlpool in one tank.
                The more the tank, the better the brewing. It is a balance to get something and lose something.

                Ray Lee for craftbreweryequipment dot com
                The more the tank, the better the brewing?
                Why German 's only two vessel?


                • #9
                  Hi everyone! Greetings from Istanbul, Turkey.

                  We are Graf Craft Beers, a contract brewing company who brew their beers in various locations in Belgium. Now that we saw what pro brewing and the marketing of beer is all about, we are also planning on building a brewhouse. A 20hL (roughly 17bbl) system with three vessels.

                  A friend of ours just installed a similar capacity brewhouse, also in Istanbul with (M+BK), (L), (W). He is saying that with this setup, he should be able to do 3 batches in 10.5 hours. The boil kettle will have rakes in it to make sure the thick mash is heated properly. What makes me uncomfortable with this design (some call it the German type) is that the mash tun will not be available for at least 2 hours. (half an hour Lauter + 1.5 hours of Boiling).

                  The alternative is (M), (L), (BK+W). Here, the bottleneck on the flow is the whirlpooling, which definitely will not take 2 hours While this seems to be more popular in US, but here my concern is the efficiency of whirlpool working in a smaller diameter. And the surface of a dedicated whirlpool is designed in such a way that you do not agitate the thrub and get all the good stuff without any loss. A combined (BK+W) will not be able to provide that.

                  The last is (M+L), (BK), (W). I am hesitant on this, since the mashing process is very important for us for our lagers - we might need step mashing processes later on. Maybe a design with heaters on (M+L) would solve the problem, but I haven't seen any so far.

                  Any recommendations, especially from the ones who have experiences with similar equipments is highly apprecited.

                  Best regards,


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dannyewarner View Post
                    Thanks, Lance, I'll get in touch with them.

                    Ray, I think you misunderstand. It'd be:

                    Vessel 1: steam jacketed mash mixer/kettle
                    Vessel 2: lauter tun
                    Vessel 3: whirlpool

                    The process would go from vessel 1 to vessel 2, back to vessel 1, then to vessel 3.

                    We made this kind system before,please PM me if you are interested in it,then I will send the drawing for you to view.

                    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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