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Fermenter Advice - Single or Double batches.

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  • Fermenter Advice - Single or Double batches.

    We are about to open a small brewery (1800 sq ft building) and I need some help buying the last fermenter. We previously had a small 2 bbl system and it was recently sold. A while back I purchased 1 x 3.5 bbl Uni Tank and 1 x 3.5 bbl Brite tank with the idea of doing doubles on the 2 bbl system but the plans changed.

    Last week I purchased a 7 bbl psychobrew brewhouse, along with 2 x 7 bbl Unis & 1 x 7 bbl brite tank . This brewhouse is really 2 x 3.5 bbl brewhouse. So it really isn't too bad that I already have purchased a new 3.5 bbl Uni and Brite tank. But I am spinning my wheels on this last purchase. I have the opportunity to get a used 3.5 bbl Uni and 3.5 bbl Brite tank from a local brewery at a fair price. Or I could just get another new 7 bbl Uni. The 2 used tanks are going to cost the same amount as 1 new Uni at double the capicity.

    7 BBL BrewHouse ( 2 x 3.5 BBL System)
    2 x 7 bbl Uni
    1 x 3.5 bbl Uni
    1 x 7 bbl Brite
    1 x 3.5 bbl Brite

    Doing the math, the numbers are pointing me towards getting a new 7 bbl Uni. However, I just want to ask for advice from others to make sure I am not missing something. The brewhouse being a psychobrew one really makes the decision a little tougher. In this situation, what would you do?

    Option 1: Would you get another 3.5 bbl Uni and 3.5 BBL Brite? This would allow me to brew two different types of beer at once. Kind of nice being a start up and I won't have a consistent line up right from the start. Then I could use one of the 3.5 bbl Brites as a serving tank for our best seller.

    Option 2: Would you get a new 7 bbl Uni and add 16% more to the capacity. This would prevent us from brewing two types of beer at once and mean that we would keg more often too by not having a serving tank. But it also means that I can get 16% more of a product available for sell.

    What would you do? Thanks in advance for any advice!

  • #2
    Go with the 7 bbl.

    We started as a 4 bbl system, over the past 2+ years we have upgraded most brewhouse equipment to 7 bbl. We sell nearly everything through the taproom. I still have two 4 bbl ferms and one 4 bbl brite for some small batches, but for the most part I do 7 bbl batches (Four 7 bbl fermenters and one 7 bbl brite). It is just a more efficient use of time and resources.

    I have brewed on a Psychobrew system at another brewery (4 bbl, but same principle, two 2 bbl batches), and see how you might want to do 2 different batches, but if you can do a single 7 bbl batch rather than 2 different 3.5 bbl batches you will save time on cleaning, transferring, packaging, etc, down the line.

    And if you want to do small batch you can always put a 3.5 bbl batch in a 7 bbl fermenter, but can't get a 7 bbl batch into a 3.5 bbl fermenter.

    You will eventually be moving towards 7 bbls, just get there now if you have the cash, ability, and space. I presume the footprint is about the same for either a 3.5 bbl or 7 bbl, there is just the height difference, so go big and tall.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by backslope; 05-22-2018, 11:40 PM.