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Utility costs for a 15-barrel system

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  • Utility costs for a 15-barrel system

    I've had an extremely difficult time figuring out how much it costs to power a 15-barrel system. Are there any 15-barrel breweries out there that would be willing to share there utility costs/bills so I can get a better estimate of what my potential utility costs will be?

    Thank you very much!
    Founder, Half Full Brewery

  • #2
    Direct fired, steam (gas or oil) or electric (for wort/water heating)?

    Brewpub or production brewery? Cold storage in house or at distributor?

    Heated/Air conditioned facility? What size? Bottling line? Type, equipment details.

    Assumptions? (like volumes produced weekly/monthly/annually)

    Water can be an expense issue too depending on your locale.

    As can waste water. Your local municipality/authority can help with the last two which vary from locale to locale. Assume 8 volumes water consumed for every volume of beer produced (and consequently 7 volumes of waste water)


    Liam McKenna


    • #3
      Utility Costs

      I am in the same ballpark with a Brewpub very close to start work on, would appreciate more flesh on the bones of of this cost if others are willing to share.
      I am looking at a 10hl steam fired decoction sytem. 4 10hl Glycol fermenters and separate 5 10 hl BBT's in cold room. Small one off bottling line, keg washer, and gas heated building with air conditioning in Virginia. I am looking at 1 to 2 brew batches per week.
      2000 sq ft brewery and 4000 sq. ft. brewpub with about 900 sq. ft of that kitchen.
      Wolfgang's Brauhaus


      • #4
        Hey Liam,
        It would be a steam-fired production brewery, draft only, no cold storage, and I've already been told that utes come out to about $3/sq. ft annually (I'm waiting for a full year of utility bills to confirm). I'm estimating that production will average 2,500 per year over 5 years (upward trajectory from year 1 to 5 ). So, I'm just looking to somehow back out the cost of just the equipment (brewhouse, fermenters/BBT, keg cleaner, portable pump, filter...).


        PS. Already have the water in/out calculated and have a meeting with the water conservation director on Monday to make sure they'll allow it, crossing my fingers!


        • #5
          This paper here is all about energy consumption. It has a couple of good ratios in it. It is primarily relevant to larger breweries but there is a lot that smaller facilities can think about as well.

          Couple of years old now but regularly updated.

          My Canadian tax dollars at work. Works for me anyways.

          Here's a relevant quote for you:

          "In today's brewing industry, energy consumption values of 150 MJ/hL in energy (fuel) and 30 to 45 MJ/hL in electricity (totaling 180 to 195 MJ/hL) are considered low."
          We're at about 150 MJ/hL. Really hard to know for certain in a busy and large brewpub scenario. Too many assumptions involved and sharing of certain resources. I sense a few more meters of various sorts in my future...

          This paper gives you a pretty firm base for assumptions, I think. If you want to be really conservative, assume 250 MJ/hL (and about 5:1 ratio of fuel:electricity) and I think you'll be in the ballpark. You may think this is really high. It may be. Only your utility bills will prove it wrong.

          The alternative method is to calculate theoretical consumption by equipment (pumps, boilers, compressors) by their rated power consumption x hours/day operation, with a chunk thrown in for unforeseens. This will probably be low though.

          I'd love others to chime in on this.

          Best of luck,


          Liam McKenna