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Brewery Layout, Equipment, and Glycol Advise

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  • Brewery Layout, Equipment, and Glycol Advise

    I am opening a brewery in the late Spring and am in the middle making the important initial equipment decisions and layout choices. We have a 7bbl brew house with a 15bbl HLT and possible 15bbl CLT. The initial plan also includes 9 7bbl uni-tanks in which we will be serving off of 6 at any given time. Do to a low ceiling height we have no choice but to run the brew house in the center of the floor plan. Click image for larger version

Name:	Floor Plan jpeg.jpg
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ID:	194678The questions I am currently having our the choice to serve off tanks vs kegs and the glycol load that having this amount of serving tanks will equal to. I'm concerned that this could make the glycol system cost prohibitive and it's one of the main reasons for the jacketed CLT. Also we are running an RO system so the CLT will provide quick water to the HLT for double batching either direct from the CLT or from the heat exchanger during chilling. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Glycol Unit

    Yes the Glycol unit is the "Hog" of the power supply. However if you factor in keg purchasing, Labor and Cleaning of these kegs the glycol unit will make sense. Whats going to chill the CLT?
    Serve from the tanks and make extra money distributing your beer in the kegs not tied up serving your patrons. Besides you are going to have to invest in building or purchasing a keg washer anyhow, unless you go with the side bung kegs. The brewery business if fun and expensive all the time.

    Rebel Malting Co
    Reno, Nevada USA
    Last edited by nohandslance; 12-18-2016, 03:43 AM.


    • #3
      You better get your federal application turned in. We are at 7 months waiting on ours.

      Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk


      • #4
        You really only need a double sized CLT/HLT if you are doing multiple batches per day. With 9 FVs and only 3 in active fermentation, you won't be brewing all that often. That will save you a little more room in the brewhouse. May even be able to stack the HLT on top of the CLT. Make a little more room for another ferm maybe.

        I would look for one of the turn key type brewhouses where the MT is stacked over the HLT and set on its own skid. You probably don't need a CLT for a 7 bbl system in CT as long as you have a decently sized glycol reservoir. With the space savings from that config, you could probably squeeze in a 15 bbl ferm and BT for keg beers for distribution or higher volume.
        Last edited by Todd Hicks; 12-18-2016, 10:45 AM.
        Todd G Hicks
        BeerDenizen Brewing Services


        • #5
          Unless your municipal water is really warm you should not need a CLT to chill the wort. Saves some space. Serving tanks saves a lot of time and money, but offers less flexibility than kegs. If you ever want to distribute you need kegs. It all comes down to what you want to do and how(/if you wish to grow your brewery.
          Marius Graff,
          Head Brewer, Graff Brygghus
          Tromsø, Norway


          • #6
            Thanks for all your replies and advice!

            Sizing down to a 7bbl CLT makes sense if we go that route. We are planning on using glycol to chill the CLT, using this in the heat exchanger and emptying from the heat exchanger into the HLT if that makes sense. (all of this being RO water blended to approx 30ppm so as to not be corrosive to the stainless). Todd, One big reason for the CLT is that all our uni-tanks makes me nervous about just using the glycol to chill. Seems like me would need a pretty large reservoir to handle the load without affecting the temp of the glycol or uni-tanks in the process of heat exchange. Perhaps I'm over thinking this a bit?

            We are also planning on leasing some kegs for some very limited distro as well as having the option to empty a tank if needed to avoid any bottle necks. The ability to double batch is on our radar so we may up two uni-tanks to 15bbl.


            • #7
              If you must use RO water, then you have to have a reservoir somewhere - might as well be your CLT. It is still desirable to have a double stage HX with the first stage from the CLT and second stage run from glycol to deep chill, but is not absolutely necessary. That won't hit the glycol too much. No HX should only use glycol, ever. A couple of 15 bbl fermenters will go a long way for you.

              Leasing kegs is never equitable. There are plenty of used kegs always for sale on this board to handle your tap room excesses. Especially when there is only a barrel of beer left in a serving tank and you want to move the new batch into it. It looks bad to run out of beer in a brewery on Friday evening.

              Sounds like to came to the right place for opinions and are well on your way. Have fun.
              Todd G Hicks
              BeerDenizen Brewing Services


              • #8
                One thing that comes to mind is door sizing, especially for your walk in. It looks like it is drawn for standard size doors. If you are putting kegs (or tanks) in the cold room, you would want larger doors so that you can fit a pallet jack/stacker or your largest anticipated tank through the door. No one wants to hand move full kegs through the door, or rip apart the cold room to add or remove tanks.
                Brandon Besser, P.E.
                "He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom" - Gandalf


                • #9
                  What is wrong with your local water that you need RO? Are you going to rebuild your water to a specific profile for each beer, and if so do you have a brewer with the knowledge to do this properly? Adding a few PPM of something to RO to keep it from eating the tank is not going to result in water that will make great beer. Often when I see someone start talking about brewing with RO water they are doing it because they think it is better without really knowing why or knowing how to properly build it back up into good brewing water. Unless your water is really bad you shouldn't need to start from 100% RO, even if your water is very hard you can still just dilute with RO to bring the mineral level down a bit. If you are worried about cost of a chiller, keep in mind that a large RO system can be very expensive too.

                  It seems like a lot of less experienced brewers start worrying about water chemistry when they should still be concentrating on getting a solid grasp of other, less subtle aspects of the process. Don't be one of those guys who is worrying about the chloride/sulfate ratio of his water when he should be worried about yeast health and formulating a decent recipe. Disregard if you know what you are doing and this sounds condescending, its just that there are a lot of startups with little experience and sometimes misplaced priorities these days.

                  Also, 9 unitanks does seem like a really inelegant solution, even if you are serving everything in house. Either kegging or switching to single walled serving vessels that you keep in the walkin would be better. unjacketed serving tanks would be cheaper and reduce the demand on the chiller. Perhaps 4 serving tanks for core brands and kegging for one offs and seasonals? You really should consider having more than six taps as well. Saavy beer consumers like variety and if you only have six beers on with little rotation, they are going to get bored with you quickly and may come to see you as a lesser brewery compared to other, more interesting options.
                  Last edited by nickfl; 12-20-2016, 10:50 AM.