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Thread: Things to ask/know regarding gas and water?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Things to ask/know regarding gas and water?

    So there's a lot of talk around here about power requirements, but I can't really find anything on gas and water?

    In looking for a space for a small nano (>2bbl), what types of things should I be looking for and/or questions asking regarding the gas and water in the space?

    Should I be looking for lines of a certain diameter and such?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Solon, IA


    Your requirements for power and water are dependent on your Brewhouse setup. For power, look at the equipment you have, and whether or not you have access to three phase power. That will determine your amperage requirements.

    As to water, your total water calculation should show a yearly consumption of 4 to 7 times your output. Your peak water consumption will be a blend of top Brewhouse use plus as many vessels you want to clean, and how quickly you want to fill you holding vessels (hlt, clt, kettle, etc).

    My two cents is that you want to get the largest water line possible off of the main. Your time will be limited, and it would be best to reduce it whenever possible (fill times included). Go one inch if you can.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I assume you mean nano (<2bbl) not >2bbl, right?

    I have a 1.6 bbl system, we're about two years in and I would say you really don't have any special needs, nothing that most light industrial spaces come already equipped with.

    For water, we have a 1/2" line from the wall and it's plenty. Strike water is heated off my Noritz tankless right to strike temps.

    For gas, although there is natural gas to the space, I use propane for the burner (both the tankless HWH and the main kettle burner). I got a 'friends and family' deal from the local propane dealer so my propane costs are manageable.

    For power - no need for three phase unless you have some specific need, but with a proper panel and 20a breakers, I run all the brewhouse pumps (2), two a/c units on the fermentation rooms, the 13x9 cold room chill unit, an ice machine, two commercial refeers (one for hops, the other for small fermenters), the WiFi, two laptops, two printers, a Keurig coffee machine, a shredder...well, you get the idea.

    Like I said, just make sure you've got your basic light industrial space. You will be good to go.

    Don't forget to check out my blog for more details.

    Mike Hess
    Mike Hess Brewing Co., LLC
    Back to Back World Beer Cup Gold Award winners
    (Rye and Kolsch)
    est 2010

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I agree with Mike. We're opening a 5BBL brewery this year, and I spent a long time working through the power requirements. You need to detail out the exact needs of your brewery, in terms of natural gas and electricity. 3 phase is an amazing benefit to have, but you can work around it if not. Adding up the amp requirements of all of your system is necessary - glycol chillers, cold room chiller, dishwasher, pump etc. - it can add up quickly. You have to design your brewery, source the equipment and work it out.

    Natural gas is another resource that quickly adds up. You need to know BTUs and the pressure requirements (inches water column) of your brewery, and see if the city supply can meet it. Include space heaters, water heaters, and of course the brewhouse. We had to expand our gas meter to meet our new demand requirements - luckily the pressure was sufficient, but if it wasn't that would have been a $10K investment.

    My advice - piece together your exact brewery equipment before you find a space. You'll know exactly the power requirements you need then, and are in a good position to know the appropriate location when you see it.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    thanks everyone!!

    in terms of the natural gas... what's the question i ask of the owner of the space? is it what the pressure rating is... or line diameter??

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    You'd need to know the BTUs capacity of the meter to your unit. Any existing uses of the space - such as space heaters - the landlord should tell you too. The city / gas company will know the pressure supplied to your unit, and unless you're putting in a massive burner system you'll be OK on pressure, generally.

    To give you an idea - Our unit had an existing 360K BTU meter, but the existing space heater was a 225K BTU unit. Therefore we only had 135K to play with, and one on demand water heater took 199K BTUs.

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