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Thread: # of FVs vs. BBTs?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    # of FVs vs. BBTs?

    I am opening a brewpub and am going back and forth on how many primary fermenters vs brite/conditioning tanks I will need. I do not want to operate like a normal brewpub, serving out of serving tanks, due to Georgia laws and regulations. I am going to keg everything. I would like to keg all my product due to cost and space. I factor I can purchase about 25 kegs for the price of 1 3.5bbl brite tank. (labor is less an issue than space) I can increase selection on tap when I push beer through a brite tank, is my thought.

    I understand how many brite tanks to have when I am using them as a serving tank, 1+ per style on draft. However, beer will only sit in a brite tank if it is being transfered into kegs for a few days, right? So, then ideally I will want more primaries than brites? If I start with 4 primary FVs and 2 brite tanks, I should be able to do about 6 batches in about 18-21 days, correct? Thank you for any input and advice on this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Denver, CO
    Most production breweries I have seen use 3-4 primary FVs per BBT because the beer is only in the BBT for a matter of a day or two before packaging. For my tasting room focused brewery (very similar to a brewpub in concept) I would want the opposite, 2-3 BBTs per fermenter because I serve the beer for 6-10 weeks from the "serving tank".

    Serving tanks are always more expensive per unit volume than kegs, but as you already stated require more labor. After a year of kegging all my beer for on-premise sales due to insufficient startup funds for serving tanks I am ready to not keg any beer served on-site but it takes awhile to save up the capital to purchase that many serving tanks.

    Are you the owner as well as the brewer? If you are paying someone else to do the brewing you will probably just have them work with kegs for a long time. When it's your own labor, trust me, you will switch to serving tanks exclusively over time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ex-Germany / California
    Plus consider if you have room in your walk-in for all kegs. Just sayin'.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Ok, thanks for that. I would have someone cleaning kegs, tanks, and facilities. I would handle the hotside for the most part and filling/transferring. I do plan on serving offsite, other restaurants in our chain, and also the local growler shops (Georgia has specific growler shops, pubs cannot sell growlers), so kegs will be necessary any way. I figure I could stack 2 rows of 3 high kegs. Ive seen it done in many bars here in Atlanta. You know the ones with 150+ beers on tap.

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