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Thread: Minimum equipment investment for 3.5 or 7BBL system

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    4

    Minimum equipment investment for 3.5 or 7BBL system

    Hi, I'm looking at a potential Nano / tasting room set-up with some retail frontage. Most of my volume will be contract so this will be for R&D, brand exposure and tasting.

    I am thinking about a 3.5 or 7bbl set-up. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts about minimum equipment investment. Obviously this is a pretty ambiguous question, but I'm trying to size it up right now so any ballpark guestimates are welcome.

    On my radar:
    Mash Tun
    Boiler
    2x Fermenter
    Brite tank
    Glycol setup
    HWT
    Pumps, Hoses
    Sinks
    Gas boiler vent
    Walk-in refer

    What i will worry about later is on-site work like floor drains, electrical, taps, seating, etc.

    Thanks! Again any help much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Chestertown, Maryland
    Posts
    459
    If you're looking at contract brews, definitely consider a 7+bbl system if that's what you plan to use for that purpose. I don't see how a company can plan to make a profit on a smaller system than that... the only way our 3bbl purchase has made financial sense is planning to stay out of distribution altogether and focus on sales in our tasting room.
    Kevin Shertz
    Chester River Brewing Company
    Chestertown, MD

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    4
    No- I will contract out the majority of my volume to a contract brewery that is much bigger. The nano will be for tasting room, R&D, smaller batch styles. If that makes sense. I am still leaning 7Bbl however.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leadville, CO
    Posts
    256
    If you have two fermenters, your system is grossly oversized. How much beer do you plan to sell in the taproom? (Bear in mind that it will probably be less expensive to buy kegs from the production brewery for those beers.) A 7 bbl system with serving tanks can easily move 1500 bbl/year. That's really too big to be a practical pilot system though. Even on a 3.5 bbl batch you're looking at dumping a thousand dollars' worth of ingredients/labor if something doesn't sell.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    4
    That's a good point. At 3.5bbl i could still put out 7 kegs / brew cycle for limited / seasonal while leaving the higher volume labels to contractor.

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