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Thread: Brewpub sizing constraints

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Vancouver
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    Brewpub sizing constraints

    Hello ProBrewers,

    I'm interested in opening up a brewpub but I've got a question about minimum space requirements/best use.

    Planning a 10HL(7BBL) direct fire brew system with 4 10HL Unitanks for fermenting and 1 10HL brite tank as serving tank. Planning for 5 taps, 1 tap is direct to brite tank and 4 taps to kegs in cold room.

    I estimated 10HL batch would fill 30~ pony kegs(30L kegs), is this normal? I feel this is a lot of space. Would getting more brite tanks be better/space saving?


    Planned initial brew schedule 3x per month. Fermenting and carbonating in unitanks.


    Currently looking for a space around 2,500-3,000 SF, with 4 taps I could possibly have 120 pony kegs at one time. How big of a cold room would you recommend? Will need space for hops/yeast as well.


    Please let me know if im missing an important step in the process.


    Thank you,

    Harry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mankato, MN
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    83
    You'd be much better off reducing the number of fermentors and increasing the number of serving tanks. You should be able to keep 5 taps full with 2-3 fermentors. 6 brite tanks would be ideal (5 on tap plus one as a backup for the tank that will empty first). You could also keg a partial tank to make room for the next beer.

    The way you have it currently set up, you are going to spend more time kegging and cleaning kegs than doing anything else.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
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    144
    We're a brewpub and have 21 house-brewed beers on tap at all times and also have a few "on deck." We have two walk-in coolers.

    Walk-in #1 (160 sq. ft.): Holds six brite tanks, three 5BBL and three 10BBL. This also has four keg stations for our center taps, so it holds a few kegs as well. This cooler also holds anything that needs refrigeration on the brewing side of things (yeast, etc.). We store our hops in a walk-in freezer.

    Walk-in #2 (250 sq. ft.): Holds all of our kegged and bottled beer.

    We have 144 1/2BBL kegs and 70 sixtels in circulation in the pub. We do not distribute.

    The brewing area is 900 sq. ft., but the walk-in cooler and freezer take up 270 sq. ft., so the net brewing area is 630 sq. ft. We have a 5BBL steam-heated brewhouse, a 10BBL HLT, an electric boiler, two 5BBL fermenters, two 10BBL fermenters, and one 10BBL brite for packaging in this area. It's a tight but efficient use of space.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don
    Idyllwild Brewpub

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leadville, CO
    Posts
    260
    Throwing in another anecdote... Similar-sized (7 bbl) brewpub with 3x 7bbl and 1x 15bbl FV. We have a 160 sqft walk-in with 5x 7bbl serving tanks and room for about another 10 bbl in kegs, double-stacked. Gives us 6-8 beers on tap. And 350 sqft for the brewhouse/FVs, plus off-site dry storage.
    Sent from my Microsoft Bob

    Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
    seanterrill.com/category/brewing | twomilebrewing.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Vancouver
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    2
    Thank you all, this helps tremendously.

    @dberg - Is the brite tanks in cold room or 24/7 glycol chilled in room temp?

    @idylldon - Nice brewpub! Looks like a great set up(i checked your website). How big is the total location space? Total occupancy seats? Where do you store kegs? Is there a dry storage space? Grain milling area? How big is the walk in freezer? With your 5bbl system, what is your brew schedule like?

    @a10t2 - Nice set up, all that in 350sf! Did you leave any extra space for adding new FV/BT expansions? Are your BT the single walled non glycol chilled? Did you do a pro vs con of serving tanks in cold room versus outside at room temp but glycol chilled? Is off-site dry storage just for kegs or including grain handling off site? Also how big is the total sf of location and how many seats in the customer areas? Also what is your brewing schedule like?


    Thanks again for giving me actual numbers, now i'm more hopeful getting a smaller space around 2,500SF. If the space allows, I can allot 900~ SF for brewhouse and cold storage(roughly 250SF).
    This leaves 1,600SF for bathrooms, maybe small office, and rest to customer lounge area. Say 200SF for bathrooms(2x) 200SF for miscellaneous. I'll have a 1,200SF lounge/tasting area with 92 seats.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryW View Post
    How big is the total location space?
    We have about 4000 sq. ft. total. 1800 of that is our covered and heated deck. As per the fire dept., we can seat 129, but I'm sure we blow past that on a regular basis, especially on the weekends. We have a small dry storage area where we store the empty kegs after they're cleaned. Grain mill is in its own small room (70 sq. ft.) that also houses our bulk CO2 tanks (two 750lb.) and our bottled gases. Walk-in freezer is 80 sq. ft. and it holds all of our hops and the frozen food for the kitchen. Brew schedule varies but we average about two brews a week.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don
    Last edited by idylldon; 08-09-2019 at 06:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leadville, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryW View Post
    @a10t2 - Nice set up, all that in 350sf! Did you leave any extra space for adding new FV/BT expansions? Are your BT the single walled non glycol chilled?
    No extra space at all as of now. The TDVs (legal term in the US) are single-wall and tall/skinny so we can fit five in line in the 11x15 ft walk-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryW View Post
    Did you do a pro vs con of serving tanks in cold room versus outside at room temp but glycol chilled?
    Very briefly; we're in a cold climate so a lot of the year we get free cooling just by cracking a window. An AC unit with a Coolbot controller is all we need in the summer (plus a couple extra inches of insulation in the walls - we're renovating anyway so it was an easy decision). Until we expand we're going to limp along with a nano-targeted 1.5 HP unit; in a warmer climate that wouldn't really be an option and the financial incentive might go the other way, but at this scale the Coolbot solution will probably cost less than the extra expense for jacketed tanks regardless (just my gut feeling, FWIW).

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryW View Post
    Is off-site dry storage just for kegs or including grain handling off site? Also how big is the total sf of location and how many seats in the customer areas? Also what is your brewing schedule like?
    The storage unit is mostly grain since we have such a small keg float (20 bbl) it's almost entirely for use in the pub. At present we're in 1300 sq ft total on-site with a 700 sq ft expansion planned that will add an HLT, another 15 bbl FV/BBT jacketed pair plus cold storage for kegs, kitchen/FOH storage, and other nice things. 38 seats inside (10 at the bar) in 500 sq ft including back bar. Roughly another 20 on the patio.
    Sent from my Microsoft Bob

    Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
    seanterrill.com/category/brewing | twomilebrewing.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Calmar Iowa U.S.A.
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    106
    Quote Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
    We have about 4000 sq. ft. total. 1800 of that is our covered and heated deck. As per the fire dept., we can seat 129, but I'm sure we blow past that on a regular basis, especially on the weekends. We have a small dry storage area where we store the empty kegs after they're cleaned. Grain mill is in its own small room (70 sq. ft.) that also houses our bulk CO2 tanks (two 750lb.) and our bottled gases. Walk-in freezer is 80 sq. ft. and it holds all of our hops and the frozen food for the kitchen. Brew schedule varies but we average about two brews a week.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don
    Hey Don. Just a friendly heads up, bulk co2 tanks should never be kept in a confined space. If there happens to be a leak or if a PRV pops due to excessive pressure that room can become a serious hazard quickly. And I'm sure OSHA would flip out if they saw them. We keep ours out back in a chain link cage for security purposes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Idyllwild, CA, USA
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    144
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Pivo View Post
    Hey Don. Just a friendly heads up, bulk co2 tanks should never be kept in a confined space. If there happens to be a leak or if a PRV pops due to excessive pressure that room can become a serious hazard quickly. And I'm sure OSHA would flip out if they saw them. We keep ours out back in a chain link cage for security purposes.
    I understand, which is why we have a CO2 monitoring alarm in the space (we also have them in the brewery proper and our walk-in cooler that houses the brite tanks) and the room is extremely well ventilated to the outside. The PRVs are also routed to the outside. The install was done by NuCO2, so I'm pretty confident it will pass an OSHA inspection.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Nevada City, CA
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    We have a 7bbl direct fired brewhouse with 4 7bbl and 2 15bbl FVs in 425sf. Our walk-in is about 192sf and has 6 7bbl serving tanks and kegs feeding the brewpub's 8 taps. We have about 23 bbl in kegs in our inventory, half of them out at accounts at any given time.. Grain is stored in a mezzanine area along with our mill and a couple in-series tankless water heaters. We do not have an HLT or CLT. We carb in the serving tanks. Total footprint is roughly 3200sf, the rest devoted to the restaurant. We have about 70 seats.
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    Dave Cowie
    Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company
    Nevada City, CA

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
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    237
    Quote Originally Posted by idylldon View Post
    We have about 4000 sq. ft. total. 1800 of that is our covered and heated deck. As per the fire dept., we can seat 129, but I'm sure we blow past that on a regular basis, especially on the weekends. We have a small dry storage area where we store the empty kegs after they're cleaned. Grain mill is in its own small room (70 sq. ft.) that also houses our bulk CO2 tanks (two 750lb.) and our bottled gases. Walk-in freezer is 80 sq. ft. and it holds all of our hops and the frozen food for the kitchen. Brew schedule varies but we average about two brews a week.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don
    may i ask how many barrels you are moving in a given timefreame?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Idyllwild, CA, USA
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    144
    Quote Originally Posted by BeerBred View Post
    may i ask how many barrels you are moving in a given timefreame?
    We average about 425BBL/yr. with a steady increase since we started. This year has been a bit difficult because Idyllwild has two of the three roads into town closed, which has hit all the businesses up here pretty hard. We're hoping to see one of the roads open by Labor Day but the other one won't be open until sometime next year. For a tourist town, it's a lot for businesses to deal with. Having said that, we continue to grow in sales despite having this challenge and I imagine we'll be doing even better when all the roads are open again.

    Cheers,
    --
    Don

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