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Five Checklist Items When Planning a New Brewhouse

by System Administrator / Thursday, 6 November 2014 / Published in Brewing

So you made the decision to purchase a new 30-BBL, 3-Vessel Brewhouse. Congratulations! You have the facility, you’ve lined up financing; have your Brewmaster extremely excited about the new “toy” that is on order. What could go wrong? Well, plenty, but the good news is that some planning can alleviate the biggest headaches. Here are four areas that you should not overlook in order to ensure a smooth installation and start up:

  1. Inbound Water – The biggest ingredient in beer can be the biggest problem in making your beer. If you are planning to source the water directly from your municipality, you need to know about the water they deliver. Are you able to get adequate pressure and flow for rinses and mashing in? If not, what about a simple brew water system that allows you to fill (which then means filter) at a reasonable rate keeping your filtering costs way down. How about the water itself? When you are brewing your first batch is a bad time to realize that the impurities leave a bad taste in your mouth. Some impurities do not affect taste, but can prove detrimental to the performance of your tanks and equipment. A filtration treatment system can be designed into your system to address this.
  2. Outbound Water – Properly handling the discharge from your brewing operation can be as much of an art as a science. Discussing your planned water needs for production should also include discussions about the required acceptable quality and volume of the discharge. Your municipality might require you to treat this water. You may even decide to exceed those requirements for discharged water in order to meet your own company goals for sustainability and eco-friendliness. Trub, yeast and drip downs can contain high counts of some items that the municipality may say “no problem” at 2,500 BBL’s, but at 10,000 BBL’s tell you “we have a problem”.
  3. Seismic Requirements – It’s not your fault (pun intended) that tectonic plates miles below your brewery floor have the possibility of going all a quiver. Your plant does not need to be next to the San Andreas Fault to require additional anchoring of platform posts and tank legs. We have had customers in the Southeast and Midwestern states learn of such requirements at the time of installation, resulting in unplanned delays. Check with your local building inspector at the early stages of planning to understand your equipment requirements.
  4. Space to Maneuver – Tanks and equipment have been brought in through the front doorway, the roof, the floor, the receiving dock, you name it. All of these methods are doable and done as efficiently as possible when you have planned for such a delivery. However, learning that the planned route for an equipment delivery will not work when you are in the parking lot or stuck in a hallway is another matter. The necessary dimensions need to account for height as much as width, angles as well as straight on shots. The pathway to a clean set-up also has to account for all pieces of equipment AND the equipment to move them, which in many cases exceeds the size of tanks they are putting in place. Remember, the only way a 15’ tank fits in a 16’ ceiling is coming straight in. There is not enough head space to pick the tank in that room.
  5. Floor Preparation – The last area to check is right under your feet. Floors that are not sloped properly and/or contain the necessary number and placement of drains will quickly result in a slipping zone for your employees and brewery tour guests (not to mention the unsightly appearance of puddles and rivers around the brewhouse). Even the drains themselves need to be addressed. They need to be constructed of a material that will hold up to the high temperatures associated with the brewing and cleaning liquids.

We don’t expect you to know every possible scenario and factor that can delay the brewing of that first batch of beer. How unfair would that be? So why not just concentrate on making your line up of tasty brews and call in Sprinkman Brewing Systems at the onset of your planning? It will make your next jump to beer superstardom as easy as possible!


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