Three Ways to Build Brewhouses’ Future Flexibility
In carpentry the adage is “measure twice, cut once.” The same idea applies to building the right capacity for your Brewing business. Whether you are starting up, building out or simply adjusting your capacity, you want to make smart choices that position you for the future. As W.M. Sprinkman works with customers who are in need of their superior stainless steel processing systems and tanks, experience has shown them that time and again, designing a brewing system that runs smoother, produces a consistent product safely and efficiently and that can grow with you can be done with a few equipment considerations:
1. Platform: The smaller the platform, the lower the cost and the more money that can be placed into the “real” equipment around it, right? Actually a larger platform allows the process piping to be run underneath and by getting the tanks up in the air, you get the grain out more easily.
2. Lauter: WM Sprinkman builds lauters wider and larger than the competition. Take a modest 20-BBL Brewhouse for example. We would spec a lauter that is 85-90” wide for two reasons:
- We are really building almost a 25 BBL Brewhouse so that they can package 20 BBL. Most customers, when figuring annual production, take their fermentation capacity and multiply by turns in a year based on the beers being produced. If you only net 18 BBL out of a 20 BBL system, it can represent a significant loss in revenue. In a tap room environment, if you can get 2 more BBL’s of 17 degree plato beer, it’s 480 pints. At $4 / pint that’s almost $2K on every single batch!
- When you do brew a higher gravity beer, you not only package the full 20BBLs, but because of the surface area, you will use less raw material. More efficient equals more economical.
3. Automation: WM Sprinkman’s standard automation includes a PLC and the ability to control the entire Brewery (fermentation included) remotely from a browser (tablet, PC or phone). Why do we do this?
- Consistency – with a PLC, it is easy to bolt on a data collection system that can actually track each and every batch (like a bar code) and will allow the brewers to make the same exact beer, time and time again. This is future thinking and what will be needed long term.
- Expansion – if you plan to expand, it’s as simple as wiring up the tank and adding it to the interface. No new controllers or boxes needed.
- Hot and Cold liquor – these are 100% automated tanks. Brewer puts in a temp and it’s done. Hot and cold water is not what you want your brewer worried about when you are doing multiple batches in a day. Those systems should just run. Automated valves are included because we believe it’s the best approach.
“We know that Brewers need to be flexible to adjust to changes in the market, but still brew a consistent, quality product. Other suppliers may cut corners to provide a low cost product, but W.M. Sprinkman has this need for future flexibility in mind in the design of our products. It is tremendously important to spend your building dollars wisely when building a Brewhouse,” explains Brian Sprinkman. W.M. Sprinkman helps you build it right the first time.
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