It doesn’t matter if you’re building a house or programming software; to do the job correctly, you need the right tools. The same is true for brewing beer. But even though most brew systems have similar elements, such as the lauter tun and brew kettle, that doesn’t mean every system is the same. Knowing what factors to consider when selecting brew equipment will help you choose what’s best for your company.
One of the biggest considerations for selecting brew equipment is the size of your operation. A company that produces 15,000 barrels of beer every year will need different equipment than a brewery that produces 100,000 barrels. When determining what size of equipment best suits your operation, keep both your annual rate of production and your projected growth in mind. Although buying a more extensive brew system is a higher upfront cost, it is more cost-efficient than buying a smaller system and then replacing it because your production has outgrown it quickly.
Brewing beer is comparable to a large-scale chemistry experiment. And any good chemist will tell you that cross-contamination from outside sources will completely throw off your final product. A large source of cross-contamination is the materials businesses use for brewing. Facilities should clean and sanitize their equipment to avoid unwanted bacteria and yeast interfering with the brewing process. For the best results, choose equipment that’s easy to clean and unreactive, like our stainless steel process equipment.
Some brewers go into the beer industry with the simple purpose of creating their products, bottling them, and shipping them out into the world. Others want to create their own taproom or brewpub. Depending on the route you choose, you may need slightly different equipment. For instance, if you have a taproom or are shipping a large amount of beer, you may consider investing in a brite tank. A brite tank will provide a simple way to serve the beer fresh or store extra product for easy canning and bottling.