How to Install a Huge Fermentation Tank in a Small Building

Posted on May 10, 2022 by Cedarstone Industry Team

We don’t just design and build fermentation tanks. We also offer brewery consulting services to customers looking for assistance setting up and using their new equipment. In that role, we have had plenty of opportunities to work in unusual environments. So we weren’t surprised to learn how a small brewery in Telluride, CO managed to get a huge fermentation tank into their rather small building.


The tank in question has a capacity of nearly 2800 gallons. It is quite an upgrade over an old tank that held less than half that amount. There was only one problem: the brewery didn’t have a door big enough to get the fermentation tank in. So what did the brewery do? They cut a hole in the roof and used a crane to lower the tank in.

You Do What Has to Be Done


It is not every day you see a brewery cut open the roof in order to install a new fermentation tank. But you do what has to be done to keep your business moving forward. According to the Telluride Daily Planet, the brewery almost didn’t make it to the point of needing a new tank.


Ownership said that they originally talked about a new fermentation tank in the months leading up to the COVID pandemic. Once the pandemic hit and operations were brought to a near standstill, brewery owners didn’t know if their company would survive. Thankfully, it did.


The new fermentation tank will help the brewery expand by increasing its capacity. Without it, they would have a challenging time producing enough beer to meet demand.


More Beer for Longer


As you probably know already, a fermentation tank’s primary responsibility is to hold the beer while it ferments. Tanks are designed to maintain an ideal temperature and pressure that encourages quality fermentation over a certain amount of time. In some cases, breweries choose to use unitanks to facilitate both first- and second-stage fermentation without having to deal with tank transfer.


The new Telluride tank will allow the brewery to hold more beer for a longer amount of time. The brewery’s brewmaster plans to hold the beer in the tank for some time after it has crashed. He says the tank can maintain a constant temperature of 32 degrees long enough to significantly improve yield with every batch.


Keeping Up with Demand


In the case of the Telluride brewery, it was a matter of keeping up with demand. Any brewery has to be able to push out enough products to keep buyers happy. But volume is only half the equation. Quality is the other. Pushing out a lot of bad-tasting beer is a good way to quickly reduce demand for your product. On the other hand, insisting on quality with every batch keeps customers coming back.


That’s why every piece of equipment, including fermentation tanks, matters so much. It is not enough to buy the cheapest tank you can find and hope for the best. It’s also not wise to go cheap when you first get started, in hopes of upgrading down the road. Upgrades are always possible, but breweries are better off investing in high-quality equipment right from the start.


Kudos to the Colorado brewery with the courage to cut a hole in their roof in order to install a new fermentation tank. They have shown a willingness to do whatever it takes to keep delivering high-quality beer to their customers. If you expect your brewery to do the same, be prepared to invest in high-quality fermentation tanks and other equipment.