Originally Posted by ThePonchoKid
How do most breweries process beer? How do they mash, boil, cool, ferment. What's the process and equipment commonly used?
Big breweries use big equipment. A large regional or national plant is going to mash in huge stainless steel tuns with capacities of from hundreds to thousands of barrels. Anheuser-Busch mashes via ramped-infusion, or at least they used to. The mash starts at a lower temp (122F/50C) and is continually and slowly raised to saccharification temp. Many use a very long and very slow sparge which drains every possible molecule of sugar from the grain. The brew kettles are huge too of course. Cooling is done with equally large scale plate chillers and the wort is fermented in some big ass stainless conicals.
It's well worth the time to take a tour of a large scale brewery. While we as homebrewers and craft brew drinkers may not like their products the facilities and the process to produce the beer are quite impressive.