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Old 05-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #1
NigeltheBold
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Default Serving Tanks and Fermenters at a Brewpub

I'm writing up a business plan for a brewpub with a 10 bbl brewery. I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about storing the beer after it has been fermented. I've heard jacketed serving tanks are really nice, but they're also expensive. I've also heard kegging the beer can be a good way to go if you want to save some money/space.

We plan on having five or six beers on tap at a time, and we're estimating that we'll sell around 500 barrels a year (maybe not the first year). How many fermenters do you recommend? How many serving tanks/kegs do you recommend?

I'm just trying to get some different opinions on the topic...

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Old 05-25-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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You can use sankes for condition and serving, i.e., bright tanks.

As for fermentors, I bet you could transfer most of your beer out of the primary after a week. Once the pipeline has started, you can keep up with your estimate of 500 bbls with a batch a week so you might be able to get away with 1 or 2 10 bbl capacity fermentors. I think I'd go with 3 to have an extra one on hand. It would be very handy to have a few smaller fermenters to work on special batches where you don't plan on needing 20 kegs.

It is going to be difficult to get stocked up for opening day. You might consider only starting with 2 or 3 high selling beers and then introducing more options and seasonal beers within the first few months of opening.

You can also ferment in sankes but I don't think you'll be very consistent by splitting a batch up 20 times.

Don't forget about the food. You need really good food. Beer won't keep most people there all night but if you can get them to sit and eat for an hour you can sell a lot of beer.

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Old 05-26-2011, 02:19 AM   #3
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Build a cold room, and use single wall bright/serving tanks.Their cheaper than jacketed, and alot less work than kegging 20 kegs at a time vs. transfering 10 BBLs at once.

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Old 05-27-2011, 12:09 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice, guys. These are all good things to think about...

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Old 01-17-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewerforlife View Post
Build a cold room, and use single wall bright/serving tanks.Their cheaper than jacketed, and alot less work than kegging 20 kegs at a time vs. transfering 10 BBLs at once.
I'm in the same boat. Space is limited though so I'm looking at a ~5 bbl brewhouse with 10 bbl unitanks and single walled brights. Question for you; if I plan on serving six beers how many brights would you recommend? I've heard it's good to have one extra (ie 7 brights)? Is that necessary/a good idea?
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:04 PM   #6
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Actually, I keep 8to9 beers on tap all year, and I have a 5 bbl brewhouse with only five- 5BBL uni-tanks and 4- 5BBL single-walled brights, and 30- 1/2 BBL kegs. We are a brewpub/Rest. with in-house sales only, incl. growlers. Average annual production is 400 BBLs, but it can be a challenge at times. If your going to be in-house only, What is your expected annual production? If around 500 BBLs, I would probably go with 6 brights and 20-30+ 1/2 BBL sanke kegs, so you can keg off brights when they get low enough and push a new batch in. This is how you can have more than 6+ beers on tap with just 6 brights, it just takes alot more keg cleaning, filling, juggling,and wrestling than having, 10 bright tanks, but also takes less space and a whole lot less of cash$$$. If you go this route, I would put a 10 tap tower in at least, so you have extra lines to dispense the kegged off brights. This way you can serve 8-10+ different styles with 6 bright tanks. I hope that made some sense!! If you want to bull s**t some more, let me know, I will PM you my cell#. Cheers!!!

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Old 01-18-2012, 06:11 PM   #7
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That actually makes perfect sense and is greatly appreciated! I can see how that kinda setup will absolutely help increase my capacity while keeping floorspace to a minimum (and, as you said, saving some ca$h!). I'm shooting for ~500 bbls annually, but will have to see what's realistic with my space limitations AND what the actual demand is in my marketplace (Brooklyn, NY). I'd love to pick your brain sometime, but let me just ask a few more questions on here so that the thread/info is available for anyone else that's interested to see. First, do you have a good source for kegs that you'd recommend? Also, I've never actually seen it, how is the connection from the serving tank to the draft system? Is there an adapter from the tank's outlet that hooks up to a sankey coupler so that you can easily switch from the serving tank to kegged beer? Thanks again!!

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Old 01-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #8
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I’m just curious how you carbonate this much beer, 5BBL? Thanks

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Old 01-19-2012, 03:49 PM   #9
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I’m just curious how you carbonate this much beer, 5BBL? Thanks
Bright/serving tanks have a fitting for a carbonation stone (under the level of the beer). You pressurize the tank and blast it with CO2, checking the level with a device made by a company called Zham & Nagel. If you're under you keep going, if you're over you bleed off. Kinda like the shake n' bake technique some homebrewers use on corny kegs. I've only done 50 and 100 bbl batches and those usually take around an hour or so. Smaller volumes would take less time I imagine..

http://zahmnagel.com/Products/SERIES...0/Default.aspx
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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Id appreciate if the talk stayed public here, this is good information for those of us who are dreamers!

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