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Old 02-25-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
Cuzco_Brew
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Default Nano Brewery Build

Orginaly posted over in the Equipment thread, but figured I'd post it here as well.

I have the opportunity to design a nano brewery (150L/40Gal) for a restaurant. The idea being to brew and sell on premises. Ive done the math and figure a 150L/40 gallon setup will suit the requirements. I am a home brewer at heart so I am approaching this as giant home brew setup. The plan is to build a single tier system using 2 pumps and 2 gas burners for heating (HLT + Kettle), and a gaint imerssion chiller to cool.

I live in Peru so buying an off the shelf system or 3 Blichmann pots and a couple of conical fermenters isnt an option. The upside of living down here is that getting stuff fabricated is much cheaper. So the plan is to have following fabricated in stainless steel:
HLT 200L / 50 Gallon
Mash Tun 200L / 50 Gallon
Boil Kettle 250L / 66 Gallon
Fermenters 180L / 47 Gallon

Now as I am going to have the HLT/Mash Tun/Kettle/Fermenters fabricated I have a few design questions:
  • Is my sizing of the HLT/Mash Tun/Kettle right for a 150L/40Gal system?
  • Is there an optimum design for a kettle/HLT? Height vs width?
  • I was thinking a square mash with a bottom drain. Is there an advantage to a round mash tun over a square one? Or vice versa?
  • What are the best dimensions to use for the mash tun? Height vs width/breadth? Optimum depth of grain bed?
  • Fermenters. Is 180L/47 Gallon big enough to ferment a 150L/40 Gallon batch? Is it too big?
  • Whats the best height/width combination for a conical fermenter? Ive read that taller fermenters can create pressure that can affect fermentation, is that even a factor on such a small setup?
  • What angle do you need to have on the cone to ensure the yeast and trub settle out?
Any and all advise/suggestions/comments are welcome.

Cheers
Zac


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Old 02-25-2010, 07:31 PM   #2
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Wow! Quite an ambitious process and I can't wait to see how this develops. Definitely subscribed to this.

While I'm a neophyte at AG brewing (still piecing together my setup), the only issue I can imagine with a square mash tun is with homogenous mixing of the mash. Someone else chime in here but I would think you run the risk of getting doughballs stuck in the corners and not being able to stir them out.

Of course, with 50 Gallons, you'll probably want some mechanical way to ensuring a decent mix (Cement mixer?) Someone help explain how the commercial big boys do it with such large volumes.


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Old 02-25-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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I'm just looking at your vessel sizes here. If you ever want to make high gravity beers, you will need to decrease the final volume unless you have capacity in your system.

Take my ~5.5 gallon system for example.

I have two mash tuns currently. I max out my 12gallon mash tun around 1.100 batch sparging. I have a 17.5 gallon mash tun that I have put 29lbs of grain in, batch sparged, 1.117 no problem. I have PLENTY of volume for like a 1.150 beer!

I use a 10 gallon boil pot. On smaller brews I put 6.5-7 gallons of wort in there to boil down. I feel its too small for larger brews though. Its a little hairy when you get ~8 gallons in there. I would be more comfortable with a 15 gallon brew pot for 8 gallons of wort.

I use 8 gallon plastic bucket fermenters. I have had 6.5 gallon fermenters explode on me, so now I only use the 8 gallon. With commercial size stuff, you would be running a blow off tube, so smaller fermenters save space at the cost of yeast.

Depending on the size of your brew, you will use various amounts of hot water. On a 1.050 beer, figure 12 pounds of grain? That's 12lbs*.125gal... or 1.5 gallons absorption. Figure another 1.25 gallons boil off. Add 1/4 gallon dead space in the mash tun, and 5.5 gallons of product. Add that all up, and you need roughly 8.5 gallons.

If you juice that up to barleywine levels, you'll increase your grain absorption by at least double, add another 1.25 gallons for boil off. You're sitting at 11.25 gallons for 5.5 gallons of product!

So my ratios for standard "bar brews" are...

5.5 gallons of product
9 gallon HLT
12gallon mash tun
10gallon boil kettle
8 gallon fermenter

For high gravity capacity:
5.5 gallons of product
12 gallon HLT
17gallon mash tun
15gallon boil kettle
8 gallon fermenter

Economy of scale certainly plays a factor here though. I don't think you can simply multiply my numbers by 7.25 and arrive at what you will need. You'll need a smaller boil kettle by ratio and a smaller fermenter. Those two items rely on headspace to protect against boil over and fermenter explosions. If you fly sparge (which I would), you can probably get away with a slightly smaller mash tun. Even my 12 gallon mash tun has more than sufficient space for a 5-6% beer... I just choose to brew A LOT of high gravity stuff. HLT should be fairly easy to calculate. How much grain, how much final product, how much boil off, etc.

Ok, The immersion chiller. Frankly, I would have serious thoughts about using one. At that scale, you would need a MASSIVE chiller. You've MUCH better off using a large counterflow or plate chiller. They are more efficient in water usage, faster, easier to incorporate into the system. Once you get past like 10 gallon batches, IC's are pretty much out of the question. With a CFC/Plate, Just hook up a hose, recirculate the boiling wort for 15 minutes, kill the flames, turn on the cold water and vary its speed until the output is your pitching temps. Much much much better!!!


Btw, I visited your country a few years ago on my Honeymoon. The people down there are so friendly, the food was amazing, and the sights are awesome!

http://tmp.smugmug.com/Travel



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Old 02-25-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Nice photos! Machu Picchu is shut at the moment due to the floods last month. But it will be open again in April they say. I am actually Australian, but I am married to a Peruvian.

Size wise I don't want to go much larger than this. So I may have to scale back the production quantities if those sizes aren't up to 150L. I have seen an imerssion chiller at that size, and I am not ruling it out as an option, but will have a look at other options. I can buy stuff (plate chiller etc) from the US and have it shipped down, but I get taxed up the wazoo.

And the more I read, the more I am inclined to go with a round MLT. Just seems the smarter design.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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+1 on the plate chiller.
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Yeah, I guess the train got washed out? When I was there, those tracks to Aguas Calientes were a little shakey! HAH!

Ok, lets think about this from a different angle...

To start...lets say 40 gallon batch. I think I can fit around 25lbs of grain in a 12 gallon cooler... so... roughly 2lbs of grain per gallon of mash tun volume. So a 1.055 brew would max out a 42.5 gallon mash tun (roughly 85lbs grain). If you every wanted to do more, you would be S.O.L. Your HLT would need to accommodate 40 gallons, plus ~8 boil off, plus 85lbs of grain worth of absorption (10.625), plus like a gallon dead space? That's 60 gallons minumum, unless you mashed in, refilled the HLT, reheated in that hour while you mash, then sparged with that water. That would reduce your needed volume a little. Figure 85lbs grain, 1.25lbs/pt mash. That's 26.5 gallons for the mash, minus 60 gallons total needed. You could get away with a ~35gallon HLT.

I'm not sure about boil off rate on a vessel of that size. Lets say 8 gallons an hour? That means you are collecting 48 gallons of wort. I'd say you would want like a 65 gallon kettle? This is kinda where the numbers become largely dependent on your system... boil off rate, etc. Fermenter could be 50 gallons, into a 5 gallon bucket blow off tube.

How do those numbers look? Seems pretty close to what you originally came up with?
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~~~~~~~~~~~___//_ ____________________________~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~_/_______| |____NOW TRIPLE HOPPED______|~~~~~~~~~~
~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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Those numbers are about what I am thinking. Being from Aus I work in Litres so I have to keep running the numbers through a converter to understand gallons
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:50 PM   #8
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What are you storing and serving the beer out of? Will you be using a filter to remote trub and yeast before serving?

I think all round mash tun with a false bottom is the hot setup. I suppose the boil kettle and HLT don't necessarily have to be round.
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~~~~~~~~~_/ [][]| | /```\/```\/```\/```\/```\ |~~~~~~~~~~
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~~~___/[_]| 00 /| | \,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/\,,,/ |~~~~~~~~~~
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuzco_Brew View Post
I can buy stuff (plate chiller etc) from the US and have it shipped down, but I get taxed up the wazoo.
You mentioned that fabrication cost is cheap over there. You could look into getting a simple sheel & tube HX fabricated, kinda something in between a plate chiller and CFC. Don't know if there would be any issues with it, someone with a bit more brewing knowledge maybe could tell us why no one has one (I'm guessing that when you have an off the shelf CFC that is reasonably price, i.e. no import tax etc., you get more bang for your buck with the CFC).
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:03 PM   #10
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Serving wise we will be going with corny kegs. As I can find them down here pretty easily, a custom made fridge under the bar and the lines fed up to a stainless steel draught tower.

Filtering I was thinking of using two inline carbon filters at 5 micron and 1 micron. But I am not sold on filtering, so will have to try it out both ways.


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