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Old 07-10-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
Schalk79
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We are seriously considering to upscale our brewing setup to a 400L nano brewery. The plan is to sell bottle conditioned, limited release beers (single hop Pales Ales, single hop IPAs), a standard American Pale Ale and a California Common.

Currently we are thinking of the following setup to use (3 brewing vessels very similar to the ones manufactured by Stout Tanks, Oregon):
Hot Liquor Tank (with RIMS coil) - Electric Heating
Mash Tun
Kettle - Electric Heating
Cold water storage tank - for cooling wort, housed in cold room
Warm water storage tank - water heated by cooling process & heat from cold room equipment, used for cleaning and following brew if necessary
2x pumps
Hop back
Plate chiller

Now my question is: How many fermenters and how many brite beer tanks will be necessary / ideal for such a setup?



 
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:56 PM   #2
Nateo
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That sounds like a good question for probrewer.com.

There are some former and current pros on here, but there are a bunch of pros over there.

I'd get as many fermentors are you can afford. From what I understand, fermentation is where your supply will bottleneck. You really only need a day or two in a brite tank if you can chill it far enough, but you'll need a few days at least in the fermentor, maybe longer.


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Old 07-10-2011, 06:05 PM   #3
pipapat
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i second probrewer.com i have been poking around on there as well for a similar idea.

 
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:13 PM   #4
Schalk79
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Thanks guys... I'll head over to probrewer as well

 
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
Nateo
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The best time to start a nano will be in about 2-3 years, when the first wave of nanos go under and there is a bunch of used nano-sized equipment for cheap.
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
Schalk79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nateo
The best time to start a nano will be in about 2-3 years, when the first wave of nanos go under and there is a bunch of used nano-sized equipment for cheap.
I agree, unfortunately here in Cape Town there really are none to offer that opportunity. We will be one of the first nano breweries to make it or to fail ;-)
Our plan is roughly based on www.thekernelbrewery.com in London....

Hope we can pull it off...

 
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:48 AM   #7
LordUlrich
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While probrewer is rely the right place for this discussion i will give you a bit of guidance so you can answer the question. How much equipment you need is rely more of an economic\business decision than a beer question.
First you need to figure out how often you need to brew, (based on how much it costs you to stay in business, don't forget to pay yourself). Then based on how long each beer needs to sit in the fermenter you can figure out how many fermenters you NEED, more is better as you can brew more often. This might determine the types of beer you can brew, lagers require you have more fermenters as they take longer and cost more (in cooling costs) to brew.
Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:19 AM   #8
Nateo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordUlrich View Post
First you need to figure out how often you need to brew, (based on how much it costs you to stay in business, don't forget to pay yourself). Then based on how long each beer needs to sit in the fermenter you can figure out how many fermenters you NEED, more is better as you can brew more often.
I think that is pretty good advice, but there are a couple other considerations. Most pro brewers will tell you to go as big as possible, because brewing is time/labor intensive, and you don't want to be brewing every single day if you have to go out and sell your product too. Unless you've got enough staff to have sales and distro too, in which case you'll need to make a lot of money to pay everyone, in which case you need to brew a lot of beer. So it's a sort of feedback loop.

What happens when you can't sell the 3 barrels of beer you're making every day (or week or whatever)? If you're overcapitalized with a bigger system than you need, and you're not selling enough beer, you'll go out of business (or just lose a lot of money) pretty quickly. You don't want to start so undercapitalized you're working yourself to death, but the lower your capital costs, the quicker you'll break even.

I'm rooting for you. Owning a business is great fun and terribly hard, all at the same time. I work 5am-11pm some days, and it really consumes my whole life, but I can take naps, or hang out on HBT talk whenever I feel like it, and no one can fire me.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:24 AM   #9
Nateo
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Also, there's a lot of info over here for nano brewers:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/groups/going-pro/
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
B-Dub
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Quote:
Most pro brewers will tell you to go as big as possible, because brewing is time/labor intensive, and you don't want to be brewing every single day if you have to go out and sell your product too.
With nano brewing the real money maker is selling $5 pints direct to the customer. If you plan on selling kegs to restaurants your price point goes way down and you will need to produce more beer.

Bottling beer is labor intensive as well. Your price line can be pushed up for special brews (IIPA, RIS, Barley Wines, SOURS), but if you are planning on selling IPAs, single hop beers or commons I think your price will have to be low enough to get the average guy to buy them. You will be competing with all the other breweries with those styles of beers.

I would try for a 7 barrel system with a few fermentors and some ageing tanks (bright tanks). It is going to take you 8 hours to brew 50 gallons or 210, so you should try and make it worth your while. If you are undersized from the start you will be brewing all the time and making very little money.

Just my .02.
BW


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