Nano Brewery Build

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
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. I’ve 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 isn’t 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?
  • What’s the best height/width combination for a conical fermenter? I’ve 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
 

JetSmooth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
1,870
Reaction score
46
Location
Baltimore, MD
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.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
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



 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
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.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
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?
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
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 :)
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
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.
 

mattd2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
3,816
Reaction score
334
Location
Papamoa
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).
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
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.
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
You could look into getting a simple sheel & tube HX fabricated, kinda something in between a plate chiller and CFC.
The plan is to go have a chat with the fabricators in the next week or two. So Will see what they can do then.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
Maybe Bobby_ M will jump in here and enlighten us. He has used IC's, CFC. and has a CRAZY big plate chiller!! I brewed a 300 gallon batch at a local brew pub here... they used a plate chiller, city water for cooling, and had a thermometer on the output side to adjust the city water flow to achieve pitching temps. It was highly effective.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
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.
Filtering is key if you plan on keeping storage costs at a minimum and pushing out product as quickly as possible. I also would recommend cutting the bottom 1/2" or so off the beer dip tube to further promote clear pours. You may want to consider going with sanke kegs or something for that volume of beer. If you do one batch of 40 gallons, that's like 8 kegs worth!!! IEEE!!
 

Cape Brewing

DOH!!! Stupid brewing...
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
May 9, 2008
Messages
15,495
Reaction score
1,173
Location
Norton, MA
If you're going to be pushing out that much beer through cornies, I would very seriously consider some kind of "automated" cleaning capability. There are a few guys on here that have done basic set ups where you build a small tower that sprays hot water and cleaner that's being pumped from a basic sump pump.... and you simply slip the keg over it.

It shouldn't be too expensive to build and I think all of the cleaning you're going to have to do is going to get old quick.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
I think carbonation is going to be more of a problem. You'll have to come up with some crazy massive bulk carbonation setup. Something like 50 hoses going to all these kegs to force carb them up.

Cleaning them all is just busy work. You could simply rinse each out with hose then pump starsan in through the gas in, close the keg, swish it, pump it out into the next one.
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Cornies are the go over the Sanke kegs as I can get them down here, Sanke not so much. Initially I expect to be producing about 7-8 kegs every two weeks, for carbonation I was planning on some kind of manifold and carbonating all 8 in one hit.

Yeah, cleaning will be a pain. Am looking into the "auto" cleaning options now.
 

Boar Beer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
530
Reaction score
21
Location
Central NH
Sizing

HLT – 200L / 50 Gallon
Mash Tun – 200L / 50 Gallon
Boil Kettle – 250L / 66 Gallon
Fermenters – 180L / 47 Gallon

Ok lots of what ifs ect…
With a 180 L fermenter you should be looking at 130 L maybe 150 L but that’s a tight fit for 180 L Your brew kettle and Mash Tun are correct for most 150 L batches of normal beer.

Mash Tun should be round. A side door to remove the spent grains would be nice along with a mixer of some nature but a Mash paddle and small shovel work

Run a grain bill by me and I will compare it to our normal 113L (30 gallon) batches
We run a 150 L Mash Tun, 200 L brew kettle, and 180L fermneter (Blichmann)

An Immersion chiller of the size required will be a real pain to handle. Build a Plate chiller if you can.
Are you serving one beer or trying to have several in the system?
If you brew once every two weeks you don’t need a lot of suff..stuff Kiss it
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Ok sizing the Fermenter up to 200L should cover it?

Mash Tun will be round. Sold on that idea. Mixer and side door, would be nice, but it's going to have to be tippy and man powered to keep costs down.

Grain bill I expect to be Mashing In around 35kg of grain on average. I've used BeerSmith to scale my recipes up from 20L/5G to 150L. Boil wise I run a 90 min boil, so I need to account for higher % of wort lost in the boil. So my starting Volumes are slightly higher.

I run a 90 min boil, as I am using Pilsner Malt as a base malt, this is the only base malt I can get my hands on down here.

Will look into building a plate chiller.
 

Boar Beer

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
530
Reaction score
21
Location
Central NH
Measured up during lunch

Blichmann 200 L (55 gallon) brew kettle
Its 71 cm tall by 61 diameter
The Blichmann 180 L (48 gallon) conical
The diameter is 56 cm the height of the strait part is 46 cm
The vertical distance of the cone is 43cm
IE the over all height is 89cm
This is a split conical but you would not want to bother with that

There are other conical builds but Yuri Rage always does a great job
PM him and you might get a formula for the perfect conical

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-conical-fermenter-14855/

You can find lots on interesting stuff in the DYI section and go to the : Project Locator section

100_1739.jpg
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
Get yourself a 1/2 chuck corded drill and a large mixer style grout mixer with a long shaft. It'll make mixing A LOT easier!
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Thanks for the measurements! Will be drawing up plans for the rig over the weekend. Will post when done for critic/advice.

1/2¨chuck drill I have from before I had the mill motorized. So that shouldn't be an issue.
 

Jmurm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
Location
Nebraska
Lot of good advice hear, and a lot of bad! If you are running through the kegs you are going to have to carbonate quickly, and the best way to do this is get as small stone for some of the kegs. More beer sells them, and they work well, i use them because i cant wait a few days. I would think about going electric, its cheaper than gas, and way more efficient in heating, and holding temp. Build yourself a big ass rims system. You have to use a plate chiller or counter flow with that volume.


What type of filter are you going to use? A whole house filter made for water? For some reason i see this clogging after about 10 gallons. You could put a PP membrain filter in it, and regenerate it after each use. They are fricking expensive though.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
I would think about going electric, its cheaper than gas, and way more efficient in heating, and holding temp.
IDK if I'd trust electric utility in Cusco! HA! I guess I wasn't there long enough to get a gauge on its long term reliability. In the US or other similar countries, we take electricity and other public utilities for granted. Its certainly different in Peru. For example.... a road crew in Cusco comprises of two dudes with a wheel barrow, a couple pick axes and shovels, working in between cars driving literally over their work site. If the electric goes out, who knows how or when that gets fixed. Just look at what happened on the train to Machu Picchu. There were floods, the tracks were washed out, and it'll be MONTHS before people can reach Machu Picchu without hiking 5 days or taking an expensive russian helicopter ride! :drunk:
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Yeah, as much as I would love to go Electric, it will have to be gas. I think gas works out cheaper down here, and it is more reliable.

I don't anticipate having to carb the beer overnight. The plan is to brew and then be serving that batch a month later.

Filter wise I was planning/thinking of using 2 house hold filters in serries, one at 10 micron and a 2nd at 5 or 3 micron. They may get clogged, and will have to test that out and see how it goes.
 

Jmurm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
Location
Nebraska
I would just jump down to 6 micron for my first filter. When i filter i usually go 6, 3, 1, and if you want to go sterile below .65, but you only need to do that if you are bottling. If you get a Cartage filter, for a house, you will need double open end, and can find them at gw kent. The great thing about cartridge filters is that you can clean then with oxidizers to remove the organics. If you get the filter plugged with inorganic like dirt, rust sand they cannot be cleaned. You can get a PolyPropylene filter for about $30, and reuse it many times.

http://www.stpats.com/index.htm
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
Lol.. speaking of power... we just lost power here in New Jersey for 2.5 hours! HA! All my neighbors were crying about it too!
 

Jmurm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
Location
Nebraska
Totally Depends on Pumps, and volume you will be dealing with. But if you can definitely go bigger i would u can always grow into it.
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Things are moving ahead, I went and saw the fabricator today. Lots of stainless steel to drool over. One thing came up, he has recomended 316 over 304. Now I know 316 is better but it's also more expensive, is it worth it? Is beer that corrosive that it would need 316?
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Update. The quote from the fabricator is in, and it's reasonable. Still a lot of details to iron out. And while that's being done I figured I would get my home brew rig upgraded to 10G. So I got the fabricator to knock up a 15G brew kettle for me and add a 6" ferrule complete with fittings to the top of a 50L keg I picked up.

Photos here

While I am happy with the work on the brew kettle, I am a little dubious about the quality of his "sanitary" welds, particularly on the cap for the 6" ferrule. A few small scratches and pits that would be a problem if were to be in contact with wort. As it's the cap on the ferrule it shouldn't come into contact with any wort so not a problem, but it's given me doubts over his ability to fabricate a conical fermenter.

Sorry no pics of the pits and scratches at the moment as it's in use, but I'll snap a few pics next week and show you what I mean.

Cheers
Zac
 

rdy80

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
In case you don't already know there are several options in Peru for brewing equipment and ingredients. I was down there last fall and spoke with a few businesses since I'm trying to do something similar in Guatemala and was wondering if I could find some stuff cheaper in South America to send to Guatemala instead of from the US. Anyway below are two links. I'm sure being married to a Peruvian that your Spanish is good, but beware of these businesses. The artecerveza place is run by a Chilean guy and I believe he just imports his equipment from China and slaps a sticker on it. The other one is located in Callao (near the airport-be careful not to get robbed...) and this guy makes the equipment there, but through another business in Argentina I heard that he has a bad reputation. Apparently received money from a Mexican brewery and never delivered product, also wrapped copper tubing around large fermenters with insulating foam to cool them.. So beware, but they could be options for some equipment and ingredients. Neither one seemed to be that knowledgeable about the actual brewing process and seemed to prefer 2 vessel brewhouses. Also Argentina has plenty of options and I hear Chile does as well and from what I hear the shipping isn't that ridiculous even though they are quite distant. Also speak with the Adventure Brew Hostel in La Paz, there is a Texan there named Jack Sparks at the moment who might be able to give some advice where to find stuff.
Well Good luck and keep us updated.

http://artecerveza.com/micro-cerveceria.html
http://www.beertec.galeon.com/
http://www.cervecerosartesanales.com/
 

Jmurm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2010
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
Location
Nebraska
Hey zac
My Family is planning a trip to your neck of the woods, and i was wondering where you would recommend to go check out? I haven't looked into it very much but was wondering what your recommendation would be? spend more time around Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and Cusco than Lima?
 
OP
C

Cuzco_Brew

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
82
Reaction score
0
Location
Cusco - Peru
Yeah, I'd say skip Lima. I don't mind it that much, but it's just a big city and not a lot to see. Depending on how long you have and what you are interested in seeing, I would suggest basing yourself in Cusco. You can see a lot from there, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley. Overnight trips up to Lake Titicaca or head out to the Amazon for a few days.
 
Top