New from USA, lots of big plans...a few questions.

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New from USA, lots of big plans...a few questions.

Unread postby Stickrod » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:36 am

Hello all,

I am from atlanta, Georgia USA. I currently do not have a braumeister, however hope to purchase a 50l pilot system by the end of the year. Yes, pilot system...meaning I plan to go commercial, and with speidel at the heart of the operation!

I have been brewing for almost 5 years, all grain since batch 3, so the majority of the time. My concept is very small batch and always rotating and changing styles . When patrons come into my brewery, I want every time to be a new experience. I feel the braumeister is a great solution for this concept. I plan on a micro brewery and hopefully distillery license, not a brew pub. My system will consist of a 500L as well as a 50L. I hope to have 12 or more speidel 625L fermenters, and plan to ferment the 50L batches in 1/2 bbl sanke kegs with the spears removed. The 50L will primarily become cask conditioned brews, while the 500L batches will be carbed "americain style" in brite beer tanks. Now that the basics of my operation are covered, I have a few questions...

1) is anyone on the fourm a commercial operation or have any experience with the 200/500 L units?

2) has anyone had any experience with the speidel stainless steel jacketed fermenters, either the 240 L size or the 625 L size. Specifically how is yeast management and racking? What about pressurizing the tanks, I know speidel rates at 2 barr pressure (29 psi).

3) How are higher gravity brews, without the addition of dme? Does anyone double or triple mash? Meaning: run a mash cycle, slightly cool to first mash in temp while cleaning the malt pipe, the refill the malt pipe with fresh grain and run a second mash cycle? Repeat as many times as needed... Seems to me like a great concept of a true double or triple. Is this a possible routine? Has anyone tried this?

4) with multiple brews planned per day, any suggestions for additions to to standard braumeister? Obviously a hop back and hop filter will be added, however what about suggestions for other items increase time management: a large hot liquor tank seems helpful on a production scale, what about a external wort chiller, or an external whirlpool to save time and free up the braumeister for the next brew?

5) has anyone ever ran multiple units side by side? I would defiantly run the 50 and 500L at the same time, but what about expansion? Could I eventually run two or three 500L units at the same time? With the high degree of automation, it seems possible by judging the book uh it's cover... Any experience or tips for this?

I know this is a lot of information to digest, but I appreciate any feedback. Thank you for the help and advice, I know my aspirations are high!
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Re: New from USA, lots of big plans...a few questions.

Unread postby BrauTim » Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:23 am

Welcome to the forum, we have a couple of members that are producing on a larger scale than 50L and selling in pubs etc, they might be able to help with some of your questions, I have no commercial experience at all but I have looked into it, I decided not to bother trying my hand at a commercial operation, I have a day job that keeps me in ingredients :)

Are you planning to make a living out of brewing or will it be supplemental to something else, I ask this because in the UK the figure of around 7BBL production seems to be used as a baseline for providing a basic living wage for a single brewer, bigger is better and expansion seems to be inevitable, especially if people like your product, it may be different elsewhere because of different tax regimes and costs etc. Also everything I read about commercial is not really about the beer, it's about the business, another aspect is that you need lots and lots of casks, triple what you expect to need, because they go missing or are slow to be returned!

Selling to the pub trade in the UK can be tricky, if landlords can't get your product quickly enough for customers they will drop you in favour of suppliers that can supply on time, all to do with business, nothing to do with tasty beer.

Anyway, there are some of my thoughts, I read a book 'The Microbrewers Handbook', it's UK biased but provides enough information to help you decide which way to go and Good Luck if you go commercial, keep us updated (if you have time).

To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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