use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.

Re: use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

Unread postby gorbachev » Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:36 pm

Jacques wrote:Hi Dirk,

The aim would be maximum two 50l batches in one 120l fermenter per day, and two days per week maximum before to switch to a larger brewhouse (BM200 or 500). So minimum six 120l fermenters, a small "partially homemade" cold room and a homemade "warm" are in the plan. The idea is that finding customers and selling the beer are the more demanding at the begin, since there is none at the start. So, I plan to keep 2 to 2,5 days just for the sales.

Jacques.


In addition you need storage tanks for maturing. Kegs to store beer ready for sale. ( selling 7.75 gal kegs to pubs around easier, then the same amount in bottles)
And you don't want to stop the brew days even if you didn't sell this week. That means more space!

We are in the same position, trying to start small)
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Re: use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

Unread postby BrauTim » Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:53 pm

Jacques wrote:The idea is that finding customers and selling the beer are the more demanding at the begin, since there is none at the start. So, I plan to keep 2 to 2,5 days just for the sales.

Jacques.


Something else to bear in mind that I keep hearing is that once you start selling and you've generated some demand, then brewers find themselves not big enough to meet an increase in demand and have no way of scaling up quickly enough. What seems to happen then is that pub landlords (I am being more UK centric here) will drop a brewer that cannot provide a regular supply to meet his customers demand in favour of a brewer that can meet demand, regardless of the style of beer being supplied. For a landlord, beer is the pubs currency and alot of regular customers will drink just about anything as long as it's not stale, so as long as the landlord is supplied with beer all is well. With lots of brewers in the competition to supply the same pubs, the ones that can meet demand will win out, the others will fall by the wayside.

Brewing is as much about the business as it is about making the beer.
To brew or not to brew, that would be a stupid question !
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Re: use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

Unread postby royco » Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:22 am

This is a bit late, but here is a local success story using a 50L 3V setup.
(However, Brautim makes a good point about the upgrade path. It is in quantum leaps, not a straight line).

We spend most local holidays in Knysna, a beautiful little Eastern Cape town on a tidal lagoon which leads out through The Heads to the ocean. A local craft brewer decided to go commercial and built a 3V system using scrapped copper geyser boilers and LPG burners. He started with only one beer, a golden ale (branded Red Bridge -- after the local bridge over the river). 2 years on he is still using the same setup and has added an IPA and a Saison. The brewing schedule is hectic as he has to brew almost every day with the help of one assistant who does all the dirty work. He sells only 550ml bottled beer through local bottle stores and selected pubs and restaurants and is doing well.

His upgrade path is easier than yours as he can just build some bigger vessels. He is hands-on and does it himself.

Just my 2c worth: maybe start with the BM50 but keep very close to Speidel and have them lined up with a 200 in the background for urgent shipping as demand grows. This sounds obvious, but in my manufacturing career (40 years' worth) I have sometimes experienced the "Brautim scenario" where a huge new contract pops up and lead time for the extra moulding machinery is 4~5 months. Another company that has the capacity will get the job.

But then, if you have beeg Kahunas and long pockets maybe the BM200................. :)
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Re: use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

Unread postby bruulog » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:02 pm

You also need a nice line up of fermenters and when you move to 200 or 500 l, you need to upgrade fermenting vessels too.
If you have 3 100 l SS fermenters... what are you going to the rest of the month? What if you need to dry hop in secondary?
Fermenters set the limit to your production per time period.

You can get pretty good 55 and 100 l stainless steel fermenting vessels for <100 EUR
Those guys had 55 and 100 l versions but they are all sold out (use translator to read) http://www.candirect.de/Kanne-mit-Schra ... Falzkanten
Those are also fine http://www.candirect.de/Gaerbehaelter-Edelstahl
How are you going to control the temperature? Are you going to use coolers? Get double walled tanks and heating/cooling system?
You can fit one 100 l in to a typical home cooler (without freezer)
You can get one of those horizontal coolers if it's high enough and fit more vessels but lifting a 55 or 100 l full fermenter is not something you want to do alone. So, you need a pump or pulleys and ropes etc :)
Every cooler needs temperature control that keeps your beer at constant temperature. etc etc...

Make a spread sheet and run the numbers :) I have done it twice.
:beer:
I make my own copper/ss chillers (immersion) - 20l & 50l and counterflow (cfc)
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Re: use of the BM50 for commercial brewing

Unread postby Twonky » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:57 pm

Here in the Netherlands I know another brewery Kasparus that works with 50l units, home made also from old water heating equipment. He struggles to get by but also does brewing sessions open to the public and evening meals....

Another success story that also started 'small' is Brouwerij De Molen who at one time (2010 I think) had 3 bears in the the top 15 or so on Ratebeer... at that time they were brewing with I think a 200l system. They are redoing their website I tried to check but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong ;-)
in 2011 they massively upgraded the brewery due to the huge success....

They were kind of emulating Dogfishhead by making lots of nice special beers (that were ludicrously expensive) but he apparently made enough to enlarge his brewery. So starting out small (ish) is an option.

However here in NL the most problems are with regulatory issues...

But if you can get the paperwork in order just do it, you allready have one BM ;-)

Else do as some others I know and just sell some under the shelf. It is an easy way to recuperate your investment (or maybe even just the ingredients, so you can experiment more)

Cheers and Good Luck!
:cheers:
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