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1-3 BBL Commercial System

I’m helping some friends of mine look into a 1-3 BBL system to put in their bar as more of a novelty/pilot brew area. I have yet to measure the actual space they have available for it, but I know it’ll be pretty tight. If it were just a backyard system, I’d be totally comfortable setting something up, but being that they want to sell the beer they make (aka needs to pass all of the health codes and whatnot), I figure I should look for some help.

So what I’m looking for is the size I mentioned above brew system. Preferably something prefab and turnkey. The option to go electric would be useful too.

I’ve seen Sabco’s NanoMagic, which I can’t find too much info on, but I’m wondering what else is out there and if any of you have any experience with them.

Thanks for the help.

Take a look at the probrewer website - lots of nanobrewery options in the classifieds:
http://probrewer.com/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=103

Premier Stainless (http://premierstainless.com) offers a 3BBL system that I looked into once in the past. It’s not cheap for a novelty system, but it would likely be good in a commercial setting. I don’t have experience on their system, but I have talked to someone that does and they were happy with the system.

I know this wasn’t part of your question, but I don’t think the biggest challenge will be meeting health codes, it will be wading through the state and federal licensing processes to become a legal brewpub (assuming you are in the US). Starting a brewpub is no small task, so be sure your friends do LOTS of research on the legal issues in selling before purchasing any brewing equipment. Selling beer without following the proper licensing procedures is a good way to get in trouble with the TTB really fast.

The Homebrew Nerd

http://thehomebrewnerd.com

[quote=“TheHomebrewNerd”]Premier Stainless (http://premierstainless.com) offers a 3BBL system that I looked into once in the past. It’s not cheap for a novelty system, but it would likely be good in a commercial setting. I don’t have experience on their system, but I have talked to someone that does and they were happy with the system.

I know this wasn’t part of your question, but I don’t think the biggest challenge will be meeting health codes, it will be wading through the state and federal licensing processes to become a legal brewpub (assuming you are in the US). Starting a brewpub is no small task, so be sure your friends do LOTS of research on the legal issues in selling before purchasing any brewing equipment. Selling beer without following the proper licensing procedures is a good way to get in trouble with the TTB really fast.

The Homebrew Nerd

http://thehomebrewnerd.com[/quote]

LOTS of research and deep pockets.
I hope they succeed. :cheers:

[quote=“Rookie L A”][quote=“TheHomebrewNerd”]Premier Stainless (http://premierstainless.com) offers a 3BBL system that I looked into once in the past. It’s not cheap for a novelty system, but it would likely be good in a commercial setting. I don’t have experience on their system, but I have talked to someone that does and they were happy with the system.

I know this wasn’t part of your question, but I don’t think the biggest challenge will be meeting health codes, it will be wading through the state and federal licensing processes to become a legal brewpub (assuming you are in the US). Starting a brewpub is no small task, so be sure your friends do LOTS of research on the legal issues in selling before purchasing any brewing equipment. Selling beer without following the proper licensing procedures is a good way to get in trouble with the TTB really fast.

The Homebrew Nerd

http://thehomebrewnerd.com[/quote]

LOTS of research and deep pockets.
I hope they succeed. :cheers: [/quote]

I should have added a little more info. These guys are no dummies and are running a very successful bar right now. They are doing all of the proper paperwork and getting the proper licensing. I know lawyers and state officials have been consulted as well. They are on the right track.

I say novelty/pilot because that is exactly what they are looking for. A small setup that they/we can brew a few small batches a month on, as a novelty. Those batches will be sold in the bar and the ones that do particularly well will be given to our local contract brewer to go big. I think it’s a cool plan, maybe not the most profitable, but certainly cool.

Resurrecting an old question of mine.

So about a year has passed and lots of paperwork filed and fees have been paid. Honestly, they are probably still a way off from making this thing really happen, but they are still pushing forward.

They’ve once, again asked me to start helping put together a system, although now on a slightly smaller (1 BBL) scale due to space restrictions. Something that can make enough to occupy one or two draft lines at their bar. They also are asking for it to be very functional, but not terribly pricey.

The first money saving idea I had was the Denny Batch sparge method. 1 BBL is not a huge amount to wort, so I’m thinking an insulated mash tun with no heating source could work. The only catch is that insulated, stainless mash tuns are still pricey.

So finally, my question: Does anyone know if a commercial brewery can use a plastic cooler mash tun if it was large enough, or is that a FDA no-no? I came across this cooler:
http://www.igloocoolers.com/Coolers/All-Coolers/Super-Tough-Stx-165
and thought that maybe it could work if it’s allowed for commercial brewing.

I’m pretty sure you can’t use that type of mash tun. Also note that they will have to bust up the floor and put in a sloped drain system.

Not sure if this will help, but it might be worth a try. Usually, someone who’s been thru this sort of thing can offer some useful advice or words of caution. A local place opened up a 1.5 BBL “nano brewery” with their bar/gourmet pizza place. It might be worth an email to contact them for info on how they put it together. I don’t know them personally (just a patron) so I don’t know if they’ll be any help but their website is http://www.argillabrewing.com/ They seem to be doing quite well.

I wish your friends much success.

[quote=“Mabus”]Not sure if this will help, but it might be worth a try. Usually, someone who’s been thru this sort of thing can offer some useful advice or words of caution. A local place opened up a 1.5 BBL “nano brewery” with their bar/gourmet pizza place. It might be worth an email to contact them for info on how they put it together. I don’t know them personally (just a patron) so I don’t know if they’ll be any help but their website is http://www.argillabrewing.com/ They seem to be doing quite well.

I wish your friends much success.[/quote]

Thanks. I’ll send them an email.

So does anyone else know if plastic is ok for a commercial mash tun? I know plastic is ok for fermenters, just wondering if it can be applied for the mash as well.

Since I just read this about a week ago on the website of a brewery equipment seller, it was fresh in my mind. Just a warning to really think this through before going further. Here’s an excerpt (the bolding is mine, as it seems to apply to your friends’ situation):

2. A start-up brewpub needs to be scaled to produce and sell 500+ barrels of beer in house to be successful. We believe this requires a minimum 7 barrel system. While smaller systems can sometimes produce this much, the labor cost on a 3 or 4 barrel system is often too high to make a decent profit. The cost of beer production on a 3 barrel system will approach the cost of buying wholesale microbrewed keg beer from a distributor. Given that, why go through all the licensing and regulatory headaches to make the same money? Open an alehouse instead.

Anyway, you may decide that since they already have a bar up and running a small brew system could be worth it, but thought I’d throw out the opinion of somebody in the business. The whole article can be found here: http://www.soundbrew.com/small.html

I’ve heard on some of the Beer Network podcasts that Blichmann Engineering has some 1-3 bbl equipment - that might be worth a shot?

I don’t see why a food grade plastic cooler MLT wouldn’t an option. Plastic isn’t forbidden in food service and there is no alcohol at this point. If you wanted to get fancy you could use Blichmann’s new RIMS Rocket and a small recirculating pump to maintain mash temp. Seriously though, a single infusion mash in a cooler holds temp well enough to produce a fine product. This way you can save more of your budget for a nice conical fermentor. I’d suggest a Brewhemoth but its only 22gal. The nice thing about it is that you can (1) modulate temp with their cooling coil, (2) do a pressurized fermentation with a spunding valve and their ball lock connector option (which will speed the fermentation process), and (3) carbonate your beer in the conical and do pressurized transfer to kegs. Not sure any other conical has these capabilities.

Here scroll down to number 5 that’s all about materials http://m.wikihow.com/Make-a-Home-Brewer … anobrewery looks like you can use plastic.

A Wikihow with no citations? Hmmmmm.

I do know of a brewery that had an extract system. Later on he added a cooler to do steeping grains/partial mashes. This was in a small rural town with a population under 6000. Not like they had a city health dept to harass them.

The brewery was part of a bar. After 6 months the BMC/JD crowd of ranchers didn’t support the craft beer and he sold the system.

Here is another place to get equipment with pricing.

http://www.pico-brewing.com/
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