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1 BBL Brewing Systems

A 1 BBL Brewing System producing 31 gallons per batch allows small craft brewers to scale up production for taprooms and wider distribution. This guide covers key considerations in choosing an automated 1 BBL system from sizing, features, installation to suppliers.

Overview of 1 BBL Brewing Systems

Commercial 1 BBL systems represent an ideal starting capacity for new nano or microbrewery ventures, enabling key scaling considerations:

Types – Manual vs automated equipment

Batch Size – Typically 1 barrel or 31 gallons per brew

Features – Grain handling, boiling, fermentation, cleaning

Flexibility – Interchangeable fermenter counts and sizes

Price Range – $50,000 to $150,000

Top Suppliers – Specific Mechanical, Portland Kettle Works, Premier Stainless Systems

matching equipment capabilities to business plans regarding taproom draft demands and packaging runs is vital upfront. Beyond capacity, prioritize automation, efficiency, consistency and safety.

1 BBL Brewing System

1 BBL System Equipment Types

Core brewhouse components include:

Mash Tun – Mixes grist with hot liquor for enzyme conversion

Lauter Tun – Separates sweet wort from grains

Brew Kettle – Boils wort, adds hops

Whirlpool – Settles hops and coagulants

Fermenters – Yeast converts sugars into alcohol

Brite Tanks – Carbonates clean beer before serving

Other ancillary equipment – Grain mill, piping, chillers, etc.

Automated equipment provides push-button functionality versus manual systems requiring direct hands-on control.

Key Brewing System Specifications

The parameters buyers evaluate for 1 BBL systems are:

ParameterTypical values
Batch size1 BBL or 31 gallons
Brew lengths6-10 hours
Boil kettle size1.5-2 BBL
Fermenter Count3-7 vessels
Power supply240V, 30 amp
Boiler heating power20-30 kW
Brewing process stagesTypically 10-12 integrated steps

Larger boil kettles facilitate losses to trub and evaporation. More fermenters enable lagering, experimentation and production volume.

Design and Customization

1 BBL Breweries balance functionality, efficiency, size constraints with:

Layout – Linear transfer flow versus compact footprint

Height – Multi-level gravity transfers simplify fluid movement

Valves – Automated ball valves enable closed transfers

Controls – Centralized electrical panels, sensors to track flows, temperatures and process timing

Add-ons – Grain handling, cleaning and carbonation features

Fabrication – Modular, movable designs for rearranging or expansion

Touchscreen interfaces increasingly monitor firmwares like Automated Brewing Systems. Compact modular equipment enables nimble reconfigurations as business grows.

1 BBL Commercial System Price Range

Turnkey 1 barrel breweries range from around:

ItemPrice Range
Manual Brewing Hardware$50,000 – $75,000
Automated Electric System$75,000 – $125,000
Full Turnkey Package$100,000 – $150,000

The brewhouse equipment alone costs $50-100k+ for a pilot system. With auxiliary tanks, additional fermenters, grain handling, plumbing, installation and permitting fees, a full 1 BBL production brewery ranges $100-150k. Leasing options reduce steep initial investments.

Top 1 BBL System Manufacturers

Specific MechanicalComplete modular systems from 3.5 – 7 BBL
Premier StainlessCustom fabrication across all brewery sizes
Portland Kettle WorksSpecialize in 1 and 3 BBL turnkey systems
AAA Metal FabricationAffordable systems catering to smaller brewers
PsychoBrewPlug and play electric breweries with training
Mile HiManual and electric options customizable

Many vendors provide modular 1 BBL equipment alongside wider expertise gained serving commercial clients globally. Evaluate support infrastructure regarding assembly, training and future expansion.

1 BBL Brewing System Installation

Installing 1 BBL breweries requires planning:

Site Prep

  • Level floors for stability
  • Floor drains and sloped floors help cleaning
  • Ventilation hoods – steam, heat, CO2, aromas
  • Hot/cold water, propane/electric utilities with 200+ amps supply


  • Uncrate safely, rearrange equipment
  • Mount thermometers, sight glasses
  • Wire elements, install circuit panels if electric


  • Water calibration of volumes, losses
  • Burner/element output tuning to achieve mash temperatures
  • Test valve seals with caustic cycles
  • Dial in temperature sensors, automation

Factor ramp-up times to commission equipment before licensing inspections and brewing deadlines. [@A helper note – Please add more tables, comparisons and subjective commentary to expand further on installation guidance to meet word counts. Thanks!]

Commercial 1 BBL Brewing Process Explained

Key steps in automated 1 BBL systems are:

Mashing – Mixing grist with liquor under enzymatic rest temperatures to convert starches into fermentable sugars

Lautering – Recirculating and spraying wort across grain bed to filter extract while rinsing sugars

Boiling – Sterilizing wort and extracting hop flavors/aromas

Whirlpooling – Using pump to create a vortex separating hops and coagulants

Chilling – Rapidly cooling boiled wort to prevent microbial growth before pitching yeast

Fermentation – Yeast converting sugars into CO2, alcohols over days to weeks based on styles

Aging – Resting beer post-primary fermentation for clarity and flavor melding

Carbonation – Forcing dissolution of CO2 into beer under pressure

Packaging – Filling kegs, cans, bottles for distribution

Cleaning – Caustic/acid washing cycles between batches

Automating valve opening/closing, heating steps, pumping circuits reduces hands-on durations but demands equal monitoring.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning 1 BBL systems prevents cross-contamination between batches:

Caustic WashRecirculate 2-5% NaOH brewing equipment >20 minsEach batchSodium hydroxide
Acid WashRecirculate 2% nitric/phosphoric acid >20 minsWeeklyNitric, phosphoric acid
Manual ScrubBottle blaster, non-abrasive brushes for obstinate stainsMonthlyHot water rinses
CIP SkidsClean-in-place pumps enable closed caustic/acid transfersOn DemandPeracetic acid

Harsh alkaline and acidic solutions dissolve organic and inorganic deposits. Integrated CIP systems automate cleaning further. Monitor chamber condition with sight glasses -oiliness signals insufficient wash efficacy. [@A helper note – Please expand further on cleaning details to increase word count]

Periodic maintenance checks:

  • Lubricate motors, actuators
  • Inspect thermowells and gaskets
  • Test valve seal integrity with leak checks
  • Verify sensor calibration

Catching leaks early prevents headache downtime mid-brew day. Factor periodic maintenance days into the production calendar.

Selecting Commercial 1 BBL Brewing Equipment

Evaluating small pilot systems on:

Production ScaleSize batches for taproom pouring capacity
AutomationConsistency and labor savings at a cost
FlexibilityMore tanks enable creative flavors
ExpansionModule replicability; leave space for growth
Brand ReputationSpecialized commercial manufacturers
ConfigurabilityCustom shapes, fittings, accessories
BudgetBalance upfront costs versus long term scaling

Finding the optimal balance between efficiency and affordability requires careful planning both in system design and cash flows for small brewers. Smart modular upgrades sustain growth over chasing capacity outright initially.

Comparing Manual and Automated Brewhouses

ConsiderationManual SystemsAutomated Systems
PrecisionVariable mash temperaturesConsistent enzymatic rests
Labor TimeHands-on monitoringPush button, walkaway functionality
RepeatabilityBrew-to-brew variabilityTuned preprogrammed recipes
CostAffordable equipment, training outlaysEquipment premium for sensors, controls
CleaningManual caustic/acid washingIntegrated CIP capabilities

Automating previously manual tasks tightens process control significantly albeit at increased upfront costs. Striking the right balance depends on business plans – automated systems allow self-distribution growth while manual equipment suits taproom models. Even basic automation like heating control saves long term labor.

Stainless vs Mild Steel Commercial Brewing Equipment

ParameterStainless SteelMild Steel
LifespanLasting decades with careProne to corrosion without diligent passivation
TasteInert material, no leachingPotential metallic/oxidation flavors
CleaningWithstands caustic cyclesRequires specialized acid mixes
First CostsHigher material expenseCost savings over stainless
MaintenancePassivation, polish occasionallyRoutine passivation essential
CustomizationModular flexibility, weldless jointsOften fixed custom fabrication

Stainless systems need little beyond passivation for lasting quality and flavor but mild steel offers an affordable entry point for cash strapped startups…with significant maintenance tradeoffs. Choose stainless for scalable investments able to grow over decades.

1 BBL Brewing System


What size commercial brewing system should I start with?

1 BBL pilot systems enable testing recipes, training staff and validating market demand before costly overexpansion. Scale gradually with modular equipment.

What level of automation makes sense for a nano or microbrewery?

Even basic features like electric heating elements and automated valves provide invaluable consistency and free staff to focus on creative brewing versus manual monitoring.

Where can I find affordable 1 BBL brewing systems?

Vendors like AAA Metal Fabrication, PsychoBrew and Mile Hi Systems cater to startup needs with competitive pricing but evaluate quality against long term equipment lifespans.

What maintenance is required for 1 BBL breweries?

Factor caustic/acid cleaning cycles each batch plus scheduled maintenance days seasonally to inspect fittings, lubricate motors, verify sensors. Stainless steel equipment durability reduces surprises over decades.

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