20 BBL Brite Tank

Overview of 20 BBL Brite Tanks

A 20 BBL Brite Tank is a critical finishing and storage vessel used after fermentation to condition and clarify craft beer in a professional brewhouse. Brite tanks prepare crystal clear beer for packaging and distribution while allowing natural carbonation.

With a 20 BBL capacity, brite tanks at this scale integrate smoothly with typical microbrewery fermenter volumes. A sufficient number of these vessels provides flexibility for production planning, storage and tapping. Well-designed brite tanks ensure consistent beer quality, stability and process efficiency.

20 BBL Brite Tank Equipment Guide

20 BBL brite tanks are pressurized stainless steel vessels featuring:

Tank bodyCone or cylinder shape. Stackable for smaller footprint. Insulated and double jacketed.
Cooling systemGlycol chilling or integrated cooling jacket. Precise temp control.
Sight glassView beer line and clarity.
Pressure rated manwaysEnter tank interior for cleaning.
Butterfly or racking valveMove liquid out to packaging or dispensing lines.
CIP sprayballClean-in-place automated spray system.
CO2 regulationCarbonation stone or lance adds bubbles under pressure.
Flow controlConsistent, smooth transfer of beer.
LCD displayTouchscreen shows tank parameters – temp, pressure etc
Probe portsMeasures realtime beer conditions.
Legs and plumbingConnections for gas, glycol, beer, CIP.
20 BBL Brite Tank

Types of 20 BBL Brite Tank Styles

20 BBL brite tanks have different design aspects to suit quality goals:

CylindricalMost common shape, stackable for smaller footprint. Balances volume and pressure rating.
Conical bottomCone slope allows sediment to settle for clearer beer. Takes more vertical space.
HorizontalLong tanks placed side-by-side save headroom. Limit stacking. Better dry hopping.
Open topAllows easy fruit or dry hop additions. Risk of contamination.
Closed topAdded sanitary and pressurized manway lid. Reduces oxygen intake.
Uni-tankCombined fermenting and conditioning in one tank. Flexibility to crash cool.
Dual useDesigned to also function as fermenter if needed. Saves cost.

Purpose and Function in Brewing Process

In commercial beer production, brite tanks provide vital post-fermentation processing:

  1. Beer transfer – Fresh beer is moved from fermenters into brite tanks after initial fermentation ends.
  2. Clarifying – Proteins and yeast settle out as beer rests cold, becoming brilliantly clear. Finings can accelerate clearing.
  3. Carbonating – CO2 injection under pressure dissolves bubbles. Critical for taste.
  4. Cold conditioning – Extended 1-6 week cold storage matures flavor compounds.
  5. Buffer holding – Staged inventory available for packaging, tapping or troubleshooting.
  6. Blending – Combine batches to achieve target qualities before releasing.

Well-managed 20 BBL brite tanks are vital for consistent brewing quality, flexibility and efficiency.

20 BBL Brite Tank Design and Layout

Optimally designing a brite tank farm requires balancing capacity, space and flexibility:

Sizing and Capacity Parameters

Quantity≥ 2 tanks; 4+ ideal
Individual size20 BBL in line with brewhouse batch volume
Height-to-diameter ratio2:1 to 3:1 for conical bottom tanks
Combined capacity≥ brewhouse capacity for needed buffer
Headspace20-25% for dry hopping or fruit

Facility Layout and Placement

Brite tanks need proper spacing and infrastructure:

  • Close proximity to fermenters
  • Accessible but low-traffic area
  • Sufficient ceiling clearance
  • Space between tanks for mobile operations
  • Floor sloped to trench drains
  • Glycol or cooling systems
  • CO2 lines and tank manifolds
  • Outlets to bottling or canning lines

Flexibility and Customization

20 BBL brite tanks allow options like:

  • Variable pressure ratings
  • Mobility: stationary or movable
  • Material: stainless steel grade and finish
  • Automated monitoring and controls
  • Integrated labeling or date coding
  • CIP configurations and sloped tank bottoms
  • Special coatings like ceramic or enamel

Within infrastructure constraints, custom options address expanded needs.

Popular 20 BBL Brite Tank Manufacturers & Pricing

There are many reputable brite tank fabricators to choose from:

CompanyPrice RangeOfferings
JV Northwest$25,000 – $60,000American made all stainless tanks with 5-year warranty
Premier Stainless$22,000 – $50,000Budget and custom tanks
AAA Metal Fabrication$30,000 – $65,000Display tanks with logos or finishes
Pro Refrigeration$28,000 – $55,000Cooling integrated or glycol systems
Superior Tank$35,000 – $70,000Custom etching and innovative features

Pricing varies based on size, thickness, valves, branding and accessory options chosen. Best to get quotes tailored to exact specifications required.

20 BBL Brite Tank Installation, Operation and Maintenance

Proper brite tank setup and care ensures quality beer production:

InstallationFloor anchoring, plumbing, glycol and CO2 line connections by experts
CommissioningTest under pressure, calibrate monitors, tune carbonation rates
Initial useThoroughly CIP and passivate before filling
OperationFollow SOPs for transferring, carb levels, clarifying duration etc
CleaningCIP sprayballs to sanitize interior regularly; exterior wipe downs
MaintenancePreventative – gaskets, valves, seals on schedule
SafetyPressure release valves, airlocks, emergency venting

Work closely with manufacturers for installation guidance, safety procedures and maintenance best practices.

How to Select a 20 BBL Brite Tank Manufacturer

Vet potential suppliers using this criteria before purchasing:

FactorEvaluation Aspects
Build qualityDurable 1.5-2 mm stainless steel grade, precise welds, quality parts
Feature setNeeds-match for glycol, automation, wheel kits etc
CustomizationAbility to tailor tank size, fittings, accessories
ExperienceProven reputation building brewhouse scale brite tanks
Safety recordPressure certification, quality inspections, safety focus
ServicesResponsive support for technical queries and issues
ValuePrice fairness for quality manufacturing

Fully defining needs and comparing vendor capabilities lead to ideal 20 BBL brite tank selection.

The Pros and Cons of 20 BBL Brite Tanks


  • Flexible volume aligns with common microbrewery batch size
  • Enables consistent finishing process compared to ferment-only
  • Buffers variation between batches
  • Smaller footprint than massive storage tanks
  • Lower capital cost than oversized units
  • Allows specialty treatments – fruit, dry hop


  • Multiple units take up more combined space
  • Additional cleaning and process management needed
  • Cooling, CO2 systems add infrastructure complexity
  • Bottleneck if insufficient tanks for fermented beer
  • Requires precise process control for clarity and taste

For professional scale breweries, the significant advantages of dedicated 20 BBL brite tanks make them indispensable.

Comparing Stainless Steel vs. Enamel-Lined Brite Tanks

Key performance differences:

ParameterStainless SteelEnamel-Lined
DurabilityExtremely durable finishProne to chipping over time
CleaningEasy interior accessSeamless hygienic surface
CostLower material costEnameling adds expense
RepairabilityWeldableDifficult to patch enamel
AestheticsIndustrial lookGlossy colored appearance

While enameling looks attractive, stainless steel brite tanks offer better value and performance for serious brewers.

20 BBL Brite Tank


What is the purpose of a brite tank?

Brite tanks provide vital post-fermentation processing to condition and clarify beer including settling out yeast, aerating dissloved CO2, stabilizing flavor compounds, and preparing bright clear beer for serving or packaging.

Why are they called brite tanks?

“Brite” refers to brilliantly clear beer achieved through cold conditioning in these tanks. They make beer sparkling bright through settling and chilling before serving.

How many brite tanks do I need?

Commercial guidelines recommend a minimum of 2 brite tanks, with additional units as buffer capacity allows. Ideally have enough brite volume to exceed total fermentation capacity. For a 20 BBL brewhouse, plan for 4-6 x 20 BBL brite tanks.

What is the difference between a uni and brite tank?

  • Uni-tanks combine fermenting and conditioning in one vessel with temperature control. Braggots use single uni-tanks.
  • Brite tanks are dedicated to cold clarifying and carbonating after initial fermentation elsewhere. Lager breweries often use separate fermenters and brite tanks.

Can you ferment in a brite tank?

While brite tanks are designed for finishing beer, in a pinch they can be used for primary fermentation if thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Their temperature control and CO2 injection allows this flexibility. But best to use dedicated fermenters when possible.

What temperature is a brite tank kept at?

Brite tanks are kept chilled at 33-40°F to clarify and stabilize beer, which is cooler than active fermentation temperatures. Precise thermal control is maintained using integrated cooling jackets or glycol systems.

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