5 BBL Stackable Brite Tanks

Fully understand 3 BBL Brewing Equipment

3 BBL brewing equipment allow craft brewers to produce 3 barrels or 93 gallons per batch. With flexibility for small-scale recipes yet increased output over homebrew levels, 3 BBL systems are popular starters for taprooms, brewpubs, and microbreweries.

A full 3 BBL brewhouse comprises the mash tun, lauter tun, brew kettle, whirlpool, heat exchanger, fermenters, brite tanks, and other infrastructure to control the end-to-end brewing process. Configurations balance automation, efficiency, and budget.

This guide covers equipment options, layout considerations, customization, suppliers, comparisons, and FAQs to help assess 3 BBL systems. Understanding these factors allows finding the ideal fit for production goals and brewing style.

3 BBL Brewing Equipment

3 BBL Brewing Equipment Guide

Major components in a 3 BBL brewing equipment perform key functions during beer production.

Mash Tuns

Mash tuns mix crushed grain with hot water, allowing sugars and flavors to dissolve into the resultant wort. Design affects efficiency and labor time.

Infusion Mash TunInsulated stationary vessel facilitating infusion mashing
Lauter TunSeparate mash filtration unit utilizing screens or false bottom

Brew Kettles

The brew kettle boils wort from the mash, letting brewers control hopping, clarification, and concentration before cooling and fermentation.

Direct FirePowered by gas/steam burners underneath
Indirect HeatHeated externally by steam jackets or coils
ElectricFast heating/cooling from adjustable electric elements


Whirlpools use centrifugal motion to separate hop particulates from freshly boiled wort, preparing the clearer liquid for fermentation.

External WhirlpoolDedicated tank that accepts transferred wort
IntegratedSpinning dip tubes inside the brew kettle

Heat Exchangers

Rapid wort cooling is handled by compact heat exchange units, quickly dropping temperatures in preparation for yeast.

Plate Heat ExchangerThin stacked plates enable rapid heat transfer
Shell & TubeTubes contain wort surrounded by coolant


Primary fermentation and conditioning require temperature-controlled stainless steel vessels tuned to yeast needs. 3 BBL brewing equipment have multiple 3 BBL fermenters.

UnivariateCombined fermenting and aging in one tank
CylindricalTraditional cylindrical stainless tank
ConicalAllow yeast sedimentation at the bottom

3 BBL System Suppliers and Pricing

Numerous brewhouse engineering companies provide 3 BBL brewing equipment configurations. Base pricing varies based on materials, features, and customization.

CompanyPrice RangeDescription
Specific Mechanical$120,000 – $350,000American-made custom brewhouses, modular options
Premier Stainless$90,000 – $250,000Asian import systems with lower budget points
Portland Kettleworks$175,000 – $275,000Focus on welded sanitary construction
Craftwerk$180,000 – $240,000German-engineered stainless systems
Stout Tanks$100,000 – $200,000Highly configurable Chinese import tanks

The 3 BBL brewing equipment Brewing Process

While recipes and configurations differ, the essential brewing steps utilize 3 BBL equipment as follows:

  1. Measure out and mill malt grains per the recipe
  2. Mix grains with 175°F water in the mash tun for sugar extraction
  3. Recirculate wort during mashing phase for even conversion
  4. Sparge (rinse) grains with hot water to extract remaining sugars
  5. Transfer wort to the brew kettle and bring to a rolling boil
  6. Add hops during the 90+ minute boil following recipe scheduling
  7. Create whirlpool motion to clarify and settle particle matter
  8. Rapidly cool boiled wort using the heat exchanger to 58-68°F
  9. Transfer cooled wort to primary fermenters and pitch yeast
  10. Allow approximately 1-3 weeks primary fermentation
  11. Transfer beer to conditioning tanks for settling and flavor maturation
  12. Optionally transfer further to brite tanks for clarity, carbonation, etc.
  13. Package fermented beer into kegs, cans, or bottles.

Designing Your 3 BBL brewing equipment Brewery Layout

An efficient equipment layout minimizes transfer distances and eases cleaning:

Linear FlowStraight line layout from start through fermentation
Vertical StackingModules stacked together in compact footprint
Custom ShapedUnique designs fitting the space

General 3 BBL layout principles:

  • Position mash tun above mill room at same level
  • Locate brew kettle lower to enable gravity transfers
  • Have heat exchanger feed into fermenters from above
  • Group process steps together into “zones”
  • Build self-draining floors with adequate drains
  • Allow room for grain/ingredient storage and packaging
  • Leave space for cleaning tools, pumps, hoses, etc.
  • Accommodate adjustable fermenter stands
  • Plan layout for future expansion as required

Engineering partners typically provide free 3D modeling and layout services during quote processes to visualize plans.

Options for Customizing 3 BBL brewing equipment

While turnkey systems work out-of-box, customization unlocks capabilities:

AreaCustomization Options
AutomationComputerized monitoring and control, sensor-driven automation for transfers, cleaning, etc.
BrewingAdditional specialty vessels, upgraded mash tuns/kettles, etc.
FermentationMore tanks, variable pressure, custom chilling/heating, hybrid units
PackagingIntegrated canning/bottling lines, keg washers, labeling
InfrastructureMulti-level platforms, custom room shapes/sizes, raised decking
BrandingLogos, custom colors/materials, badging, lighting
SafetyAlarm systems, spill containment, ventilation, explosion-proof motors
SustainabilityHeat reclamation, solar power, energy-efficient vessels

While adding cost, customization allows specialty recipes, higher efficiency, unique spaces, tailored branding, and future flexibility.

How to Select 3 BBL Brewhouse Suppliers

With many equipment options, focus on balancing cost, quality, features and service:

Brand ReputationProven track record for high-quality brewhouse engineering suited to needs and budget
ConstructionFully welded and polished sanitary stainless interiors from quality grade materials
SizingStandard vs custom tank dimensions to fit space and production
AutomationLevel of automated monitoring and control vs manual operation
EfficiencyInsulation, precise temperature controls, circulation for mash/boil efficiency
OptionsWide range of modular add-ons and customization available
Lead TimesTypical delivery windows from order placement are 12-20 weeks
ServicesDesign consultation, 3D modeling, shipment logistics, installation guidance
Payment Terms50% down flexible payment plans commonly available, financing options
LocationDomestic provides easier support while imported systems allow lower budget

Ideally find the best intersection across cost, quality, reliability and services for brewing needs via quotes.

Comparing Pros and Cons of 3 BBL brewing equipment

As with any major investments, brewhouse solutions have tradeoffs:


  • Flexible batch size suits small craft recipes
  • Lower capital costs than larger 5+ BBL systems
  • Simpler infrastructure needs for space, energy, etc.
  • Allows traditional hands-on brewing techniques
  • Leaves room to incrementally expand over time


  • Lower efficiency vs highly automated systems
  • More labor-intensive per volume than bigger brewhouses
  • Limits packaging line throughput in cans/bottles
  • Tighter margins with higher ingredient costs per barrel
  • Care required to ensure consistency between small batches

The 3 BBL scale strikes an effective balance – adequate for taprooms while remaining compact enough for artisan methods.

3 BBL Brewing Equipment


What size space is typically needed for a 3 BBL setup?

  • Around 1,500 – 2,000 sq ft to accommodate all brewing and fermentation equipment plus workspace, packaging, storage areas and more. Exact footprint depends on layout, ceiling height, and efficiency.

What is the annual barrel output capacity of 3 BBL equipment?

  • Approximately 400-500 barrels or 12,500-15,500 cases per year if brewing 1-2 times weekly. Output levels ultimately depend on batch frequency.

What are typical 3 BBL brewhouse consumables/maintenance?

  • Replacement pumps, gaskets, hoses every 2-4 years. Annual sensor calibration. Cleaners and lubricants each cycle. Worn part replacement as needed.

What brewing expertise is best to operate a 3 BBL system?

  • Homebrewing familiarity is helpful. Typically 1-2 trained brewers can fully operate the system. External training courses add skills. Some automation reduces labor.

What is the lifespan of a properly maintained 3 BBL setup?

  • Around 10-15 years with routine care before any major overhauls needed. Refurbishing at that stage can further extend the usable lifespan.

Can I package beer in cans with 3 BBL equipment?

  • Yes, manual and semi-automatic canning lines sized for 3 barrel output are produced by several packaging machinery companies to allow canning.

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