beer fermentation tank

4 BBL Brewing Equipment

4 BBL Brewing Equipment is a medium-sized professional brewery setup capable of producing 120-150 gallons per batch. This size is well-suited for microbreweries looking to scale up production while retaining craft quality and flexibility.

4 BBL Brewing Equipment Guide

This section will provide an equipment guide detailing the key components of 4 BBL Brewing Equipment.

Equipment TypeDescription and Key Functions
Brew KettleThe brew kettle or mash tun is one of the primary vessels where water is combined with malted grains to convert starches to sugar. A 4 BBL system would need a 5 BBL kettle size typically.
Lauter TunThe lauter tun separates the sugary wort from the grains. It contains a false bottom plate and sparge arm to filter the wort.
WhirlpoolThe whirlpool unit creates a spinning motion to separate trub and hop particles before the wort moves to the fermenter. This helps clarify the wort.
Heat ExchangerA plate heat exchanger quickly cools down the hot wort before it is transferred to the fermenter. This is important to avoid oxidation and evaporation.
Fermentation TanksThe fermenters are temperature and pressure controlled stainless steel vessels where the yeast converts sugar into alcohol and CO2. A 4 BBL setup would need (5x) 4 BBL fermenters typically.
Brite TanksBrite tanks allow storage and carbonation of finished beer before packaging. 4 BBL brite tanks enable holding 1-2 batches.
FilterA whole house filtration system removes yeast, particles and haze for brilliantly clear beer. Plate and frame filters are commonly used.
Transfer PumpsCentrifugal and sanitary transfer pumps efficiently move liquid between vessels with minimal oxygen uptake.
Cleaning and SanitationClean-in-place (CIP) manifolds, reservoirs, pumps and spray balls provide automated cleaning and sanitization of equipment.
Glycol ChillerThe glycol chiller unit regulates temperatures of fermentation and brite tanks for optimal yeast activity.
Steam BoilerThe gas-fired steam boiler provides hot liquor for mashing grains in the brew kettle and powers the brewing process.
Control PanelThe control panel houses computer controls to enable automatic system operation and data capture.
4 BBL Brewing Equipment

Customized 4 BBL Brewhouse Design and Layout

This section will cover how to customize and optimize the 4 BBL Brewing Equipment design for your facility size and production goals.

Space and DimensionA 4 BBL brewhouse occupies approximately a 800-1200 sq. ft footprint. Ceiling height, placement of tanks and flow between vessels should be optimized.
Production VolumeTarget batch size, annual beer production and peak output will determine tank capacities and other equipment sizing.
ExpandabilityConsider potential future expansion needs in site layout and buffer space around equipment. modular designs allow for incremental upgrades
BudgetEstimate capital expenditure and operating costs. Optimize to match financial projections.
Design and Lead TimesCustom or turnkey systems? Choose quality fabricators and secure equipment production slots based on timelines.
Safety and ComplianceEnsure designs meet all brewery safety, electrical, plumbing and ventilation guidelines. Secure appropriate licensing.

Suppliers and Costs

Here is a comparison of equipment costs from leading 4 BBL Brewing Equipment suppliers:

CompanyPrice RangeOfferings
Rolec Craft Brewing$100,000 – $250,000Custom designs
Specific Mechanical$150,000 – $300,000Turnkey systems
Portland Kettleworks$180,000 – $280,000Made in USA
AAA Metal Fabrication$120,000 – $220,000Value equipment
Mile Hi Equipment$250,000 – $350,000Premium systems

*Pricing indicative only; gets highly customized

Choosing the Right 4 BBL System Supplier

Here are key criteria to evaluate when selecting a 4 BBL Brewing Equipment supplier:

Reputation and Track RecordReviews, client lists, years in business
Customization RangeAbility to meet specialized layout or functionality requirements
Design Consultation ProcessGuidance provided on equipment sizing, capacities, facility considerations
Equipment Quality and CraftsmanshipHigh-grade stainless steel, precise fabrication, durability
Lead TimesProduction and delivery timelines
Options within BudgetSystem configurations matching capital expenditure budget
Local Service and SupportAvailability of installations, maintenance and service crews near brewery location
WarrantiesEquipment defects and performance coverage policies

Installing and Operating 4 BBL Brewing Equipment

This section covers best practices around 4 BBL Brewing Equipment installation, operation, cleaning and ongoing maintenance.

Site PrepFlooring, drainage, electrical, ventilation and ancillary infrastructure should be completed prior to equipment delivery per supplier recommendations
InstallationExperienced crews supervise staging of tanks, wiring, piping, glycol and test connections as part of turnkey commissioning
SafetyLock-out tag-out procedures, emergency stops, protective gear and training on safe chemical handling and equipment operation
Startup AssistanceSuppliers provide onsite support during initial batch productions to troubleshoot issues
Control SystemsProgramming and data monitoring enable tracking brewery operations
Cleaning and MaintenanceDaily and weekly cleaning protocols per supplier guidelines, with routine inspections, lubrication, replacements of wear parts
Service ContractsScheduled annual servicing of control systems, pumps, filters, boiler etc. by qualified technicians

Key Pros and Cons of 4 BBL Brewing Equipment

Flexible batch sizesHigher equipment cost per barrel vs larger systems
Cann manage multiple beer varieties and experimentationTakes up more floor space than 1-2 BBL nano setups
Cost-effective scaling up from pilot batchesAdditional complexity in process piping and controls
Produces volume suitable for taprooms and distributionRequires an advanced brewer’s skill level
Quality and consistency improves with automationSignificant start-up effort in design, site prep, installation and licensing


Q: What size space do you need for a 4 BBL brewhouse?

A: Approximately 800-1200 square feet, with 10ft+ ceiling height. The actual footprint dimensions get custom designed based on your goals.

Q: How many people does it take to operate a 4 BBL system?

A: Realistically you need 1-2 skilled brewers who can handle an automated, medium-volume setup with beer transfers, CIP systems etc. Some additional cellar staff may help with packaging.

Q: What are the annual maintenance costs of 4BBL equipment?

A: Industry benchmarks estimate 4-6% of total equipment cost as yearly maintenance expenses. This covers periodic servicing, parts replacement, cleaning chemicals etc.

Q: Is 4 BBL a good size to distribute kegs or cans?

A: Yes, the roughly 150 gallon per batch output lets you establish tap accounts at bars and fill limited release cans for self-distribution if allowed by state laws.

Know More Brewing equipment