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5 BBL Brewing Equipment

A 5 barrel (BBL) brewhouse system allows craft brewers to scale up production while maintaining high quality and flexibility. This guide covers key 5 BBL brewery equipment including process layout, sizing, customization, suppliers, installation, operation, maintenance and more.

Introduction to 5 BBL Brewing Systems

5 BBL commercial breweries produce batch sizes of 155 gallons or 5 barrels of beer. Typical features include:

  • All-grain brewhouse with 5 BBL capacity
  • Manual or automated operation
  • 15-30 BBL annual production capacity
  • Electric or gas heating configurations
  • High quality stainless steel construction
  • Space efficient footprint for nano or micro breweries
  • Flexible equipment for various beer recipes

A well-designed 5 BBL brew house allows craft brewers to increase production while retaining hands-on control over quality and experimentation.

This guide provides a detailed overview of selecting, integrating and running 5 BBL brewing equipment.

5 BBL Brewing Equipment

5 BBL Brewhouse Equipment Overview

A complete 5 BBL brewhouse system consists of:

5 BBL Brewery Equipment

  • Milling – Roller or hammer mill
  • Mash tun – Insulated stainless vessel with false bottom
  • Lauter tun – For wort separation from grain
  • Brew kettle – Direct or indirect heated kettle
  • Whirlpool – For trub separation after boil
  • Heat exchanger – Cooling wort quickly
  • Fermentation tanks – Stainless conical fermenters
  • Brite tanks – Carbonation and storage
  • Glycol chiller – Temperature control
  • Piping – Food grade stainless transfer pipes
  • Automation – Level sensors, PID control

5 BBL Brewing Process Overview

The typical all-grain brewing process consists of:

  • Milling – Grain is milled into grist for mashing
  • Mashing – Grist is mixed with hot water for enzyme conversion
  • Lautering – Sugary wort is separated from spent grains
  • Boiling – Wort is boiled with hops for bitterness, aroma, sanitation
  • Whirlpool – Trub proteins and hops are removed
  • Cooling – Heat exchanger rapidly cools wort before fermentation
  • Fermentation – Yeast converts sugars into alcohol
  • Maturation – Resting improves clarity and flavor
  • Filtration – If required for bright beers
  • Carbonation – CO2 addition for desired volumes
  • Packaging – Kegging, bottling or canning

The brewhouse equipment enables wort production, while fermenters and brite tanks condition and package the beer.

5 BBL Brewhouse Design and Layout

A typical 5 BBL brewery layout consists of:

5 BBL Brewery Layout

  • Brewhouse equipment in parallel or linear arrangement
  • Centrally located mash tun and lauter tun
  • Kettle with direct or indirect heating
  • Whirlpool for trub separation after boil
  • Glycol chilling system for wort cooling
  • Fermentation room with 5-10 BBL fermenters
  • Brite tanks for carbonation and storage
  • Storage room for grain, hops, yeast etc.
  • Packaging area for kegging, canning, bottling
  • Utility connections for water, electrical, drains, ventilation
  • Office space, tasting room etc. as required

Layout is optimized for workflow from raw materials to packaged beer. Space for expansion should be considered.

Customization and Options for 5 BBL Systems

Key customization options for 5 BBL equipment include:

5 BBL System Customizations

  • Electric vs gas heating
  • Direct vs indirect kettle firing
  • Level of automation – manual valves or sensor-based
  • Fermentation temperature control methods
  • Number and size of fermenters, brite tanks
  • Materials – stainless steel grades, coatings
  • Piping dimensions and fittings
  • Filtering and carbonation choices
  • Milling, bottling, canning, kegging machine upgrades
  • Bulk grain handling and storage
  • Higher quality spotlight finishes and welding
  • Utility connections and capacities

-Floor drain placement and trench drains

  • Branding – custom colors, logos, design

Collaborating with the brewhouse manufacturer enables optimal customization for your space, needs and budget.

5 BBL Brewery Suppliers and Costs

Leading 5 BBL system manufacturers and sample pricing:

5 BBL Equipment Suppliers and Prices

ManufacturerLocationPrice Range
Specific MechanicalCanada$150,000 – $250,000
Portland KettleworksUSA$100,00 – $200,000
Premier StainlessUSA$150,000 – $275,000
TrianglesChina$70,000 – $120,000
JV NorthwestUSA$100,000 – $150,000
  • Complete 5 BBL brewhouses cost $100,000 to $275,000 on average.
  • North American suppliers command higher prices but offer better quality and service.
  • Imported Chinese systems are lower priced but have higher defect and rework rates.
  • Factors like automation, accessories, installation etc. influence overall capital costs.
  • Used equipment can provide budget 5 BBL brewhouse solutions.

Carefully weigh the upfront price versus long-term quality, production output and resale value when selecting systems.

5 BBL Brewery Installation, Operation and Maintenance

Installation Considerations

  • Flooring needs – amenities like trench drains and sinks
  • Utility connections for electricity, water, gas, glycol
  • Optimizing layout and clearances for operation
  • Testing and inspecting equipment function after connections


  • Following all safety procedures
  • Brewing a range of beer recipes and parameters
  • Tracking brewing data for yield consistency
  • Adhering to cleaning and sanitization procedures


  • Preventative maintenance schedule
  • Inspecting fittings, gaskets, electrical
  • Lubricating and servicing pumps
  • Tank inspections and passivation
  • Replacing worn parts like seals
  • Addressing issues quickly to avoid downtime

Ongoing training and documented procedures in these areas ensure smooth brewery operation and beer quality.

Selecting a Reliable 5 BBL System Supplier

Key 5 BBL brewhouse supplier evaluation criteria:

5 BBL Brewery Supplier Selection

  • Experience designing and building breweries
  • Breadth of equipment offerings and turnkey capabilities
  • Quality of workmanship and materials
  • Flexibility for customization
  • Responsive customer service and communication
  • Ability to stay on schedule and budget
  • Installation support and operator training
  • Shipping and logistics capabilities
  • Range of warranties and service contracts
  • References and testimonials from existing clients
  • Financial stability of company

On-site visits to the supplier’s facility and existing brewery projects provide key insights on expertise. Seeking referrals ensures a qualified partner.

Pros and Cons of 5 BBL Brewing Systems

5 BBL Brewing Equipment Advantages

  • Scaled capacity beyond homebrewing
  • Flexibility for product experimentation
  • All-grain wort production quality
  • Capability for packaging in bottles, cans, kegs
  • Potential for direct to consumer sales
  • Capacity for taproom and local distribution

Potential Disadvantages

  • Significant capital investment required
  • Ongoing production and quality control demands
  • Equipment maintenance requirements
  • Space requirements for brewhouse layout
  • Staffing requirements for brewing operations
  • Planning for growth and expanded capacity

The benefits often make 5 BBL breweries an appealing starting point for commercial craft brewing ambitions.

5 BBL Brewing Equipment
Brewing system 5 vessesl


Q: What size brewery is 5 BBL equipment suited for?

A: 5 BBL systems are optimal for very small brewpubs, taprooms or nano breweries doing pilot batches up to micro production scale.

Q: What is the cost of a 5 BBL brewhouse?

A: A complete 5 BBL brewing system costs $100,000 to $275,000 on average depending on the level of automation and accessories.

Q: What are the Differences between 3 BBL and 5 BBL systems?

A: 5 BBL has more production capacity and larger fermenters. It requires more space and storage. 3 BBL is better suited to homebrewers scaling up or brewpubs.

Q: Can 5 BBL produce canned or bottled beer?

A: Yes, a 5 BBL system allows canning and bottling capability in addition to kegging. Canning lines and labeling equipment can be added.

Q: How many fermentation tanks are needed for 5 BBL?

A: For primary fermentation, 5-10 BBL conical fermenters are recommended. Additional fermenters enable lagering, fruit additions, etc.

Q: What raw materials are needed for 5 BBL batches?

A: Approximately 400-500 lbs of grain is needed per 5 BBL batch. Hops around 2-5 lbs. 25-50 lbs of yeast depending on the beer recipe.

Q: What is the typical brewhouse efficiency for 5 BBL?

A: With a well-designed mash tun, high quality milling, and proper procedures, 75-80% mash efficiencies can be consistently achieved.

Q: How many people are required to operate a 5 BBL brewery?

A: For a very small operation, 1-2 knowledgeable brewers can handle 5 BBL production and packaging. Larger taprooms require additional bartending staff.

Q: How much beer can a 5 BBL system produce annually?

A: Full time production on a 5 BBL brewhouse equates to roughly 450-900 barrels or 15,000 to 30,000 gallons of beer output per year.


In summary, 5 BBL commercial brewing systems enable craft brewers to scale up all-grain wort production and packaging capabilities compared to homebrewing. Careful equipment selection, layout and integration ensures quality, efficiency and flexibility for small batch brewhouse needs. With proper procedures and maintenance, 5 BBL systems can produce consistent, high-quality beer.

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