electric brewing system

6 BBL Brewery Equipment Guide

6 BBL Brewing Equipment is a common starter size for small commercial breweries looking to sell beer locally or self-distribute. With approximately 180 gallons per batch capacity, it enables efficient production while retaining flexibility to produce multiple styles.

6 BBL Brewing Equipment Guide

This section provides an equipment guide for key components in a 6 BBL Brewing Equipment.

EquipmentDescription and Functions
Brew KettleThe brew kettle is the vessel for mashing grains and wort production. A 7-8 BBL unit allows room for vigorous boils.
Lauter TunThis tank with a false bottom and raking system filters sweet wort from spent grains for sparging.
WhirlpoolThe whirlpool unit uses centrifugal force to separate hop particulates and coagulated proteins from clear wort.
Heat ExchangerA high efficiency heat exchanger rapidly cools hot wort to pitching temperatures before the fermenter.
Fermentation TanksMultiple 7-8 BBL fermenters allow simultaneous fermentation of different beer varieties under control of temperature, pressure and yeast handling.
Brite TanksBrite tanks store and carbonate finished beer. 6 BBL units can hold 1-2 batch volumes.
FiltrationWhole house filters remove yeast, hop haze and solid particles for clear, stable beer.
Transfer PumpsHygienic stainless pumps seamlessly transfer liquids between vessels.
CIP SystemsAutomated clean-in-place setup circulates hot caustic and acid solutions to sanitize all equipment.
Control PanelThe control panel houses computer automation for about brewery operation parameters and data capture.
6 BBL Brewing Equipment

6 BBL Brewing Equipment Design and Customization

Key considerations for custom 6 BBL Brewing Equipment layout and functionality:

Production ScaleBatch size, annual output, peak capacity inform equipment sizing
Facility SpaceOptimized floorplan for 1000-1500 sq. ft. footprint with room for expansion
Process FlowEfficient worker and ingredient movements between brewing, fermenting, packaging, storage areas
BudgetBalance production quality and automation levels based on capital expenditure budgets
TimelinesEquipment lead times, permitting, installation schedule impact startup
Safety and RegulationsGuarding, emergency stops, ventilation, licences, and brewery compliance

6 BBL System Suppliers and Pricing

SupplierPrice RangeOfferings
Specific Mechanical Systems$250,000 – $450,000Turnkey setups
Portland Kettle Works$200,000 – $350,000Custom fabrication
Rolec$180,000 – $280,000Flexible designs
AAA Metal Fabrication$150,000 – $250,000Value equipment
Maverick Stainless Tanks$300,000 – $500,000Premium systems

*Pricing is indicative only; gets highly customized

Selecting a 6 BBL Brewing Equipment Supplier

Brewing ExperienceProven expertise in medium-scale brewhouse design and engineering
Custom FabricationAbility to accommodate specialized layout or functionality requests
Consultation ProcessGuidance on equipment sizing, capacities, site considerations
Build Quality and MaterialsHigh-grade stainless steel, precision welding, reliability
Production and Delivery Lead TimesEquipment availability and order fulfillment timelines
Commissioning SupportInstallation coordination, startup assistance, training
Post-sales ServiceResponse time, availability of support crews and parts
Budget and ValueSystem configurations matching capital expenditure budget

Operating and Maintaining 6 BBL Systems

This section provides 6 BBL operation, cleaning and maintenance best practices:

Brewhouse InstallationFlooring, drainage, power, piping and ancillary capabilities must be ready before staging tanks.
Safety ProceduresStaff training, emergency stops, equipment guarding and signage.
Initial ProductionBrewer assistance during first few batch process flows.
Cleaning and SanitationFollow CIP protocols as per supplier manual for wash cycles and chemical use.
Preventative MaintenanceSchedule periodic parts replacement, equipment lubrication, control panel backups as required.
Annual ServicingInstallation company technicians conduct full brewhouse inspection, calibration, upgrades if needed.

Key Pros and Cons of 6 BBL Brewing Equipment

Optimal flexibility and quality before large automated systemsRelatively high equipment cost per barrel of output
Batch size fuels local taproom and distribution scaleAdditional complexity from mixing, transferring, cleaning functions
Supports a portfolio of specialty and seasonal offerings6-12 month lead time for custom fabrication and site preparation
Preferred system for expanding brewpubsMay eventually need upgraded production capacity
Customization for unique beer styles or brandingRequires significant brewing experience and training


Q: How much does a 6 BBL brewhouse cost?

A: The total equipment capital expenditure ranges from $200,000 to $500,000+ for a complete 6 BBL system. Costs vary widely based on customization and automation levels.

Q: What size space does a 6 BBL brewhouse require?

A: Plan for an approximately 1000 – 1500 sq. ft. brewhouse facility. The overall brewery size including fermentation room, cold storage etc. needs about 3000 sq. ft.

Q: How many people are needed to operate a 6 BBL setup?

A: Typically 1-2 skilled brewers can handle the semi-automated process. Additional staff helps with packaging and taproom operations as production scales up.

Q: What is the best 6 BBL turnkey supplier?

A: Leading options are Specific Mechanical Systems, Portland Kettle Works, Rolec and AAA Metal Fabrication – evaluate based on customization needs and budget.

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