Brite tanks, also called serving tanks or conditioning tanks, are important vessels for clarifying, carbonating and storing beer post-fermentation and pre-packaging. This guide provides craft brewers an in-depth look at 6 barrel (BBL) brite tanks including types, design considerations, reputable manufacturers, and insights into proper installation, operation and maintenance.
Overview of 6 BBL Brite Tanks
A 6 BBL brite tank holds finished beer for clarification, carbonation and storage. Key specifications:
- Capacity: 6 BBL or 31 gallons per batch
- Construction: Stainless steel, single or insulated walls
- Shape: Horizontal or vertical
- Standard fittings: Glycol cooling, CO2 injection, racking arm, CIP
- Annual output: Varies on cycles, ~650 BBL
Bright tanks create optimum beer clarity and flavor stability before packaging. They allow precise carbonation and cold temperature control – both important for consistent product quality.
Brite Tank Styles
There are two main configurations for 6 BBL bright beer vessels:
|Cylindrical laid on side
|Compact, energy efficient glycol cooling, easy CIP
|Limited headspace for dry hopping, fruit, wood
|Upright with conical or domed bottom
|Allows more complex beer treatments, better dry hop
|Tall, harder glycol integration, yeast settling less efficient
Table 1: Comparison of horizontal and vertical brite tank types
Beyond basic shape, custom options like double-walled insulation, racking arms, carbonation stones and sample ports enable brewers to outfit tanks to best suit their beers and workflows.
Typical Dimensions: 6 BBL Brite Tanks
General dimensions for 6 BBL bright tanks are:
|3 – 4
|6 – 8
|3 – 4
|7 – 9
|3 – 4
Table 2: Approximate height, length and diameter of 6 BBL horizontal & vertical brite tanks
These dimensions can vary based on specific manufacturer designs like coned vs flat bottom tanks. Evaluate space needs, desired treatments, and preferred glycol setup when selecting between horizontal and vertical unit configurations.
Design Considerations: 6 BBL Brite Tank Systems
Beyond the bright vessels, brewers must equip tanks with integrated features for clarifying, carbonating and stabilizing beer:
- Cooling system (glycol/glycol exchanger)
- CO2 injection stone and bulk CO2 tank
- Sample valve for pull-offs
- Sight glass for beer clarity checks
- CIP spray ball
Automation & Treatment Options
- Carbonation/fermentation computer
- Pure O2 mixer for oxygenation
- Fruit/wood infusion port
- Dry hop accessory kit
Combining cooling jackets, CO2 delivery, sampling ports and cleaning accessories allows 6 BBL brite tanks to truly “brighten” beer. Additional features like automated carbonation controls or fruit infusion ports let brewers specialize tanks for certain beer types if desired.
Popular 6 BBL Brite Tank Manufacturers & Costs
Quality stainless brite tanks are offered from both domestic and overseas manufacturers. Below are some popular bright tank brand options across a range of budgets:
|$12,000 – $22,000
|$15,000 – $26,000
|$18,000 – $30,000
|$14,000 – $24,000
|$16,000 – $28,000
Table 3: Reputable 6 bbl brite tank suppliers and typical base price ranges
The prices above generally represent the core 6 BBL bright tank vessel itself. Additional accessories like glycol systems, CO2 injection or automation controls add $3,000 to $10,000+ to the total system cost.
Comparing multiple vendors based on quality reputation, lead times, specific feature sets and service history – not just tank pricing – brings the best value.
Selecting a 6 BBL Brite Tank Manufacturer & Developing the Relationship
Choosing a quality bright tank partner requires assessing several key factors:
|Do available tanks and options fit brewery plans?
|Can they tailor tank features/automation to needs?
|Track Record & Reputation
|What do client reviews and references indicate?
|How well do sales and tech reps understand needs?
|Price for Value
|Does combination of price, quality and service sync with budget?
Table 4: Key considerations when selecting a 6 BBL brite tank supplier
Equally weighing price, configurations, brand reputation and vendor relationship is advised over emphasizing cost alone. Cheaper tanks often require replacing sooner while better stainless and fabrication supports longevity.
Provide potential partners detailed specifications like capacity goals, available space, desired fittings, beer types, etc. to enable useful proposals suited to brewery. Compare options thoughtfully – this is a 10-20 year tank investment.
Installing 6 BBL Brite Tank Systems
Proper brite tank placement and connection to utilities is critical before first use.
|Floor reinforced for weight? Layout fit transfers, height?
|Measure BTU load, connect to glycol exchanger
|Injection stone & bulk tank linked, double check seal
|Install sanitary sample port at accessible height
|Insert spray ball, attach pump & tanks, check coverage
|Pressure relief valve functional? Access stairs & railings?
Table 5: 6 BBL brite tank installation procedure
Thoroughly leak checking glycol, CO2 and CIP circulation plus verifying element function avoids issues down the road once tanks are operating. Consider getting vendor, contractor or brewery technician sign-off on proper build-out.
Standard Operating Procedures: 6 BBL Brite Tanks
Consistent bright tank workflows are vital to stabilize beer and meet packaging specs batch to batch:
Brite Tank Operations
|CO2 purge, open racking arm valve, monitor sight glass for full level
|Sample Beer – wait 1-4 days for settling post filtration/fining
|Set and monitor pressure/time to desired volumes
|Drop temp -2°C to promote settling prior to packaging
|Open tank, insert infusion container (if used), close
Table 6A: Key 6 BBL brite tank SOPs
|Verify carb levels, DO and clarity specs are met
|Set packaging vessel at equal pressure, open valve
|Take samples – adjust carb/flow if drift noted
|CIP immediately, store remaining beer cold
Table 6B: SOPs for packaging from brite tank
Following best practice SOPs for transferring, clarifying, carbonating and packaging creates consistency between brite tank turns.
6 BBL Brite Tank Maintenance
Routine maintenance and issue resolution avoids extended downtime.
|Gaskets & Seals
|Check condition, replace leaky gaskets
|Inspect valve seals, lubricate sticking valves
|Sight Glass & lights
|Clean glass for visibility, replace lights
|Disassemble stone, clean mineral buildup
|Check/replace filter, test concentration %
|Full Vessel Inspection
|Pressure test, valve checks, clean jacket & interior
Table 7: Recommended maintenance schedule for 6 BBL brite tanks
Develop a record log with maintenance dates, batch numbers, observations etc. to inform preventative upkeep and tank lifecycle.
|Shortened clarify cycle Insufficient DE finings Overfill
|Extend clarify duration Increase DE dose Fill by sight glass
|Incorrect CO2 volumes & timing Bad stone check valve Leaking lid
|Confirm carb chart for beer Adjust vols & time Replace check valve Fix lid seal
|Poor transfer practices Residue from infrequent CIP
|Improve transfer SOPs Increase CIP frequency Verify cleaning efficacy
Table 8: Troubleshooting common 6 BBL brite tank problems
Catching brite tank problems early through rigorous monitoring and trend analysis reduces risk of dumping bad batches.
Q: How many turns or batches can a 6 BBL brite tank produce annually?
A: With good production scheduling, a 6 BBL tank can handle 25-30 full turns per year. This translates to 150-200 annual barrels.
Q: Should I choose horizontal or vertical brite tanks?
A: Horizontal for clearer, simpler beers. Vertical if extensive dry hopping, fruiting or longer storage needed. Base the decision on types of beers being produced and available space.
Q: What are the most important brite tank fittings?
A: Glycol cooling jackets, CO2 injection system, racking arm and CIP spray ball. Temperature control, carbonation and cleaning capabilities make up bare minimum equipment.
Q: Is brite tank automation worth the extra investment?
A: Basic automation (temp and carbonation monitoring) provides efficiency and consistency gains for moderate upcharge. Advanced options offer tighter process control and labor savings but carry higher price premiums.