5 BBL Brew Kettle

6 Barrel Brite Beer Tanks

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:

HorizontalCylindrical laid on sideCompact, energy efficient glycol cooling, easy CIPLimited headspace for dry hopping, fruit, wood
VerticalUpright with conical or domed bottomAllows more complex beer treatments, better dry hopTall, 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:

TypeHeight (ft)Length (ft)Diameter (ft)
Horizontal3 – 46 – 83 – 4
Vertical7 – 9n/a3 – 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:

ManufacturerPrice Range
JV Northwest$12,000 – $22,000
Premier Stainless$15,000 – $26,000
SS Brewtech$18,000 – $30,000
Paco Tanks$14,000 – $24,000
Spike Brewing$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:

Evaluation CriteriaKey Questions
OfferingsDo available tanks and options fit brewery plans?
Customization CapabilityCan they tailor tank features/automation to needs?
Track Record & ReputationWhat do client reviews and references indicate?
Staff ExpertiseHow well do sales and tech reps understand needs?
Price for ValueDoes 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.

PositioningFloor reinforced for weight? Layout fit transfers, height?
Glycol HookupMeasure BTU load, connect to glycol exchanger
CO2 LineInjection stone & bulk tank linked, double check seal
Sample ValveInstall sanitary sample port at accessible height
CIP SetupInsert spray ball, attach pump & tanks, check coverage
Safety ChecksPressure 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

Beer TransferCO2 purge, open racking arm valve, monitor sight glass for full level
ClarificationSample Beer – wait 1-4 days for settling post filtration/fining
CarbonationSet and monitor pressure/time to desired volumes
Cold CrashDrop temp -2°C to promote settling prior to packaging
Fruit/Hop..Open tank, insert infusion container (if used), close

Table 6A: Key 6 BBL brite tank SOPs

Packaging Run

Pre-Run ChecksVerify carb levels, DO and clarity specs are met
Beer TransfersSet packaging vessel at equal pressure, open valve
Run MonitoringTake samples – adjust carb/flow if drift noted
Post-Run OpsCIP 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 & SealsCheck condition, replace leaky gasketsMonthly
ValvesInspect valve seals, lubricate sticking valvesMonthly
Sight Glass & lightsClean glass for visibility, replace lightsMonthly
CO2 StoneDisassemble stone, clean mineral buildupQuarterly
Glycol SystemCheck/replace filter, test concentration %6 Months
Full Vessel InspectionPressure test, valve checks, clean jacket & interiorYearly

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.

IssueCommon CausesFixes
Cloudy beerShortened clarify cycle Insufficient DE finings OverfillExtend clarify duration Increase DE dose Fill by sight glass
Over/Under carbonationIncorrect CO2 volumes & timing Bad stone check valve Leaking lidConfirm carb chart for beer Adjust vols & time Replace check valve Fix lid seal
InfectionPoor transfer practices Residue from infrequent CIPImprove 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.

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