How to choose equipment for micro, commercial and nano beer brewing

Beer is a drink that has been around for a very long time.

Today, it is one of the most popular drinks in the world, consumed on just about every occasion that can be imagined.

 

It is prepared in a variety of different ways, each serving a different purpose.

From industrial output to home preparations, it is one beverage that is produced in a variety of different ways. As exciting and interesting as this world of beer might seem, it does come with its own challenges.

One of the many challenges that exist, with regard to the preparation of beer, is that of the equipment.

With plenty of variations and unique requirements to be addressed in every given case, it can get confusing when it comes to selecting the appropriate beer-making equipment.

Given in the list below are the three major kinds of beer making equipment, and the strategies that can be employed when selecting the ideal equipment.

 

  1. Micro-beer Brewing Equipment

Micro-beer is a reference to beer prepared by small breweries, also called craft breweries. In fact, beers they produce are also known as craft beers.

The process of selecting the ideal micro beer brewing equipment is given below:

  1. Batch Size –

The batches prepared should be sufficient for craft breweries. The exact quantities produced, should be sufficient for small scale businesses to maintain beer supplies. This is usually a lot less than the quantities used in large scale beer production.

  1. Maintenance –

It should be easy to maintain in general, but it is especially important in the case of micro breweries, given that maintenance is an expense unto itself.

  1. Personnel Requirements –

The number of personnel required for running the machinery should be limited, as labor charges are often expensive for small brewers.

  1. About the Manufacturer –

It is preferable that the beer equipment is manufactured locally, to keep costs low.

  1. Add-Ons –
    Check if the beer making equipment has all the necessary additions, such as thermometers, pressure gauges, etc. These are often not sold along with the main equipment, when it comes to small scale production. Buying a complete brewing kit or set is a better choice, compared to buying it one piece at a time.

 

  1. Commercial Beer Equipment

The term commercial beer is a reference to the beer that is produced on a commercial basis, in large quantities. This happens to be the predominant form of beer produced today, and is a massive industry involving huge companies.

The process of selecting the ideal commercial beer brewing equipment is given below:

 

  1. Batch Size –

The equipment should be in a position to produce vast quantities of beer for every single batch. It is a necessity, given that these businesses are operating on a large scale, and require huge amounts of beer to be produced on an everyday basis.

  1. Maintenance –

The maintenance factor should be almost minimal, and possible to do by those operating the equipment. Nano breweries, just like micro breweries, have a limited amount of cash to spend, making it very necessary that maintenance costs be kept to a minimum.

  1. Personnel Requirements –

The number of personnel required for running the operation should be limited. This is however, not as big a concern, as it would be in the case of small and micro brewers.

  1. About the Manufacturer –
    It doesn’t matter if the equipment is manufactured at home or abroad, as long as it gets the job done. What matters for large scale manufacturing is productivity more than anything else.
  2. Add-Ons –

The equipment that is sold tends to be all encompassing, and is often far more complex than any ordinary home-brewing kit. The concern therefore, that it may not have the required additional brewing supplies is rather unfounded. At the same time however, it is necessary to check the details of the additional hardware that is supplied with the main equipment, just to make sure that it suits the company’s needs.

 

  1. Nano Beer Equipment

The term nano beer is actually related to the craft beers, in the sense that both are produced in small batches. At the same time however, nano beers are produced in quantities that can be considered as extremely limited, in comparison to craft beers, with most batches of nano beers limited to about three barrels at most.

The process of selecting the ideal nano beer brewing equipment is given below:

  1. Batch Size –

The amount of beer produced by nano beer equipment should be just enough for the required batches of about beer barrels. Anything more and it will lead to wastage of input.

  1. Maintenance –

The amount of maintenance required for nano beer equipment should be very limited, given that the workforce is limited as well. This is particularly important for nano brewers, considering that many of them tend to be used for personal purposes or small businesses, which cannot afford additional maintenance charges.

  1. Personnel Requirements –

Just like in the case of craft beers, it is important that the personnel required for the nano beer equipment are very limited.

  1. About the Manufacturer –
    It is preferable to buy the equipment from local companies rather than foreign ones, given that the costs are usually high.
  2. Add-Ons –

It is highly unlikely that all the necessary additional hardware like pressure gauges, thermometers and so on, are provided with the main brewing kit. This is therefore something very important to check up, before making the purchase.

 

Last but not the least, it should also be added that there are other things worth considering as well in this regard. These include things like the cost of the equipment, after sales service and so on, all of which tend to be rather general in nature, rather than being something unique to each of the above mentioned categories of beer making equipment.

The above mentioned list is but some of the most important ones around, and nothing more. Depending on your unique needs and requirements, other considerations may also have to be taken into account, when getting the ideal hardware for the job.

 

How to Handle Nano Brewing Equipment

The German beer culture has caught on and become a critical part of our lives. Nowadays, some people are looking to brew for themselves, which requires the use of brewing equipment. Nevertheless, the process of making beer has proved to be involving and sensitive, meaning one must take care in every aspect of the creation process. One of the best ways to ensure that care is taken is thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the nano brewery equipment. Additionally, the environment in which the beer is being made should be cleaned and disinfected to ensure that the beer is healthy and well preserved. As such, there are a few things that need full attention.

Cleaning Nano Brewery Equipment

Scrubbing has proved the most effective way of cleaning equipment. However, it is impractical to clean commercial brewery equipment as it might take many hours to clean. Consequently, it is advisable to use cleaning agents besides scrubbing to ensure the equipment are clean. It is imperative to avoid damaging the machine during the cleaning process. Using a sponge or a soft cloth reduces any chances of causing any damage. Most household cleaners should be avoided as they are not suitable for human consumption.

Chemicals Used for Cleaning Nano Brewery Equipment

Percarbonates: It is a mixture of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide. The mixture has proved useful during the cleaning process. Cleaning is ensured through activation of oxygen that makes the whole solution to become alkali. This mixture is not only fit for consumption, but it’s also environmentally friendly.

Chlorine: It is highly useful to clean both used and new brewery equipment. However, it should only be used to clean metal equipment as it reacts to plastic.

Powder brewery wash: Most of the equipment used has odd shapes that make it impossible to scrub. As such, it is advisable to invest in a stronger solution that will help remove stubborn dirt from the equipment.

Sanitizing Nano Brewery Equipment

Sterilization is necessary when cleaning equipment as it removes organisms that might cause batch spoilage. The following products can be used for sterilization;

Star san: It is useful in killing microorganisms, and it also has no odor and flavor. Also, it leaves a protective film that keeps protecting the equipment after use.

Iodophor: It is widely used in the food and medical industry for sanitizing food. It is a mixture of sanitizer, iodine detergent, and germicide.

Heat: It is used to sanitize equipment through boiling or use of dry heat. When using heat, one should make sure they stick below the melting point of equipment being sanitized and also to slowly cool them to avoid breakage.

Venting Propane

A room must be well ventilated due to the gases by various burners. For example, when working in a poorly ventilated place can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if using propane burners. In most cases, the side effects range from a mild headache to fainting in the case of extreme levels of carbon monoxide.

Need to Wear Protective Gear

During a brewing day, one should fit on protective gear to avoid sustaining any form of injuries. Equipment used in nano brewery varies from hot to sharp and may cause severe injuries if they come in touch with any part of the body. To protect such burns and injuries, one should not work in a brewery with open-toed shoes or touch a boiling kettle without having the safety boots and protective gloves on. Additionally, one should wear a respiratory mask when milling grain. This is to protect the person from harmful bacteria that are present in grains.

Cleaning Up Spills

When working in a brewery, one should expect spills from time to time. A spill might cause one to fall over and hurt his elbow, knees, and also it might result in burns. As such, spills should be quickly cleaned as a failure to do that might prove hazardous wellbeing of the workers.

Loose Hose Connection Clamps During Hot Liquid Transfer

It is easy to forget to fasten hose clamps which are usually loose after several times of being in use. Well fastened clamps help reduce the chances of a hose being blown off after pressurized pump is fired up, thus sending hot water and wort flying.

Gravity Testing

Not testing the gravity of beer before bottling can prove to be costly afterward. One should make sure that the beer being bottled is fully fermented to avoid chances of the bottle exploding as they can cause serious injuries or damage to the other equipment. To prevent bad blow ups, one should consider putting the bottles inside a box to reduce the chances of damage occurring in the event something goes wrong.

Unscheduled Brewing Day

Planning for a brewing day in advance makes the whole process much safer. It allows one to arrange the equipment and the room as they desire, thus reducing the chances of being injured. In most cases, when one starts brewing without prior planning, the exercise usually leads to frantic actions, which might result in injuries.

Boilovers

Boilovers are a common occurrence during the homebrewing process. Boilovers are common during boiling and hop addition as that is when beer tends to foam quickly. One should be attentive to the kettle and act as required if they notice a boilover. To prevent such issues, one should always have a larger kettle than the boil volume. Failure to have appropriate measures in place can lead to burns and also flare-ups on open flame burners.

Transporting Full Glass Carboy

Glass carboy necks are not very firm and can snap off and shatter, resulting in cuts. It is advisable for one not to carry full carboy by the carboy handle only. Instead, one should consider products like bucket sling and brew hauler.

Conclusion

Nano-brewing equipment has been made highly available, but the quality of the beer is dependent on other aspects such as cleanliness. No one should overlook the significance of such an element if they are to be successful. Also, all the guidelines on how to handle and maintain equipment should be adhered to for the well-being of the people using them.

2hl Pilot brewery system