When it comes to alcohol, there is one thing that might upset many drinkers.
It ain’t cheap.
Most alcoholic beverages, with only few exceptions are considered to be more expensive than their alternatives.
This happens to be the case due to several reasons, one of the most important being that the manufacturing process is very expensive.
There is much that goes into the manufacture of beer. From its ingredients to the preparation process, the beer manufacturing is not an easy task.
A lot of the effort is required to ensure that the preparation of alcohol is done in the right manner. Of the many things considered important for the manufacture of alcoholic drinks, one of the most important stages is the fermentation process.
Alcohol is prepared by fermenting starches with the help of yeast. The yeast helps to break down the sugars into alcohols and is a process that can take anywhere from a few months to several decades!
And then there is the normal issues with packaging, distribution, brewery management, salaries, etc. All of those factors will ultimately play a role in the final price of a beer.
While that is understandable, there’s a mystery in regards to the price of what’s called ‘craft’ beer. In other words, they wonder as to why craft beer is so much more expensive in comparison to regular beer.
What is a Craft Beer? Craft beer is in simple terms the beer that is made by small breweries or microbreweries, which are sometimes called as craft breweries. The business model of these breweries is based on small production batches, emphasis on brewing techniques and attention to the alcohol’s flavor. Also, the businesses tend to be family owned or at most a small company.
So what’s the problem?
- There is no ‘Economy of Scale’
If there is one thing that is familiar to every economics student or for that matter anyone who understands the markets, it is that the more you produce of something the cheaper its price should be. A corollary of this is that the less of something you produce the more it will cost. Demand and supply economics.
Simply put, the average craft brewery tends to produce beer in very small batches which drives the price up. To a large extent, the high prices are a result of necessity rather than choice.
- There Is Something Unique About the Recipe
Many craft breweries tend to operate as family businesses or perhaps small companies.
And if there is one thing that is common to many of them, it is a certain ‘interesting’ and ‘unfamiliar’ taste.
Quite often, this taste difference is the result of recipes handed down from generations or perhaps recently invented.
This ‘premium’ taste that the beer offers tends to be one of the reasons why the price is high.
This is not the case with all breweries. Taxation is something that all companies have to deal with.
This is true for the beer industry as it is for anything else. And when it comes to taxes, larger companies often find ways to reduce their tax burdens either through the help of government subsidies or good chartered accountants.
Small companies by nature have less resources to benefit and access governmental subsidies and other such policies.
Eventually the tax will be passed on to the consumers.
- Import Duty
In addition to taxes, there is also import duty charged whenever a product is imported into a country.
In case the craft beer is imported into the country, rather than being prepared in it, there will be a certain percentage levied by the customs agency for importing it.
Another thing that is to be added here is that craft beer tends to have a higher ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage in comparison to regular beer, which in turn affects the amount of duty that is levied on it.
- The Branding
There are many companies that tend to charge a premium based on the name of their brand. This has nothing to do with actual scarcity of the product or for that matter anything else. It is just case of capitalism and nothing more.
And this is very much understandable if you look at the situation from a capitalist perspective. The company is only doing what anybody would do, if they were backed up with a great reputation.
- Rising Ingredient Cost
This isn’t really specific to craft beer but rather something which applies to the entire beer industry.
In recent times, there has been an increase in the global prices for raw materials like barley and hops. The increase in prices in turn, have been due to a variety of reasons like crop failure, increased global demand, changes in land use patterns, urbanization, etc.
The cost of purchasing raw materials that have been incurred by these breweries, have in turn been passed on to the consumer by the companies.
- Distribution Costs
Another important factor that makes craft beer expensive in comparison to regular beer is the distribution cost.
Large companies often possess their own distribution channels, or at least make deals that work out in terms of affordability. This however, is not the case when it comes to small brewers who have a hard time bringing their product to their consumers.
As a whole, the above mentioned reasons are some of the most important as to why craft beer is usually expensive.
There are indeed other reasons as well but these are by far the most important as to why craft beer is more expensive than regular beer.
Breweries around the world come in different sizes. Some are big while some are operating on a small level. Their operations, cost, and revenues depend on their size mainly. Let’s say a microbrewery would fit only in one room and all procedures will be handled by only one person. As for a large commercial multinational brewery, they will have many employees working in different departments. Each department in this brewery will be dedicated to one type of operations and the employees working in that particular department will make sure their operations get done for their phase only. Despite the variability in size, the basic biochemical process is the same for beer brewing.
Recently, people from different backgrounds have been establishing large breweries in their towns. These are not as big as the multinational brewing companies, but they certainly have made their cut in nearby bars and pubs. It is an easy task, the people are making profits, so business is good. So, if you are thinking to establish a large brewery in your area then you need to buy commercial brewing equipment because for a large brewery, you need to handle big operations. But how much does commercial brewing equipment cost?
Basic factors that affect brewing equipment cost
3 basic factors affect brewing equipment cost in 2020, which includes:
- What kind of brewery equipment material you use?
- Do you take brand new brewery equipment or second hand?
- What is the size of your brewery?
Brewery equipment material:
Let’s talk about the 1st factor which is brewery equipment material. Just like in a kitchen, we have utensils of different materials, like we have glass, china clay, stainless steel, and nonstick utensils for different purposes, the same way, a brewery has kettles made from either copper or stainless-steel material.
- Copper brewery equipment: Copper brewery equipment has been used in beer brewing for centuries because of its properties. It transfers heat quickly and evenly in the kettle to boil the wort. Traditionally, people started off making beer in copper utensils because it is highly desirable for boiling wort at high temperatures.
But copper tends to react with other chemicals easily and give a metallic taste in beer. Also, different cleaning and sanitization processes can change the color of beer made in copper kettles. Copper is a way cheaper option in comparison to stainless-steel.
- Stainless-steel brewery equipment: In the modern world where we are all about the end product, all big commercial breweries use stainless-steel brewery equipment in the modern times.. Although the kettles used in there are not completely made of stainless steel, they have copper cladding on each kettle to ensure the traditional appearance, but it doesn’t interfere with the taste unless it’s the bleach.
Stainless-steel material doesn’t actively react with chemicals, but it tends to react with chlorine, so proper sanitization won’t affect the quality of beer made in stainless-steel equipment. Also, stainless-steel is a stronger material than copper, so it doesn’t get pressurized when worts are boiled at high temperatures. Stainless-steel is expensive but it will be a durable choice in a brewery.
New or secondhand brewery equipment:
The cost of commercial brewery equipment also depends on whether you buy the new equipment or secondhand brewery equipment for your startup. The new equipment will be expensive than the secondhand equipment but if it comes in good shape and quality, it won’t affect your brewing at all. Despite the copper and stainless-steel boilers and kettles, major equipment in a brewery includes the following.
- Fermentation tanks: Fermentation is the next step after your wort is been boiled. Fermentation tanks hold the wort while yeast converts into sugar in the wort along with alcohol and carbon dioxide. They usually have a cone-shaped bottom. The jacketed fermenter is best in use, A ½ bb non-jacketed cost about $400 and jacketed fermenter of 1 bb can cost you $3,200
- Kegs: Kegs are important because you need to store beer in a keg before moving it into the bottles or cans. A ½ bbl. The keg is the most common size, it cost you $125 and buying them in a bulk will get you discount. They need to be washed properly so you will need a keg washer which comes under $300.
Other equipments include refrigerators, bottling, filters, and cleaning supplies.
Size of your brewery:
The size of the brewery is a major factor in determining the cost of commercial brewery equipment. If you have a larger operation going on, you will be needing the bigger equipment and bigger brewhouse. A brewhouse features a mash mixer, hot liquor tank, whirlpool, boiling kettle, and lauter tun. Usually, the capacity of the brewhouse is determined in barrels (bbl.) unit. Different companies like https://yolongbrewtech.com manufacture the brewhouse in different barrel capacities depending on the client’s needs. The retail prices of brewhouses are also different from size to size. The smallest brewhouse costs about $50,000.
Cost of commercial brewing startup:
Depending on your brewery size, acquiring a license and buying the good quality commercial brewing equipment, we can roughly estimate that it can go from $100,000 to $1million easily. For a person who is new to this brewing, the thing must go for the microbrewery option. It is slightly smaller, but you will oversee everything in your own space. You can produce less than 15,000 barrels and 75 % of beer will be sold offsite. It will be a commercial venture and you can buy all the commercial equipment for a microbrewery in less than $100,000. The small equipment will take less space in the house. This will save you some major real estate costs and tax amounts. Your license cost will certainly get reduced. The further plumbing, electrical works, and flooring cost will eventually reduce because you are renting a small space. Day to day operation will be easy to handle, you can take a few employees to help you out as well.
Finally, starting your brewery is an expensive and challenging task, you need to be committed and have a plan to manage the hurdles on the way. But good business always flourishes so hope for the best.
Though the majority of people think that there is nothing more important than the actual process of brewing beer and the steps that you take to do so, the reality is that the steps that follow are equally important.
The approach that you take to bottle or keg your beer is a crucial step when it comes to maintaining your beer so that it is good enough for your friends and family to drink. As you have probably noticed, there is no company around that keeps beer in lightly sealed containers. This is because you need to store it in certain ways to ensure that it maintains its overall quality. The two most popular approaches to this are bottling and kegging for beer storage.
The way that you store your beer and how you go about it is crucial for ensuring the overall quality of your beer when it comes time to drink it. You must take careful steps to ensure that the beer does not get contaminated in any way. Introducing bacteria to beer can have disastrous consequences ranging from poor taste to legitimate health concerns. This is why the act of taking it from one vessel to the next must be taken seriously. Beyond health concerns, the way that you store your beer can impact the way that it stands against the passage of time. If you were to mistakenly allow oxygen into your brew, you run the risk of the beer degrading very quickly. This can result in your delicious brew becoming stale and unpleasant to drink before you even get to enjoy it. It is also important to use darker bottles to avoid sun exposure. This will help your beer to stand against the test of time.
Bottling is a process that many people are familiar with, but most grossly underestimate the work behind it. When asked, most people would probably just assume that bottling involves taking the beer and putting it into bottles. Though it would be nice if it were truly that simple, there is actually a full process behind bottling. First, you must completely sanitize the bottles to ensure that there aren’t any potential contaminants within them before you fill them with your brew. Once the bottles have been properly cleaned using bleach or some comparable equivalent, you will be ready to fill them. The beer will be moved to a bottling bucket. This is where most people will carry out the additional carbonation steps, if any, so that the beer can then be siphoned into the bottles. During this process, it is crucial to avoid exposing the beer to oxygen.
Since bottling beer can be a lengthy and tedious process, particularly for larger quantities. It is one thing to siphon beer into five bottles, but another thing entirely to fill twenty or thirty. This is why many people who brew at home opt for using kegs for storage instead. The kegging process simply involves cleaning the keg, managing the beer and any additional steps, and then siphoning it into the keg instead. This can save on time, and many people find it to be a good excuse to get their very own tap in their bar at home. This can make it even more exciting to serve up your delicious beer to friends.
Storing your beer is an important process, particularly if you plan on keeping it for any lengthy duration of time. You would be amazed to realize just how quickly improperly stored beer can degrade. Focusing on refining your process to avoid potential contaminants and oxygen exposure is crucial for ensuring that you will have the right experience when it comes time to drink your beer. A little effort goes a long way here.
For lovers of beer, it is an obvious fact that in order to make beer, you have to use yeast. Most people know that beer is a fermented beverage, just like the ever-popular kombucha drink that is hitting health stores everywhere, but not everyone knows what fermentation actually means.
This unique process is completely responsible for giving beer its alcohol, taking it from a funky tea to something that you can get drunk on at a football game. However, few people know how this process actually happens and what about yeast takes grain water and turns it into something that tastes delicious and has intoxicating effects. In this guide, we are going to give you a crash course on what it means to ferment beer and how it applies to your brewing process.
In a simple sense, yeast takes the glucose and turns it into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. As most anyone knows, alcohol is the component of beer that is capable of getting you drunk. The carbon dioxide gas is responsible for lending beer the wonderful carbonation effect that it is so well known for.
These two products, born of the fermentation process, are signature aspects of beer that make it what it is known for. While other alcohol types also rely on fermentation, beer is generally known for its signature use of grain or barley as a base. Depending on what is used and how the beer itself is fermented, the alcohol and carbonation levels in the beer can change. You will probably have noticed that some beers have a higher alcohol content than others. You will likely also have noticed that some beer has more carbonation than other kinds. Each of these factors and how they play out in the brewing and fermenting process is determined by the approach that the individual making the beer makes.
The aspect of the beer that is involved in the fermentation process actually exists prior to it becoming beer. During the brewing process, a liquid called wort is made that is the result of boiling grains and their respective enzymes. This wort is then taken and mixed with a set amount of yeast in order to determine how the fermentation process will play out. The yeast will convert the glucose in the wort to the alcohol and carbon dioxide, and from this process, beer is made.
The fermentation process is not a universal constant. In reality, it changes from one type of beer to the next. Fermentation as a process is known to emit heat, and the temperature that the beer is kept at can determine what kind of beer it actually turns into. Some types of beer are maintained at higher temperatures while other types of beer are kept at lower temperatures. This, in combination with how long the fermentation process is carried out, can determine various factors about the beer. Some beers are fermented for a couple of weeks while others can be fermented for well over a month. It is all kept to the discretion of the creator.
When you make your beer, the fermentation process is considered one of the most relevant steps. Since it gives the beer some of the signature traits that we all know and love, it is easy to see why people stress this step so much. It is what takes an awkward brew and turns it into that delicious cold one at the end of a long day. As you pursue your brewing process, you will find that the various approaches to fermentation available can drastically impact the final product. Don’t hesitate to experiment with this step to see how you can alter your homemade brews.
Making the decision to have your own brewing equipment can be an exciting new challenge.
While it is easy to lose yourself to mental images of owning a brewing system and making beer to your heart’s content, the reality is that there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to making and operating your own brewery, no matter how big or small it is. Though you might get the joyous hard work of brewing beer, it isn’t all fun and games when it comes to managing your own personal microbrewery. All of the amazing equipment that you will use to make your delicious brews must be maintained in order for it to continue to brew delicious beer. If you fail to maintain your equipment, you run the risk of it breaking down. This can lead to expensive repairs, or worse, a need for a completely new system. In addition to potential damage, failing to correctly clean and maintain your equipment can result in health concerns. Since beer is meant to be ingested, it is important to always remember that your regular maintenance can help you to dodge health risks.
The first thing to consider when it comes to maintaining your brewing equipment is keeping the kettle clean. Your kettle is a primary component of your brewing system. Making sure that it is not suffering from buildup is imperative for the quality and safety of your beer. Allowing an excess of buildup can lead to inefficiencies in the system, compromised taste, or even health concerns in the worst-case scenario.
When you clean your kettle, you will want to make sure that you do not use anything too abrasive to do so. Damaging the metal of your kettle, particularly if you are leaving scratches, can make abrasions that will not only damage the integrity of the system but are an easier place for bacteria and other health risks to hide.
Some brewing experts suggest using a nitric acid-based cleaner as a start, but traditional brewing cleaner should be fine. You can always do a more manual scrubbing process in the event you notice that any buildup has been left behind. The most popular approach is to run a traditional water cycle through the equipment followed by a cycle with water and cleaner. You can then do an acid rinse, and will end by doing several complete rinse cycles in order to ensure that your brewing equipment is completely devoid of any toxic chemicals before you begin brewing again.
As a general rule, you will want to make sure that you manage to clean all components of your brewing system regularly. This will help to preserve your systems and keep them nice, and will also ensure that your beer is not tainted by previous brews.
Since the majority of people making beer at home like to experiment with various kinds of beer, a good general rule is to clean your systems between uses. This will help to ensure that your beer always has a completely clean and pure taste, and will allow you a good maintenance cycle to ensure that you don’t have to battle any pesky build.
Maintaining your brewery equipment might not be the most fun process, but it is absolutely worth it. You can be proud of yourself for preserving the integrity of your equipment and giving your process the respect that it deserves. More importantly, when you keep your equipment clean, you will be able to taste the difference. It might take a little bit of effort, but it is the price that we all pay for making amazing brews at home.
If you are the kind of person who enjoys a good beer regularly or every once in a while, chances are that you have probably wondered how exactly beer gets made. Though it would be a gross oversimplification to imply that every kind of beer is made in a basic and simple way, the fact is that there is a general basis for steps when it comes to brewing beer. As a whole, beer generally has a few common steps and ingredients that come together to make the majority of brews available today. Though your favorite beer probably does have something special to it, the reality is that almost all traditional beer is made in a more basic way.
When you begin making beer, the first step involves malting. This part of the beer-making process relies on you taking your grain of choice and heating and drying it until it physically cracks. While this is likely not at all what you think of when you make beer, the malting step is incredibly important because it releases the enzymes necessary to make the actual brewing process. There are a variety of grain options that this can be done with, which contributes to some of the flavor differences for certain beers.
After the malting process has been completed and the remaining grains have been prepared, you can begin the mashing process. Mashing is a process that people generally picture when they think of beer being made. It involves taking the activated grains and throwing them into a large vat of water. The grains will then be cooked at a high temperature in order to compel the grains to release their sugars. The success of this step is dependent upon the success of the malting step since the sugars are released by the activation of the enzymes released during the malting process. The saturated water that is released from this process is called wort and will be drained and carried forward into the next step.
Once the malting step is completed, the wort will be taken into the next step and boiled. The boiling process makes it easy for the beer to well and truly set in with itself. More importantly, it is the stage where you will find a majority of flavor adds being made. During this heating process, spices and other ingredients can be added for the sake of the overall flavor of the beer. It is also where the brewer will add in hops and other key ingredients. This steaming vat of boiling wort will evolve over time to more of a beer-like product.
The final part of the process involves taking the boiled concoction and straining it. Once the liquid has been strained, the fermentation process can begin. This is a simple process that merely involves adding yeast to the strained process for some time depending on what the brew calls for. The yeast will ferment the product, and by the end of this process, you can enjoy a delicious beer that will impress all of your friends.
Though there is plenty of room for variety within brewing, the reality is that beer as a process almost always includes some variation of the steps detailed above. Beer can vary incredibly in variety, technique, and ingredients. However, at the end of the day, your favorite beer is always going to be a combination of grain, heat, and yeast. The bonuses that you choose to add to a beer are what makes each one unique and delicious, but it is important to always respect the process. Feel free to experiment, but always do so in a safe and educated manner to achieve the best results.
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