What is a 15bbl brewhouse?

10 BBL Brite Tank

What is a 15bbl brewhouse?

A 15bbl brewhouse is a term that’s often thrown around in the brewing industry, especially for those who are looking to upscale their brewing operations or set up a microbrewery. “BBL” is short for barrels, and in brewing terms, a barrel is equivalent to approximately 31 gallons of beer. This means that a 15bbl brewhouse can produce about 465 gallons of beer in one batch.

A brewhouse is the heart of any brewing operation. It’s where the magic of turning water, malt, hops, and yeast into beer happens. It’s made up of several components, including the mash tun, lauter tun, and boil kettle. Each component plays a crucial role in the brewing process.

The size of the brewhouse, like the 15bbl, generally dictates the batch size of beer that can be produced. For many craft breweries and brewpubs, a 15bbl brewhouse is an ideal size as it balances between having the capacity for decent production without being overly large and capital intensive.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the brewing process in a 15bbl brewhouse:

  • Mash Tun: This is where the milled grains are mixed with water. The mixture is then heated to activate enzymes that convert starches in the grain into fermentable sugars.
  • Lauter Tun: After mashing, the mixture is transferred to the lauter tun where the liquid is separated from the grain husks. This liquid, known as wort, is then rinsed and sent to the next stage.
  • Boil Kettle: The wort is boiled here, typically for about an hour. Hops are added at various stages of the boil to provide bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer.

For those interested in entering the brewing industry, understanding the capacity and functionality of different brewhouse sizes is crucial. A 15bbl brewhouse offers a perfect entry point, combining efficiency with practicality.

How much does a 15bbl brewhouse cost?

Purchasing a 15bbl brewhouse is a significant investment. Prices can vary widely based on several factors including the manufacturer, the material quality, additional features, and even the country of origin. Below is a table that provides a general range of prices from various brands:

Brand NamePrice Range (in USD)
Alpha Brewing$60,000 – $80,000
BrewBilt$70,000 – $85,000
ProBrew$65,000 – $90,000
Stout Tanks$55,000 – $75,000
Portland Kettle Works$68,000 – $88,000

One of the primary reasons for the broad price range is the different features and configurations that each brand offers. Some 15bbl brewhouses may come with advanced automation features, while others may be more manual.

It’s also worth noting that, apart from the initial cost of the equipment, there are other costs associated with setting up a 15bbl brewhouse. This includes installation costs, which can range from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000 depending on complexity and location. Furthermore, there are operational costs like electricity, water, and raw materials to consider.

For those who are new to the brewing industry, it might be tempting to opt for the cheapest available option. However, this can be a costly mistake in the long run. Cheap brewhouses might have lower quality materials or may not be as efficient, leading to higher operational costs.

On the other hand, some high-end brands offer features that may not be necessary for a start-up brewery. It’s essential to strike a balance between cost and functionality. When considering the price, it’s always a good idea to:

  • Research the Brand: Know their reputation in the industry. Reviews and references can be quite insightful.
  • Consider Future Needs: Think about scalability. If you plan to expand, it might be worth investing in a system that can grow with your business.
  • Visit a Brewery: If possible, visit a brewery that uses the brewhouse you’re considering. This can give you a real-world idea of its performance.

In conclusion, while the upfront cost of a 15bbl brewhouse can seem daunting, it’s essential to view it as an investment in your business’s future. By doing thorough research and considering both current and future needs, you can find a brewhouse that offers the best value for your money.

15bbl brewhouse

What are the types of 15bbl brewhouses?

When diving into the brewing industry, it’s crucial to understand that brewhouses, even within the same size category, can differ significantly in design, function, and cost. A 15bbl brewhouse is no exception. Let’s explore the most common types:

  1. Two-Vessel Systems:
    • Mash/Lauter Tun & Boil Kettle/Whirlpool: This is a compact system where the mashing and lautering processes occur in one vessel, and the boiling and whirlpool processes in another.
    • Price Range: $50,000 – $70,000
  2. Three-Vessel Systems:
    • Mash Tun, Lauter Tun & Boil Kettle/Whirlpool: This system separates the mashing and lautering processes, allowing for a more streamlined operation and potentially a faster brew day.
    • Price Range: $65,000 – $85,000
  3. Four-Vessel Systems:
    • Mash Tun, Lauter Tun, Boil Kettle & Whirlpool: Having each process in a separate vessel allows for simultaneous operations. For example, while the wort is boiling in the kettle, the mash tun can be cleaned and prepared for the next batch.
    • Price Range: $80,000 – $110,000

While these are the basic configurations, many manufacturers offer customization options. Breweries may also opt for additional features like advanced automation, which can affect the final price. As always, it’s crucial for prospective buyers to assess their production needs, budget, and space constraints when choosing a brewhouse type.

Functions of a 15bbl brewhouse

The brewing process might seem magical to beer enthusiasts, but behind the scenes, it’s a meticulous blend of art and science. A 15bbl brewhouse, with its capacity to produce roughly 465 gallons of beer per batch, plays a central role in this process. Each component has a specific function:

  1. Mash Tun: Here, crushed grains are mixed with water, creating a mash. During a process known as mashing, this mixture is heated to specific temperatures to activate enzymes. These enzymes convert the starches in the grains into fermentable sugars, forming the base for the beer.
  2. Lauter Tun: Once mashing is complete, the mixture, known as the mash, is transferred to the lauter tun. This vessel is designed to separate the liquid wort from the solid grain husks. The wort is then rinsed in a process known as sparging to extract any remaining sugars.
  3. Boil Kettle: The extracted wort is moved to the boil kettle, where it is boiled and hops are added. Hops contribute bitterness, flavor, and aroma to the beer. The boiling process also serves to sterilize the wort and halt enzymatic activity, ensuring the desired beer profile.
  4. Whirlpool: Post boiling, the wort is sent into a whirlpool process. This step helps in separating the clear wort from solid residues like hop particles. The centrifugal force created by the whirlpool motion causes the solids to settle at the center of the vessel, allowing the clear wort to be drawn off from the sides.
  5. Heat Exchanger: After the whirlpool process, the wort needs to be cooled down quickly to a temperature suitable for fermentation. This is achieved using a heat exchanger, which rapidly cools the hot wort by passing it on one side of a series of metal plates while cold water flows on the other.

In addition to these primary functions, a 15bbl brewhouse often comes equipped with various monitoring and control systems. These ensure consistency, help maintain quality, and provide brewers with vital data throughout the brewing process.

Applications of a 15bbl brewhouse

In the vast universe of beer and brewing, the 15bbl brewhouse stands out as an iconic symbol of the craft beer movement. But what exactly are its applications? Why might an establishment opt for this size of brewhouse over another?

  1. Microbreweries: The 15bbl brewhouse is perfectly suited for microbreweries. These establishments prioritize quality and unique beer profiles over large-scale production. A 15bbl system allows them to produce batches that are large enough to be economically viable, yet small enough to maintain a hand-crafted touch. This size also facilitates experimentation with new recipes without committing to vast quantities.
  2. Brewpubs: Brewpubs are restaurants that brew their beer on-site. For such establishments, a 15bbl brewhouse offers an optimal balance. It provides enough beer to meet the demands of the pub-goers while allowing for a diverse rotating menu of brews.
  3. Pilot Brewing for Large Breweries: Larger breweries that typically produce beer in much greater volumes may use a 15bbl system as a pilot or test brewhouse. This allows them to trial new recipes, processes, or ingredients on a smaller scale before scaling up production.
  4. Educational Institutions: Some universities and colleges that offer courses in brewing science and fermentation might use a 15bbl brewhouse for practical hands-on training. It provides students with a real-world brewing experience while not being overwhelmingly large.
  5. Contract Brewing: Some breweries operate by renting out their space and equipment to other brewers, often newer entrants to the market who might not have the capital to invest in their brewing facility. A 15bbl brewhouse is a popular choice for such contract brewing operations due to its versatile batch size.
ApplicationSuitability ReasonProduction Volume
MicrobreweriesBalance of handcrafted quality and viable quantityModerate
BrewpubsOn-site demand and diversityModerate to High depending on demand
Pilot BrewingTest and trial for large scale operationsLow to Moderate
Educational InstitutionsPractical training and demonstrationsLow
Contract BrewingFlexibility for multiple clientsVaries based on client needs
  1. Event Brews: Some breweries focus on producing beers for specific events, such as festivals, anniversaries, or seasonal celebrations. A 15bbl system provides the flexibility to brew limited edition beers that won’t be part of the regular lineup.
  2. Collaborative Brews: In the spirit of camaraderie, breweries often collaborate to create special brews. A 15bbl brewhouse is the perfect setting for such collaborations, allowing brewers to come together, share ideas, and co-create.
  3. Specialty and Niche Beers: Some brewers focus on very niche markets, producing specialty beers, such as sour ales, barrel-aged brews, or beers with unconventional ingredients. A 15bbl brewhouse offers the ideal platform for such niche brewing, emphasizing quality and uniqueness over mass production.

In essence, the 15bbl brewhouse finds its place in various settings, from small craft breweries to educational spaces. Its size, combined with its efficiency, makes it a preferred choice for many looking to make a mark in the beer world.

How Does a 15bbl Brewhouse Benefit You?

When choosing equipment for a brewing venture, it’s essential to understand the advantages of different brewhouse sizes. The 15bbl brewhouse has become a popular choice for various establishments and brewers worldwide, and here’s why:

  1. Optimal Batch Size: A 15bbl brewhouse, with its capacity to produce about 465 gallons per batch, strikes a balance between small-scale artisanal brewing and larger-scale commercial brewing. This volume is ideal for serving a decent-sized customer base without compromising on the artisanal quality.
  2. Economical Efficiency: Breweries often face the challenge of managing production costs. The 15bbl system, being medium-sized, often offers a better return on investment. It utilizes resources efficiently, yielding more beer per unit of energy, water, and other inputs compared to smaller systems.
  3. Flexibility: This system size offers flexibility in brewing multiple batches in a day, allowing breweries to produce different beer styles simultaneously. This versatility means brewers can quickly respond to market demands, seasonal changes, or special events.
  4. Space Management: Compared to larger brewhouses, a 15bbl system is relatively compact, making it suitable for spaces with constraints. It’s ideal for brewpubs, urban breweries, or establishments where space is a premium.
  5. Expandability: As a brewery grows, there may be a need to expand production. A 15bbl brewhouse can often be paired with additional fermentation and brite tanks, allowing increased production without immediately investing in a larger brewhouse.
  6. Community Engagement: A 15bbl system allows for frequent brewing, meaning a brewery can keep introducing new flavors and styles. This frequent rotation can be a significant draw for the local community and beer enthusiasts, leading to higher engagement and customer loyalty.
  7. Educational Opportunities: The medium scale of a 15bbl brewhouse makes it perfect for educational purposes. Breweries can host brewery tours, brewing classes, and workshops, allowing visitors to witness the brewing process up close, fostering a deeper connection with the brand and the craft.

How to Choose a 15bbl Brewhouse?

Selecting the right brewhouse is a critical decision for any brewery. It directly influences the quality of the beer, the efficiency of operations, and the bottom line. For those considering a 15bbl system, here are the factors to consider:

  1. Material Quality: The primary material for brewhouses is stainless steel, known for its durability, resistance to corrosion, and ease of cleaning. However, not all stainless steel is created equal. Look for 304 or 316 grade for best results.
  2. Automation Level: Modern brewhouses come with varying levels of automation. Basic systems might only offer manual controls, while advanced setups can feature fully automated processes guided by software. The choice between these depends on the brewer’s preference, skill level, and budget.
  3. Heat Source: Different brewhouses utilize various heat sources like direct fire, steam, or electric. Each has its pros and cons. For example, direct fire might offer a caramelizing effect on the wort but has less precise temperature control than steam.
  4. Configuration: As discussed earlier, brewhouses can be two-vessel, three-vessel, or four-vessel configurations. The choice depends on production needs, available space, and budget.
  5. Customization Options: Some manufacturers offer customization options for their brewhouses. This could include additional ports, special fittings, or even aesthetic changes. Such customizations can enhance the brewing process or fit the system better within a particular space.
  6. Manufacturer Reputation: The credibility and reputation of the manufacturer cannot be overlooked. It’s beneficial to go with manufacturers known for their quality, post-sales support, and warranty terms. Researching reviews, seeking recommendations, and visiting existing installations can provide valuable insights.
MaterialStainless steel (304 or 316 grade)
AutomationManual, Semi-automated, Fully automated
Heat SourceDirect fire, Steam, Electric
ConfigurationTwo-vessel, Three-vessel, Four-vessel
CustomizationAdditional ports, Special fittings, Aesthetic changes
ManufacturerReputation, Reviews, Warranty, Post-sales support

Best 10 15bbl Brewhouse Manufacturers

Selecting the right manufacturer is as essential as choosing the correct brewhouse size. The right manufacturer ensures quality, durability, and reliable post-sale support. Here are the top 10 manufacturers known for their 15bbl brewhouse systems:

  1. Alpha Brewing Operations: Based in Nebraska, Alpha is renowned for its state-of-the-art designs and precise engineering. They offer various automation levels and have established themselves as industry leaders.
  2. Ss Brewtech: Hailing from California, Ss Brewtech is well-known for its innovation and quality. Their systems combine modern aesthetics with top-notch functionality.
  3. Premier Stainless Systems: Located in California, Premier has been supplying breweries worldwide with high-quality equipment. They offer customizable solutions and have an impressive client list.
  4. Specific Mechanical Systems: Based in Canada, this manufacturer is known for its robust and efficient brewhouses. With over three decades in the industry, they’ve earned a reputation for durability and precision.
  5. PsychoBrew: Originating from Michigan, PsychoBrew specializes in smaller brewing systems, making them experts in the 15bbl category. Their systems are favored for their compact designs and efficiency.
  6. Portland Kettle Works: Operating out of Oregon, PKW boasts a wide range of brewhouses, with their 15bbl systems being particularly popular. Their focus on craft breweries ensures specialized attention to detail.
  7. Blichmann Engineering: A household name in the brewing community, Blichmann is renowned for its high-quality materials and engineering. Their brewhouses are favored by many breweries for their reliability and precision.
  8. American Beer Equipment (ABE): Nebraska-based ABE is known for its comprehensive brewing solutions. Their 15bbl systems are popular due to their balance between automation and manual control.
  9. DEGONG Brewery Equipment: With a base in China, DEGONG offers a range of brewing equipment, including the much-acclaimed 15bbl systems. Their equipment combines quality with competitive pricing.
  10. BrauKon: Hailing from Germany, a country with a rich brewing heritage, BrauKon is respected for its high standards and innovative designs. They cater to a wide range of breweries and have a reputation for excellence.
RankManufacturerNotable Feature
1Alpha Brewing OperationsState-of-the-art designs
2Ss BrewtechModern aesthetics
3Premier Stainless SystemsCustomizable solutions
4Specific Mechanical SystemsDurability
5PsychoBrewCompact designs
6Portland Kettle WorksSpecialized attention to craft breweries
7Blichmann EngineeringReliability
8American Beer EquipmentBalance between automation and manual control
9DEGONG Brewery EquipmentCompetitive pricing
10BrauKonHigh standards and innovative designs

When selecting a manufacturer, always ensure to visit their facility, if possible, or at least engage in detailed discussions. Testimonials, reviews, and feedback from fellow brewers can also provide valuable insights into the quality and reliability of equipment.

Where to Buy a 15bbl Brewhouse?

Securing the right 15bbl brewhouse is pivotal to ensuring the best brewing process. The question then arises: where should you buy one? The following are some primary considerations:

  1. Manufacturer Directly: Purchasing directly from reputable manufacturers like Alpha Brewing Operations, Ss Brewtech, or YoLong Brewtech can offer numerous advantages. Direct purchases often lead to cost savings, better post-sales support, and the assurance of getting genuine equipment.
  2. Local Distributors: Several local distributors or agents represent international brewhouse manufacturers. These distributors, familiar with local regulations and logistics, can provide quicker deliveries and potential servicing benefits.
  3. Online Marketplaces: Websites like Alibaba, ProBrewer, or even Amazon have listings for brewing equipment. Here, you can find multiple sellers offering a variety of options, often with customer reviews.
  4. Brewery Auctions: Sometimes, breweries close or upgrade their equipment, leading to auctions. These events can offer great deals, but ensure thorough checks for equipment quality.
  5. Trade Shows and Expositions: Attending brewing-related trade shows can be beneficial. These events showcase the latest equipment, allowing direct interactions with manufacturers and the chance to see equipment firsthand.
  6. Referrals and Recommendations: Networking with fellow brewers and joining brewery associations can lead to recommendations. Peer reviews are invaluable, offering insights into the equipment’s performance, durability, and potential issues.

Product Advantages of Chinese 15bbl Brewhouse

Chinese manufacturing, over the past few decades, has evolved to be synonymous with affordability without compromising quality. Especially in the brewing sector, Chinese manufacturers have made significant strides. Let’s delve into the advantages of opting for a Chinese 15bbl brewhouse:

  1. Cost-Effectiveness: Perhaps the most notable advantage is the cost. Due to economies of scale, efficient manufacturing processes, and a competitive market, Chinese brewhouses often come with a more attractive price tag compared to Western counterparts.
  2. Quality Assurance: With the rise of industry leaders like YoLong Brewtech, which boasts a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Ningbo City, there’s a guarantee of high-quality equipment. Their meticulous attention to detail ensures that every project is fabricated to the customer’s exact specifications.
  3. Customization: Chinese manufacturers often offer a higher degree of customization, catering to specific brewery needs. Whether it’s design tweaks or the inclusion of additional features, these manufacturers are typically more flexible.
  4. Innovation: Chinese brewhouse manufacturers are quick to adopt the latest technologies and innovations. As the beverage industry diversifies into areas like kombucha, cold-brewed coffee, and infused teas, companies like YoLong Brewtech have expanded their product range to cater to these markets.
  5. Global Shipping & Installation: Leading Chinese manufacturers have experience shipping globally. Not only do they ensure secure and timely delivery, but many also offer installation services, ensuring the equipment is set up correctly.
  6. Comprehensive After-Sales Support: Post-sales support, including maintenance, spare parts availability, and troubleshooting assistance, is another strength of top Chinese brewhouse manufacturers.
  7. Diverse Range: China’s massive manufacturing base means there’s a wider variety of equipment available. From basic manual systems to fully automated brewhouses, there’s something for every need and budget.
  8. Eco-Friendly Options: As sustainability becomes a global concern, many Chinese manufacturers are focusing on producing energy-efficient and eco-friendly brewhouses, aligning with global environmental standards.

Best Chinese 15bbl Brewhouse Supplier

When it comes to brewing equipment, especially the 15bbl brewhouse, one name stands out in the Chinese market: YoLong Brewtech.

  1. Company Overview: Founded in 2004, YoLong Brewtech has, over 15 years, set the benchmark for brewery equipment manufacturing. With a dedicated and seasoned team, they’ve emerged as an industry frontrunner, catering to the rapidly evolving beverage sector, which spans beer, kombucha, cold-brewed coffee, infused teas, and wine.
  2. State-of-the-art Facility: Nestled in the Ningbo City Economic Development Zone, YoLong Brewtech’s manufacturing plant stretches across an impressive 36,000 m2. This cutting-edge facility ensures every custom-designed project aligns perfectly with customer specifications.
  3. Diverse Product Range: YoLong isn’t just limited to brewhouses. Their expansive product range covers various sectors within the beverage industry, echoing their commitment to staying abreast with market trends.
  4. Commitment to Quality: The ethos of YoLong Brewtech revolves around delivering unparalleled value and quality. Their meticulous fabrication process, coupled with rigorous quality checks, ensures that every piece of equipment is a testament to craftsmanship and engineering prowess.
  5. Global Presence: YoLong’s influence isn’t confined to China. They’ve established themselves as a global entity, with installations and satisfied customers dotting the world map. Their commitment to ensuring seamless installations and offering robust post-sales support has cemented their reputation on the global stage.


Q1: What makes YoLong Brewtech stand out among other brewhouse manufacturers?

A1: YoLong Brewtech, with over 15 years of experience, has mastered the art of blending traditional craftsmanship with modern technological advancements. Their dedication to custom-designed projects, a vast state-of-the-art facility, and a diverse product range tailored to the evolving beverage market makes them a preferred choice.

Q2: Can YoLong Brewtech customize a 15bbl brewhouse to my specific requirements?

A2: Absolutely. YoLong Brewtech is known for its flexibility in catering to specific customer requirements. They ensure every custom-designed project aligns perfectly with the brewer’s specifications and needs.

Q3: How does the price of a YoLong Brewtech 15bbl brewhouse compare to its competitors?

A3: While the exact price can vary based on customizations and other factors, YoLong Brewtech offers competitive pricing. Their brewhouses are known for delivering exceptional value for money, balancing cost with quality and performance.

Q4: Does YoLong Brewtech provide installation and post-sales support?

A4: Yes, YoLong offers both installation services and robust post-sales support. Their team ensures the equipment is set up correctly and provides maintenance, spare parts availability, and troubleshooting assistance.

Q5: Where is YoLong Brewtech’s manufacturing facility located?

A5: YoLong Brewtech’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant is situated in the Ningbo City Economic Development Zone, China.

Q6: Is YoLong Brewtech involved in sustainable and eco-friendly manufacturing?

A6: Yes, sustainability is a key focus for YoLong Brewtech. They are continuously working on producing energy-efficient and eco-friendly brewhouses that align with global environmental standards.

Q7: Beyond brewhouses, what other products does YoLong Brewtech offer?

A7: YoLong Brewtech has an expansive product range catering to various sectors within the beverage industry. This includes equipment for kombucha brewing, cold-brewed coffee, infused teas, wine, and more.

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