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best brewery equipment

Best Brewery Equipment Guide

best brewery equipment on a commercial scale requires heavy-duty, specialized equipment to handle large batches and automation. When starting or upgrading a craft brewery, investing in high-quality brewing systems is key for operational efficiency, safety, profitability and consistent taste. This guide provides an overview of the essential best brewery equipment needed from raw material handling to fermentation, cooling and packaging.

best brewery equipment

The main steps in beer production and the equipment involved are:

MillingRoller mill, hammer mill
MashingMash tun
LauteringLautering tun, rakes, sparging system
BoilingBrew kettle, wort chiller
FermentingFermentation tanks, temperature control
MaturationServing tanks, filters
PackagingBottler, canner, keg washer, labeller
CleaningCIP systems, detergent pumps, hoses, sprayballs
best brewery equipment

Choosing Brewing System Suppliers

When sourcing brewery equipment, key factors to consider for suppliers are:

ExperienceYears of expertise building systems for commercial breweries of similar capacity
CustomizationFlexibility to tailor the system to your space, batch sizes and brewing process
QualityUse of food-grade, stainless steel and sanitary components
AutomationLevel of automated operation, sensors and manual oversight needed
ServiceInstallation assistance, operator training, maintenance and repair services offered
ReferencesGetting client references to understand quality and reliability

Reputed equipment manufacturers for end-to-end systems are Rolec, Psycho Brew, JV Northwest, Specific Mechanical Systems, American Beer Equipment and Brewmation. Pricing varies from $100,000 to $500,000 for a 15-barrel brewhouse. Get multiple quotes before deciding.

Tips for Choosing best brewery equipment

Follow these tips when evaluating and investing in brewing equipment:

  • Consider scale of production – Match equipment batch and vessel sizes to current and 5-year projected production volumes
  • Prioritize quality and durability – Choose stainless steel components made to hygiene and safety specifications
  • Factor in floor space – Carefully measure room dimensions and layout to accommodate tanks
  • Automate for consistency – Opt for automated systems for precise temperature controls and minimized contamination
  • Clean-in-place – Look for CIP-capable equipment using spray balls, hoses and pumps
  • Flexibility for innovation – Select modular systems that can handle process changes and special brews
  • After-sales service – Ensure the vendor provides operator training, maintenance, parts and support

Investing in the right stainless steel brewing equipment that meets quality, automation and customization requirements is well worth it for long-term, consistent craft beer production.

Tips for Operating and Maintaining Brewery Equipment

To keep your brew system running reliably for years after the initial excitement of installation, be diligent about ongoing operation, cleaning, and preventative maintenance. Follow this advice for maximizing lifespan and minimizing downtime:

Develop SOPs for Equipment Use

Document standard operating procedures for activating pumps, setting temperatures and timers, controlling valves, cleaning sequences, etc. Train staff until these become second nature.

Track Key Performance Over Time

Establish baselines for flow rates, pressure drops, heat loss, cooling loads under normal conditions. Log readings during brewing to detect developing issues.

Perform Visual Inspections

Check all vessels, valves, pipes, gaskets, fittings regularly for leaks, clogs, wear and tear. Verify gauges read accurately.

Clean Thoroughly After Each Use

Follow CIP protocols as prescribed by chemical suppliers. Disassemble strainers, gaskets as needed to fully sanitize all surfaces.

Lubricate and Calibrate

Keep moving parts like valves, conveyors sliding freely. Recalibrate sensors to maintain accuracy.

Check Safety Mechanisms

Confirm steam valves, pressure relief valves, emergency stops, leak detection, etc. trigger when manually activated.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Have specialists periodically inspect, test, tune up systems to fix minor problems before they cause breakdowns.

Stock Spare Parts

Keep gaskets, seals, fittings, probes, hoses in inventory to minimize downtimes for simple repairs.

Following robust equipment usage and preventative maintenance procedures will help your brewhouse run smoothly year after year.

How Long Does It Take to Build and Install a Brewery?

The total timeline to research, order, install, and commission a new brewery equipment system generally spans 6 months to 2 years depending on scope. Here is an overview of typical phases with estimated durations:

Planning and Design

  • Strategic business planning – 6+ months
  • Initial equipment quotes – 1-4 weeks per supplier
  • Detailed specifications, layouts, proposals – 4-12 weeks with vendor
  • Finalizing budgeting, contracts – 1-4 months

Procurement and Manufacturing

  • 50% deposit, submitting purchase orders – Varies
  • Custom fabrication, delivery times – 12-40 weeks quoted
  • Shipping/transportation from origin – 2-8 weeks en route

Setup and Installation

  • General contracting, site prep, approvals – 1-6 months
  • Equipment delivery, placement – 2-8 weeks
  • Installation, HVAC, electrical, plumbing – 6-12 weeks
  • Line commissioning, trial batches – 2-4 weeks

Staff Training and Launch

  • Hiring brewmaster and cellarmen – 1-4 months
  • Test brewing on system dial in – 1-2 months
  • Develop flagship and seasonal recipes – Ongoing
  • Grand opening launch events – After licensing

Breweries are complex projects with long equipment build and transit times. Begin planning 1-2 years out from an anticipated launch date to ensure sufficient time for construction, custom fabrication, troubleshooting, and testing.

best brewery equipment

Facility Design Tips and Considerations

Successfully configuring commercial brewing equipment requires optimizing cleanliness, quality control, production workflows, and safety within the space available. Follow these tips when laying out your brewery:

Logical Process Flow

Design logical equipment sequences mirroring the brewing process itself to prevent backtracking:

  • Grain handling → Milling → Mash tun → Lauter tun → Kettle → Whirlpool → Fermentation → Aging → Packaging → Warehousing

Gravity Flow

Use slope and positioning for liquid transfers by gravity without pumps whenever possible to reduce operating costs.

Efficient Use of Space

Stack fermentation tanks vertically. Cluster frequently used equipment like brewhouse, cellar, and lab.

Cleanable Surfaces

Choose impervious, non-toxic materials like stainless steel for all surfaces, floors, walls, and drains. Slope floors to collection trenches.

Quality Control

Provide utilities like cooling glycol, steam, compressed air, CO2, and pure water everywhere needed. Allocate ample lab space.

Worker Safety

Include platforms, ladders, guard rails and harness anchor points for tank access. Consider noise abatement and vapor extraction. Mark emergency shower/eye wash stations.

Future Expansion

Allow physical space for additional tanks. Size utilities, electrical, drains, etc. above initial requirement

An experienced brewery engineering firm and general contractor can translate equipment specifications into an smoothly functioning facility tailored to your vision.

best brewery equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers

Reputable brewery equipment manufacturers offer standard and customizable hardware scaled from nano to mega facilities. When comparing options, seek suppliers with:

  • Decades of experience outfitting breweries
  • In-house engineering designing systems
  • State-of-the-art manufacturing facilities
  • Regional offices and reps for installation support
  • Hundreds of craft brewery references over years

Below are leading global suppliers recognized for excellent quality, service, and innovation. Contact them for quotes tailored your project scope and specifications:

United States (America)

CompanyLocationPrice Range
Stout TanksPortland, Oregon$$$
JV NorthwestCanby, Oregon$$
Specific MechanicalVictoria, Minnesota$$
PsychoBrewTolland, Connecticut$-$$$
Mountain MaltGreely, Colorado$-$$


CompanyLocationPrice Range
China Good Quality Brewer’s HardwareYantai, Shandong$
Yantai Di Bo Shi BrewingYantai, Shandong$$
Yantai MoonshineYantai, Shandong$


CompanyLocationPrice Range
ZIEMANN groupLudwigsburg$$$

How Much Does Commercial Brewery Equipment Cost?

When budgeting for brewery equipment, the total cost varies enormously based on production goals from 1 to 100+ barrel systems. At its core, a basic 7-barrel brewhouse with 3 fermenters, brite tank, and glycol system can run $250,000 to $350,000. However, new 15-barrel turnkey starter systems generally start around $500,000.

Of course with stainless steel brew houses, the sky’s the limit on investment possibilities. Some benchmark price points for complete commercial systems by size include:

Nano Brewery Equipment (1-3 BBL) – $100,000 to $250,000

Ideal for taprooms, experimental recipes, and selling into local markets through events, farmers markets, and small accounts. Equipment includes 1.5-3 BBL electric brew house, 3-7 fermenters, brite tank, and manual grain handling.

Micro Brewery Equipment (5-15 BBL) – $350,000 to $1 Million

Allows scaling production for regional distribution at bars/restaurants and bottle/can sales. Requires upgraded 7-30 BBL brewhouse, 7-60 barrel fermentation tanks, centrifuge, automated grain system, and bottling line.

Regional Brewery Equipment (30-100 BBL) – $2-$5 Million

Supports expanded distribution across multiple states and grocery/retail channels. Needs large 50-200 BBL multi-vessel brew house, grain silo room, centrifuge, 30-200 BBL fermenters, brite tanks, packaging lines, and extensive infrastructure.

Large Regional Brewery Equipment (100-300 BBL) – $5-$20 Million

Capable of national distribution for a well-known craft beer brand. Requires vast brewhouse vessels, custom-designed facility, multiple packaging lines, lab equipment, and logistics infrastructure.

Of course, these ballpark estimates exclude costs for the facility buildout itself including floor drains, ventilation, electrical upgrades, plumbing, insulation, fire suppression, and other construction requirements. Work closely with the equipment suppliers’ engineering team to tailor specifications and secure quotes for your particular production goals and budget.

best brewery equipment


What size brewing equipment should I get?

Base the batch size and tank volumes on current production and sales rate plus projected growth over 3-5 years. Standard configurations are 1 to 15 barrel systems.

What is the cost of a 10 barrel brew house?

A 10 barrel brewhouse cost between $250,000 to $450,000 based on the degree of automation and imported vs. local equipment. Tanks, fermenters, plumbing, cooling, cleaning and electrical systems will be extra.

What are the basic brewery equipment every craft brewer needs?

The essential equipment for beer production are milling, mashing, boiling, fermentation, serving tanks, filtration, bottling/canning, cleaning and process control systems. Invest in quality stainless steel and automated operation.

Should I buy used brewing equipment?

Buying good quality used equipment can reduce startup costs but evaluate wear and tear carefully. Replace gaskets, fittings, pipes and any components affecting hygiene. Prioritize safety and consistency over cost savings on critical tanks and boilers.

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