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Types of craft beer equipment

Types of craft beer equipment

The market prospect of craft beer is very broad, and there are many types of configurations and models of craft beer brewing equipment. To perform each stage , different types of equipment are employed. The type and size of equipment may vary depending on the scale (home brewing vs. commercial brewing) and the specific beer being produced.

Table of Contents

Overview of Craft Beer Brewing Equipment

The basic brewing process involves mashing grains, boiling wort, fermenting, conditioning, filtering, and packaging. While it’s possible to produce beer with very simple equipment, most craft breweries use more specialized gear to improve efficiency, quality, and capacity. Here’s an overview of the typical equipment needed:

BREWING EQUIPMENT TYPE

KEY FUNCTION

ENTRY LEVEL OPTIONS

ADVANCED OPTIONS

Mash tun / Lauter tun

Mixes crushed grains with hot water for mash conversion and wort separation

Cooler mashtun with braided hose

Stainless mash tun with false bottom

Brew kettle

Heats wort, facilitates boiling and hop additions

5-10 gallon brew kettle

15-30 barrel commercial brewhouse

Wort chiller

Quickly cools boiled wort before fermentation

Immersion chiller coil

Plate chiller, heat exchanger

Fermenter

Holds beer during primary and secondary fermentation

Plastic bucket, glass carboy

Conical stainless unitank

Temperature control

Maintains optimal fermentation temperature

Fermwrap heater, cool bottle

Glycol chiller system, heat exchanger

Yeast management

Cultivates yeast for fermentation pitch

Mason jars, stir plate

Yeast brink, conical propagator

Transfer equipment

Moves liquids between vessels

Auto-siphon, tubing, pump

Automatic inline transfer

Filtration

Clarifies and stabilizes finished beer

None, settling in fermenter

Plate filter, centrifugation

Carbonation

Adds CO2 bubbles to beer before serving

Priming sugar, cask conditioning

Force carbonation in keg or brite tank

Serving vessels

Dispenses carbonated beer to drinkers

Bottles, kegs, casks

Canning line, bottling line

Overview of Craft Beer Brewing Equipment

Basic components of brewing equipment

Brewing equipment refers to the machinery and tools used producing beer, cider, or any other fermented beverage.

  • Grinding equipment: used to crush grains to ensure that the outer shell is intact and the interior is crushed.
  • Mash barrel: A container in which crushed grains are mixed with water and heated. This process converts the starch in the grain into sugar.
  • Pot: After mashing, the liquid is moved to the pot and boiled with hops to add flavor and aroma to the beer.
  • Fermenter: After boiling, the liquid is cooled and transferred to the fermenter, where yeast is added. Yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol and carbonic acid.
  • Brite tanks: After fermentation, the beer is transferred to Brite tanks where it is clarified and carbonated before packaging.

What types of brewing equipment are there?

Home Brewing Equipment: Home brewing kits are compact, aimed at hobbyists and enthusiasts, and include the basic equipment needed to produce small batches of beer.

  • Brew kettle: small stainless steel pot used to boil wort and hops.
  • Fermentation barrel: a plastic or glass container in which beer is fermented.
  • Bottling bucket: used for adding base sugar and transferring beer to bottles.

All-grain brewing equipment: All-grain brewing gives brewers greater control over the flavor of their beer. It requires more sophisticated equipment.

  • Mashing barrel: used to mix ground grains and water to promote the conversion of starch into sugar.
  • Lauter Tun: Helps separate liquid wort from chaff.

Commercial Brewing Equipment: These heavy-duty equipment are designed for high-volume brewing with scale and consistency.

  • Brewery: a combined system including saccharification barrels, filter barrels, and brewing pots.
  • Fermentation tank: Large tank for beer fermentation and maturation.
  • Clear beer cans: Cans in which beer is clarified and carbonated before packaging.

Packaging Equipment: Once the beer is ready, it must be packaged for distribution.

  • Bottling line: an automated system that fills, caps, and labels bottles.
  • Kegging system: used to fill kegs for distribution to bars and restaurants.

Auxiliary Equipment: The brewery also has some extra equipment for various purposes.

  • Heat exchanger: used to cool hot wort.
  • Yeast propagation system: used to cultivate and store yeast.
  • Quality Control Laboratory: Equipment used to test and ensure beer quality.

Basic components of brewing equipment

Specifications of craft beer equipment

  • Single-tank brewery: refers to the four steps of saccharification, wort filtration, boiling, and whirlpool, all performed in one tank. We usually call it an all-in-one beer machine.
  • 2-vessel breweries: Most 2-vessel breweries have one vessel for mashing and filtering and another vessel for boiling and whirlpooling. It is also possible to perform mashing, boiling, and swirling in one tank and filtration in a separate tank. Two-tank breweries are a popular choice for many bars and restaurants on the market because they take up less space and are cheap.
  • 3-vessel brewery: There are many options for 3-vessel breweries. The two common ones are the mash filter tank + boiling kettle + whirlpool tank, and the mash tank + filter tank + kettle whirlpool tank.
  • Combo 3 vessel brewery: Combination 3 vessel brewery is a trade-off between 2 vessels and 3 vessels. Because one of the tanks is stacked with another tank, it is the area occupied by both tanks. But there are generally two design combinations that can play the role of 3vessel.

Craft beer equipment features

Each piece of equipment in the brewing process has a specific function that, if performed , results in the perfect pint.

  1. Grinding Equipment: The first step in brewing is to prepare the grains. Milling equipment crushes the grains, ensuring that the husks remain intact. This crushing facilitates the release of starch during saccharification.
  2. Mash Tun: Here, the crushed grains are soaked in water and heated. This process, called mashing, helps convert the starch in the grain into fermentable sugars.
  3. Lauter Tun: After mashing, the liquid part (now called wort) needs to be separated from the chaff. This separation occurs in the filter barrel.
  4. Boil the kettle: The wort is then boiled and hops are added at various stages. Boiling not only sterilizes the wort, it also extracts flavor and bitterness from the hops.
  5. Fermentation tank: After boiling, the wort is cooled and transferred to the fermentation vessel. When yeast is added, it begins to consume the sugar in the wort, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide. The type and strain of yeast and fermentation conditions affect the taste of beer.
  6. Brite Tank: After fermentation, the beer needs to be cleaned of any suspended particles and carbonated. This happens in the beer can, ensuring the beer looks appealing and has the right amount of foam when poured.

Get a turnkey solution for brewery equipment
If you plan to open or expand the brewery, you can contact Micet Craft directly. Our engineers will design and manufacture brewery equipment according to your brewing process. Of course, we will also provide you with a complete turnkey solution. Also, if you plan to expand the brewery, we will provide you with customized solutions.

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