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General Category => Going Pro => Topic started by: batgrl1066 on April 15, 2018, 03:13:38 pm

Title: How many fermenters?
Post by: batgrl1066 on April 15, 2018, 03:13:38 pm
Hi! My hubby and I are opening up a wood fired pizza restaurant, and we are planning to have a Sabco 2X for our 60 seat place.  Our aim is to be known more as restaurant, that serves some wicked in-house craft beer to complement the food my hubby makes. He is a trained chef that has been brewing at home for about 8 years. i wanted to contact the hive mind and ask: how many fermenters would be enough?  Based on our IPA/Porter/Wit/session signature beers (3-4, 1200 beers a month, 100bbls a year projection and we will have 1-2 other in-state beers to supplement) we are thinking that we need 6-8  15.5 gallon fermenters or 3-4 1.5 bbl fermenters.  Space is a premium, which is why we wanted some others' thoughts.  Should we go for more fermenters to start with?  I've worked out planning based on bbls. I am an artist by trade so math is not my strong point. Any thoughts would be great and thanks so much.
Title: Re: How many fermenters?
Post by: a10t2 on April 16, 2018, 08:45:45 am
A couple ways to look at this. There's straightforward math: assuming this is a 1/2 bbl system, brewing 100 bbl/yr, with an average of 14 days in fermenter, you need 100*14/365*0.5 = 7.7 fermenters.

Lots of other considerations though. That's brewing more than once every other day; do you have a full-time brewer? Even if so I'd double- or triple-batch for the cost savings both up-front and in labor - a 1.5 bbl conical doesn't cost three times what the 1/2 bbl does; at those scales it probably isn't even double.

Another way to think about it is from a brewery logistics standpoint. Will you have a brink? If not you'll want to have at least one more fermenter than the number of strains in the cellar, so that you can harvest and brew on the same day without necessarily having to throw a tank CIP on top of it.
Title: Re: How many fermenters?
Post by: Adam on April 16, 2018, 02:58:46 pm
I would highly recommend the larger fermenters.  Depending on the placement of the thermal probe you can usually fill the fermenter only half way, or less.  This allows you to brew a single batch on your brewhouse or a double batch if you need the beer. 

Remember that it takes almost the same amount of time to produce 15.5 gallons as it does 1.5 bbls.  If you have lots of cooperage or a place to hold your finished beer you can produce extra and sit on it rather than brew small batches and continually have to brew more. 

In regards to space a larger fermenter will probably take up less space than 3 smaller fermenters.  You can also probably get away with only 3 fermenters and rotate brews on them.  this would put your brewing schedule closer to twice a week if you did a double brew.

As for a brink you can usually convert a corny keg (or a few to hold different strains of yeast)

Feel free to pm me with any questions.