Author Topic: Dumb Question  (Read 528 times)

Offline chadchaney97

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Dumb Question
« on: September 19, 2012, 09:45:56 PM »
Ok, I have a dumb question.  I want to open a brewpub, have a culinary degree and am an avid homebrewer.  I have a friend who has the money and the itch to do something.  My question is this, how does a "professional" system differ from the high end homebrewer set up?  I see a mash tun and then a lauter tun/whirlpool, I was under the assumption that you mash in and then sparge/lauter in the mash tun.  Can you guys explain to me how this system works, don't get the use of the lauter tun?  Thanks.

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 05:53:02 AM »
What most homebrewers have is really a mash/lauter tun. In a commercial setup where a brewer is making multiple batches per day, having sepatate mash and lauter tuns allows one batch to be sparging while the next batch is mashing. The whirlpool is used after the boil kettle to separate trub and sometimes this is also a separate vessel.
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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 06:59:42 AM »
But not many smaller breweries have separate MT/LT. I know of small regional breweries who don't. It's a good distinction though.

My brewery is very much the same as a homebrew set up, except I have a glycol unit instead of a refrigerator. Also, you need a clean in place set up because the tanks get too big to clean by hand. Outside of that it just boils down to scale. You will need at least one real brewery pump, a large plate chiller, some way to fire your kettle/HLT ....

For a brew pub I think it reasonable to start off fairly small, but I'd recommend at least 2.5 bbl system. You can pretty much hodgepodge that together (though it won't be as pretty visually, if you want it displayed to the clientele.
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Offline tonyp

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 08:44:56 AM »
I know the "whats the minimum size brewhouse to make a profit" topic has been done to death but the local brewpub we have here in town has a 15bbl system purchased from Pub Brewing. According to the brewer, they only brew on saturday and make 1-2 batches depending on volume served over the previous 2 weeks. He uses 1 helper for the day just to clean up and move stuff.

There is one photo of their system here.

BTW, I'm not affiliated with either company but maybe you can call the manufacturer and get some basic system questions answered.


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Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 01:29:56 PM »
Ok, so my question is this I guess, if there are 2 vessels, mash and lauter, they both can perform the same function then?  While mashing in one vessel you can be lautering in the other, if that is the case why is the whirlpool only in one?

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 02:20:09 PM »
Ok, so my question is this I guess, if there are 2 vessels, mash and lauter, they both can perform the same function then?  While mashing in one vessel you can be lautering in the other, if that is the case why is the whirlpool only in one?

Whirlpool is a different animal as far as I know. flows something like this;

water and grist are mixed in the mash tun and held at appropriate temps for appropriate amounts of time. then the entire mass is pumped to the lauter tun where it is sparged to the kettle.

meanwhile another mash can be put together in the now empty mash tun.

When the lauter is finished, the tun cleaned out, and the wort is in the kettle the second mash can be transfered to the lauter tun.

In the kettle the boil ensues with hops and other kettle additions added at appropriate times.

When the boil is done that's when the whirlpool happens. This is to build the trub cone in the center of the kettle so clear wort can be drawn off from the side of the kettle.

at least that's how I under stand the process on a larger scale.
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Offline anthony

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 02:41:51 PM »
Let's try this again... one vessel is mash/kettle the other vessel is lauter/whirlpool. In many startup sort of systems, only mash/kettle is fired. Dough-in in mash/kettle, do steps if desired, etc. transfer mash to lauter/whirlpool, sparge back into kettle. Start boil. Clean lauter/whirlpool. Run back into lauter/whirlpool for trub separation (and to free up mash/kettle), after whirlpool is done, run through heat exchanger... while simultaneously doughing-in your next batch in your hopefully rinsed out mash/kettle.

The vessels can't perform the same function. Only lauter/whirlpool has the false bottom/lauter pipes. Only mash/kettle has a mixer that can actually mix the mash around without forcing a bunch of debris/flour under the lautering mechanics. On cheaper systems, the lauter/whirlpool is insulated but not fired. Often there is a HLT under the lauter as well.

BUT it really depends on whose equipment it is because there are manufacturers that also do kettle/whirlpool designs. The lauter/whirlpool designs originated with the Germans... and that system design allows you to easily do decoctions, steps, etc.

Offline chadchaney97

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 04:34:50 PM »
AH!  I think I get it now, I was unaware that the ENTIRE MASS was pumped to the lauter tun, makes total sense now.  I was wondering how that worked, thanks so much all, I feel really dumb now, lol. 

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 05:38:34 AM »
If you tour enough breweries you will see from small compact 2 vessel systems at brewpubs.

You will also see 5 vessel systems at large breweries like Sierra Nevada. There they have a mash tun, a lauter tun, 2 boil kettels and a whirlpool. The boil is the bottle neck, so 2 kettles speeds up the process. We did 2 boils in a shift at beer camp on the pilot system, including the real slow almost stuck lauter on the first.
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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012, 05:43:19 AM »
If you tour enough breweries you will see from small compact 2 vessel systems at brewpubs.

Yeah, I just toured the local Gordon Biersch last week and they had a mash tun that also serves as the boil kettle and a lauter tun.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Dumb Question
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2012, 09:48:23 AM »
Does your friend with the money know about business? A person I won't name accidentally started the world's largest meadery. So just because you have the cash to do something doesn't necessarily mean you should do it.
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