Large Scale BIAB Microbrewery

Post #1 made 5 years ago
Hello Everyone,

I recently found a product you all might already be familiar with, is called the Braumeister... I like the way it works but it really seems a little small for my company's need. We currently own a Cigar Shop in Venezuela and want to expand to Beer. I've been breweing BIAB for some time now and I think the process kicks RIMS a@#ss.

Now I need to upscale the BIAB method to produce 1500 Liters a month. I was thinking on taking the Braumiester, clone the hell out of it, and create a machine that could produce my desired quantity.

So, any advise on this? Gas vs Electric Heating? Glycol vs a massive Spiral copper chiller? Pump HP to cycle the wort? etc, etc, etc..

Thanks to all who help and sorry Admin if I posted this on the wrong Topic... I thought the Old Hands was appropiate... Learning from experience.

Post #2 made 5 years ago
What did Freud say about synchronicity? Great question Carlos and welcome to the forum :salute:.

Last night at 8:30pm, I had an urgent phone call to be picked up in half an hour and travel nearly two hours away so as I could offer some input on just what you are asking. Here's a small part of what I passed on...

The production of sweet liquor and then wort is only just a part of the brewing process. BIAB'ing could definitely save you money in a micro-brewery situation and will probably serve you better than any other system in a micro-brewery, regardless of goals. BIAB is, without doubt, a great and very efficient way of going about the production of sweet liquor and boiling wort but...

Before you even consider sweet liquor production and boiling, you need to first consider a million other things...

How many beers are you offering?
How many customers are there?
What method of chilling are you going to use?
What vessel are you going to ferment in?
How will you control fermentation temp?
Does the beer need transferring to a secondary?
Does the beer need lagering?
Are you wanting to keg, bottle or both?
How are you going to do that?

The above are just the simplest of questions. I haven't even touched the sides really. For example, I haven't asked...

Where will you source your hops?
How will you store them?
What equipment will you have to help you do initial batch adjustments?
How many vessels will you have to help you do batch adjustments and how much space will they require?

...

I better stop now as I can go on forever!

Are you starting to see what I mean though? Keep asking questions though as it is an excellent thread and I am happy to pass on a lot more info.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 22 May 2014, 23:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #3 made 5 years ago
Wow! Thanks for the quick answer! Im possitive im on the right place then...

In regards to your list:

How many beers are you offering? We are thinking on bottling .750ml Champagne bottles. So around 1900 a month.
How many customers are there? We will be selling to a big distribution chain here in Venezuela.
What method of chilling are you going to use? One of the questions i was asking but thinking Glycol Jacket on the Kettle
What vessel are you going to ferment in? Conical Unitank
How will you control fermentation temp? Glycol Jacket... Caracas has a nice climate of avg. 28C.
Does the beer need transferring to a secondary? Conical Unitank.
Does the beer need lagering? Nope. All Ales
Are you wanting to keg, bottle or both? Bottle
How are you going to do that? Manual-back-breaking method until we can afford bottling line.

Post #4 made 5 years ago
Great post Carlos! I haven't had any sleep for a day or more. Your post though is great. Apologies that I might have to delay my reply but I think you are asking yourself all the right questions anyway. You probably don't need me any more here apart from to say, "Your thinking is excellent."

I'll double-check that last sentence asap but for now I think it is correct. Anyone seeing anything that Carlos has missed??? If so, this would be the perfect thread to jump into as I think he is a brewer that will listen to anything you carefully write.

Nice!
PP
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Post #5 made 5 years ago
Braumeister a come in 20, 50, 200 and 500L versions

The 500L can produce 600L of wort

Are you sure they don't come big enough?

Anyway, on AHB, there are guys who have built clones with 150/100L capacities
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

Post #6 made 5 years ago
The problem with the Braumister is the cost. I live in a country with exchange control. The communists screwed everything up and the country is broke... Is extremely expensive to get USD or Euros. So I have to have it cloned here!. Buying a Braumister would actually cost me around $150,000!!!!

Excuse my anger but sometimes I feel I have to vent it out. lol

Is not hard to get the Hops and the Grain in bulk to get this operation going. But the equipment i will have to make it from scratch. Which if you think about it BIAB is basically a heated and cooled steel bucket

Post #7 made 5 years ago
Carlos

Welcome aboard.

Let me say firstly I have no experience in commercial brewing so the following is purely speculative and most probably wasting your time. :dunno:

That said ..

A commercial BIAB. It makes me think. :scratch:

I think that with one full time person the following might be feasible

You say you want to produce 1500 litres per month. Thats 50 litres a day or 100 litres every two days.


BIABacus tells me I can make 52 litres at 1.065 into the fermenter using a 100 litre pot. That's about 15kg of grain. Not hard to handle with a simmple pulley system. Expand that out to two pots and you can make 100 litres at once. 100 Litres every two days gives you the 1500 a month.

I don't know what size fermenter you are contemplating so lets go with 450 litres.

I think you could "no chill" with care for eight days. If you used plastic containers you would know before you started to ferment if there was an infection at that stage and could just leave the bad wort out.

By combining the 4 lots of wort you would even out differences between your brews and hopefully maintain a standard taste.

If you could find a find a coolroom that can run at the fermentation temperature you require that would remove the need for the Glycol jacket. I have no idea of the costs involved. (Maybe two so that you could cool a batch before you added it to your main fermentation chamber)

Once you got going that would give you 400 litres every eight days or 1600 a month.

In the time between brewing you one employee could go mad bottling. :argh:

As I have said I have no idea of commercial brewing and my idea may be a load of rubbish.

Let us know how you go.

Majorphill

Post #8 made 5 years ago
Hey it's no rubbish, at first I thought about doing it small scale everyday or every week, but don't you think is actually harder that way? And what about quality? And product consistency? If I can build my Mega BIAB I could make 500 liters if I wanted. Right? I'm aiming high from the get go. I've seen brewerys here working out of homebrew rims systems and, seriously, it's slave work. Plus wen it comes to health and sanitary inspections I don't think that'll fly.

Post #9 made 5 years ago
Like majorphill, I am pleading the fifth :). In other words, some of my thinking might be silly as well. (Great to see stux following this as well :peace:).

My main issues in this whole area are space, energy and labour.

If you have a conical that is angled enough, why not mash/lauter, boil and ferment in the one vessel? This would work but it could also be a bad suggestion. Maybe it is more sensible to mash and boil in one vessel and transfer to a second vessel for chilling and fermentation control. I suppose it depends on space to some degree.

I also think that there is a lot of merit in what majorphill has said. I probably wouldn't go as small on kettle size as he has suggested but I really like the idea of coolrooms and large plastic fermentors. I think they will be a lot more energy efficient but...

Then we have increased labour and equipment costs etc. Wort does not magically move from one vessel and one height to another. If you are on a single storey then I think the single vessel option is worth investigating. If you have several storeys available then other things can come into play.

In many ways, the single vessel option has so many advantages. Anyway, I better move on ;).

PP
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Post #10 made 5 years ago
I didn't think of that. Thanks PistolPatch... You mean a BIABF? lol do everything in one vessel? I think that would limit me production wise. I would be stuck. We will be renting a 100 mts3 warehouse, perhaps a bit bigger. I think the unitank or unitanks will be the way to go... 500 or 1500L unitanks are actually not that big! So the refrigerated room might be a viable option... now what do you all think about chilling them with glycol? Having, lets say, 3 Unitanks connected to a single chiller? Im also aiming for having 3 styles of beer fermenting at the same time once business takes off... They would have to be relatively same fermenting temperature yeast. But would that work? OR would the walk in refrigerator is better?

You guys are awesome.

Post #11 made 5 years ago
Carlos , As a former radiator repairman and an auto mechanic I would say go with the glycol chilling. Just make sure you are able to cool the glycol before you recirculate back thru the chiller. If you are trying to cool that much wort you need it as cool as possible the next go round.
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Post #12 made 5 years ago
Hi,

I thought I'd chip in. Not directly relevant to your self build, but there is a commercial system in the US that is a Kettle and Fermenter.

I found it on a YouTube video, but cannot find it again.

The guy was brought it by his girlfriend, he only brewed kits in it, so did not need go mash, but it would have been perfect for BIAB. He chilled the wort in the kettle, add the yeast, and was away.

So your idea has merit, not sure why it has not taken off (other than you are restricted to one brew at a time)

Not sure if any one here knows what it is called, but either way, it shows it can be done, if you don't mind tying up your kettle for the fermentation period
Last edited by Yettiman on 25 May 2014, 14:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #13 made 5 years ago
That idea has got me thinking. The thing I love about BIAB is the simplicity of the process. Doing a BIABF (since it doesn't have a name yet ill name it that) would be great for that reason. I would imagine that the system Efficiency might be close to 100% not counting evaporation.

Post #14 made 5 years ago
Wouldn't this method from mash to ferment mean you are engaging all of your trub in the ferment?

The guy only brewing kits wouldn't have that as a problem but after a mash and subsequent boil there will be a lot of trub that from what I gather it's not ideal to have all that when fermenting. A bit supposedly is ok but I dont think fermenting with everything is best practice.
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Post #15 made 5 years ago
Hi Brundy,

Not looking to contradict you, but rather learn, why is it not good to include the Trub?

Some brewers do, some brewers do not, some include a little to help the yeast, some include it all.

Does it cause off flavours?

I have heard that it helps the yeast, but it can cause cloudiness?

Is this the reason for it not being good practice?
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Post #16 made 5 years ago
Why? - good question :scratch:

Just posts I had read said having some Trub is good for the yeast as they like it but lots of trub can be detrimental to flavours.
(How and what flavours I have no idea) :)

A quick Google shows John Plamer mention it here - http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter9-1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Or you can pitch your yeast and let it ferment for several days as it undergoes its initial primary attenuation phase. The yeast are much busier eating the more available sugar at this point than scavenging trub, so you can wait until the bubbling of the fermenter slows way down and then rack to a secondary fermenter. Off flavors associated with sitting on the trub typically take a couple weeks to develop. Although removal of the trub from the fermentation is not critical, it is a factor to keep in mind in your quest for the perfect batch.
Pat and others on here also spoke of it a few times in some of the other threads. No definitive answer though.

So I read the above and think, it "may" not cause a problem but it is a potential risk, and that risk can easily be avoided by fermenting in another vessel.

Also been some discussion on it here - http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2343" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Sort of a Does it? Doesnt it? Maybe

- So I guess only way is to test and test multiple times with lots of different beers. But someone like Palmer seems to be a pretty reputable source for me so I do take that on board.
Last edited by bundy on 25 May 2014, 14:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #18 made 5 years ago
Carlosebermudez wrote:I didn't think of that. Thanks PistolPatch... You mean a BIABF? lol do everything in one vessel? I think that would limit me production wise.
Carlos, what I was thinking is that you would have several of these not just one big one. In other words, you could have a different style in say four different vessels with each vessel being about 500L. They would also be conical-shaped so as trub could be dropped (see below).

The above might be still worth considering if your vessel is jacketed.

Probably more sensible and less "cowboyish"/risky though is to have a kettle and separate tanks. That way you can also use a plate chiller between the kettle and the tanks. That and coolrooms might be a lot cheaper than glycol jacketed vessels I reckon.

Conical kettle/fermenter/ and/or bright tanks will allow you to collect the yeast for re-use and keep the wort off the trub which is definitely safest practice as bundy has mentioned. Just because some people do it on some beer styles does not mean that it will work for all styles and palates.

The evaporation does not lower efficiency as you don't lose sugar. You'll gain a bit though as with a sharp enough conical bottom, you'll e able to get rid of trub without losing too much clear wort as well.

:peace:
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 25 May 2014, 17:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #19 made 5 years ago
There are a couple of very long running threads on AHB (aussiehomebrewer) about building BrauMeister clones.

They get called braumeisers, and their is even a project and kit with the microcontroller necessary "Mathos Controller"

I actually have one of the kits and intend to build a BM clone based on a 100L vessel one day. That will put out 60-80L brews.

I found doing BIAB with 60L batches proved to be too much of a PITA hauling the liquid/grain around. In my fairly experienced opinion, the sweet spot for BIAB is double batches and below.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12
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