Things You Need To Consider When Building A Brewery

Uncategorized - organatan - July 26, 2021

beers on a table at a brewery

I have recently worked on some brewery-building projects. Now, to be honest, my forte is not being a brewery engineer. Instead of being a brewery builder or engineer, I am just a guy who makes beer. However, when I do build a brewery, I have some very supportive colleagues to help me along the way.

It has been a lot of fun to plan these breweries, and I love seeing the excitement on the face of the future brewery owner as they watch their dream slowly turning into a reality.

However, on nearly every project that I have worked on, clients bring me the exact configurations for the brewery they want to have built.

Recently a client said to me, I need to have 5 x 20hL Unitanks and a 4 vessel, 20hL vessel brewhouse to comprise my complete brewing systems.

Although that is a considered configuration, quite often, the configuration given doesn’t meet their requirements.

What is the reason for that? Why does someone who maybe has some solid home brewing experience end up getting the engineering completely wrong when they want to scale things up?

Usually, it is because the person has not dug into brewery engineering very far.

In this article, I will be discussing 5 things that you should consider to ensure that you properly size your brewery, reduce your capital costs, and get the maximum output from it, all at once.

How Many Different Styles of Beer Are You Planning To Make At The Same Time?

It is important to consider the number of different SKUs or product variants you are intending to make.

When developing your business plan, that is something you should consider, which will include a product plan.

A SKU (stock keeping unit) is simply a style or brand of beer and its type of package.

For example, if I am planning on brewing a Lager and it sells in  24 x 375 mL cans and 50L kegs. Although they are the same type of beer, that is two different SKUs since the packages are different.

The more diverse of a lineup of beers that you are you planning on making, the more tanks that you will need to purchase for your brewery.

That is because a tank can only be filled with one kind of beer at once.

Some beers will sell better compared to others. Your top sellers can go into your larger tanks so that you have more of your popular beer available for sale.

Your brewery can be a combination of different sizes of tanks.

Although having 20 taps at your brewpub with 20 different beers might sound great, is that feasible?

Tanks And Not Your Brewhouse Measure Brewery Throughput

I common mistake that I often see being made by new brewery owners is they frequent purchase tanks that are the same size as the brew length of their brewhouse.

For example, they have a 10hL brewhouse, so they purchase 10hL tanks.

I often see this critical mistake being made, especially by new brewery owners.

So why is this such a big mistake?

Because it results in the brewery’s throughput being limited unnecessarily.

If you purchase a 10hL tank, only 10Hl of beer will fit into it.

However, 10hL of beer can be put inside of a 20hL tank when you are just getting started. Then you can add more when your demand increases (!

Consider the difference between a 20hLtank and a 10hL tank. Usually, it is not a big difference.

Another thing related to throughput and tanks is referred to as the “residence time.” That is the total number of days that are between the day you brew your beer and the day you package it.

It takes into account the total amount of time that is needed for a product to be brewed, fermented, the diacetyl rest, chilled, transferred, carbonated, and packaged.

This is equivalent to the number of times that each tank can be filled and emptied in a year. This relates directly to your production capacity.

When you are first getting started, a fairly good residence, to begin with, is 21 days.

That means that a 10hL tank that has an average residence time of 21 days will be able to produce  10 x 365 / 21 liters of beer each year.

On a yearly basis, that is around 173hL of beer.

So when you purchase 20hL tanks for an addition $1,000 each, it allows you to double your yearly output.

You just need to brew twice to fill it.

Just do it. It’s a complete no-brainer.

woman serving beer

It Is Rare For Brewhouse Size Alone To Be The Critical Production Metric

There are numerous suppliers of stainless steel products out there and of course, they all want you to purchase more stainless steel products from them.

However, when it comes to choosing equipment, it is very important to be objective to ensure you make the best decisions.

Does my client need to have 5 x 20hL Unitanks and a 20hL, 4 vessel brewhouse?

On the surface of things, my client above who asked for a 20hL brewhouse with production expectations of  3,400L per ​week needs to brew only 1.75 times a week.

You will have the option of producing more brews on a per shift basis if there are more vessels in your brewhouses such as Whirlpool, Kettle, Lauter, and Mash 4 vessel system versus a Whirlpool/Kettle & Mash/Lauter 2 vessel system.

However, in this situation, at a rate of 1.75 brews a week, it is not necessary for my client to have a 4 vessel brewhouse, and he also probably doesn’t need to brew 20hL at one time.

Therefore, my client should just purchase a 10hL, 2 vessel brewhouse. That will provide him with capital cost savings that are quite significant. To increase output more tanks can be purchased.

Another thing to consider in terms of the tanks is it is possible to brew 2, 3, 4, or however many times are necessary to fill a tank up.

I have brewed into tanks that needed 10 brews to fill them. Also, I have heard about breweries taking over 20 turns/cycles/brews to fill the tanks!

Keep in mind that you can also high-gravity brew. I have personally brewed with 20hL tanks and a 10hL brewhouse. We high-gravity brewed so we could fill up a 30hL tank in just 2 brews rather than in 3.

The efficiency and time savings here are incredible!

Another thing that played a major role in being able to achieve that outcome was my wort dilution calculation.

Briefly put, rarely is the bottleneck your brewhouse. Instead, it is the most expensive stainless steel you have so ensure you maximize the use of this asset and brews lots of cycles with it.


It is never easy trying to design a brewery and when first starting out most people do not have experience with brewery engineering.

Your business plan and sales should directly feed into the design of your brewery – and not the other way around.

When it comes to your assumptions, always question them. Keep in mind the number of tanks as well as their size far outweigh the brewhouse size that you may really need.

And although the stainless steel supplier that you are working with might have your best interests in mind, do not hesitate to get more independent advice to make sure you get the most for your hard-earned money.

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Different Types of Craft Beer

Craft Beer - organatan - July 16, 2021

Different Types of Craft Beer

If you are new to craft beer then some of the terminology can be confusing, especially if you’re used to everything being just “beer”.  Craft beer isn’t just for hipsters, there are tons of varieties and craft brewing is a skill.  So let’s clear up the confusion between ale, beer, lager and whatnot.  Let’s go over the different types of craft beer.

What is Beer?

Beer is a generic term used to describe an alcoholic beverage made with a starchy grain and water.  Granted there are a ton of variations on the basic recipe but if it is made with barley, we call it beer.  Beer, in one form or another has been around for thousands of years.  Ancient Egyptians brewed beer and it has been part of our culture since then.  Beer is typically broken down into two different types, ales and lagers.  Here is a look at how craft beers are made.


Ale is just beer that is brewed with hops and it is fairly common.  Hops makes the beer bitter so malt is added to but the bitterness and add some sweetness.  The key to brewing a good ale is to find a balance between the bitterness and the sweet.  Ales also include stout, which is a thick dark beer.  Guinness is probably the most famous stout that you have tasted, they are available pretty much everywhere. Pale ales or IPAs are also common among craft brewers and they are a golden color and a lot milder than a stout.


Lager is the most common type of beer in the world and if you have ever had a Budweiser then you have tried lager.  Originally, lager was brewed by Germans in the late fall so they could have a drink in the hot summer months.  Lager was originally fermented slowly in cold winter caves where the temperatures would help the fermenting process.  Today lager is still brewed through cold fermentation and storage to give it that flavor that makes it so popular.

Granted there are dozens of different types of lagers and ales in the marketplace and plenty of subcategories within lagers and ales that you can try.  Don’t be intimidated by terminology that describes how beer is made, try new things and discover what you like.  You may even become interested in brewing your own craft beer.  Craft beer is there for everyone to try and there are many different flavors you’re bound to love.

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Discovering New Craft Beers

Craft Beer - organatan - July 13, 2021

Discovering New Craft Beers

Beer drinkers have become more discerning and grabbing a six-pack of Coors at the local convenience store just doesn’t cut it anymore.  Not only do beer drinkers want more variety and flavorful beers, but they also combine this with wanting to shop local.  That is one of the reasons for the rise and success of microbreweries all over the world.  There is a certain appeal to consumers about trying a beer that has been brewed in a more old-fashioned and traditional way.  Half the fun of being a craft beer aficionado is discovering new craft beers, let us show you how to do just that.

The Grocery Store

If your local supermarket has a decent selection of wines then you can expect it to have a decent selection of local beers.  As local craft beer grows in popularity, then the store is more likely to carry the brand to appease their customers.  Don’t just walk by the alcohol section thinking there is nothing there you’re going to like, take a moment and browse and maybe give something new a try.

Local Restaurants and Bistros

Pubs, gastropubs, and even your neighborhood sports bar will all have large selections of craft beer, both in bottles and on tap.  Your server can make recommendations on what beer goes well with what meals, just like they do for wine.  Local breweries even have restaurants attached where you can have a meal while trying out their offerings.

Specialty Stores

There are stores now that specialize in bringing beer from all over the world.  Want to try beer brewed in Nepal…no problem.  Buying local is great and you should absolutely support a local microbrewery, at the same time, there is nothing wrong with trying a brewing recipe from Belgium that is hundreds of years old.

Beer of the Month Club

Yes, that’s really a thing.  If you can’t get a good selection of microbrews then hit the internet and join a beer of the month club.  This is also ideal if you have no idea where to start to pick a new brew to taste.  If you have a beer lover in the family then this makes the perfect gift.

Discovering your new favorite beer is always exciting, but it is not always as easy as a trip to the store.  Explore around your town to see what’s available and then try looking for some great beers online and give them a try.

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Our beer making process

Craft Beer - organatan - July 2, 2021

Black Barrels by Hamilton Happy.

After the experience at the Bhodicipher brewery, where they have been created the first Asian beers aged in wood and the first beers a spontaneous fermentation, I landed in Turin where I decided to give life to this new project.

Black Barrels is divided into two parts: in the BeerShop on the floor upstairs are hosted beers from around the world, with particular attention to beers aged in wood and spontaneous fermentations some raw materials are also made available to customers for home manufacturing.

Downstairs, in the cellar, the beers designed by the brewer, with projects carried out in collaboration with others breweries.

Once matured, the beers are then bottled, made ripen again, and finally placed on the market.

The aging in wood has become a peculiar feature of the Asian brewing scene, in many
breweries it is easy to find part of the production matured in this type of container.  The goal of this project is to create a new path for a further development of this production technique, thus seeking to contribute to the increase in the richness of the Asian beer proposal.

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