Time flies, Us has been involved in the craft beer equipment industry for over 20 years, accumulating profound experience in the entire process from business negotiation to equipment selection, product design, processing, and after-sales service. During negotiations with different customers, we often encounter several key questions: Who are you? Where are you from? What is your budget? Do you have a venue? What are the dimensions of the venue? How will the beer be sold? Ultimately, all these questions come down to price, as it is determined by your specific requirements. Standard products and customized solutions have different price points. Our engineers at Us have prepared a brief introduction to assist those who are planning to start a brewery. Below is a summary of the engineers’ insights.
The miller can be categorized based on the type of rollers, such as alloy rollers or plates, which are made of either 201 stainless steel or SUS304 stainless steel. However, the latter option is more expensive. Using 201 stainless steel is preferable to carbon steel-painted materials because it eliminates any rust odor. The crushing process pays attention to “breaking the grain husk without completely pulverizing it,” and the malt should be moistened before crushing. In the past, malt was manually mixed and moistened, but nowadays, there are mixing machines equipped with reverse discharge frequency conversion design.
Of course, dry crushing is also an option, which ensures the integrity of the wheat husk to a greater extent, reducing labor intensity. The miller’s discharge port should be located in the center if possible so that the receiving bag can be easily secured. Side discharge may result in uneven cutting, making it difficult to secure the bag. Wet crushing is the ideal choice, where a conveying pump is added at the bottom to transport the crushed malt to the mashing tun. This process minimizes contact with oxygen, ensuring efficiency and reasonability. The addition of a re-matching silo, weighing scales, and lifting conveying device can greatly reduce labor and improve automation, ultimately lowering labor costs.
The bucket lift and screw conveyor with a shaft used to be the standard, but they had limitations in terms of bottom storage and inclination angle efficiency. To address these issues, flexible conveyors imported from Europe and the United States were introduced. They have become the preferred solution for long-distance malt and malt powder conveying. However, conveyors without shafts are less efficient than those with shafts, and they require solutions for problems like excessive noise, material storage, and secondary crushing caused by non-concentricity. For long-distance, multi-turn, no-retention, low-noise, and high-efficiency conveying, the best option is pipe chain conveying, which is made of SUS304 stainless steel. This type of conveyor works perfectly with a roller mill that discharges from the middle, allowing crushed malt to be delivered to any location within 100 meters.
There are several heating methods available, such as direct fire, electric heating pipe, heat transfer oil, boiler (including small steam generators powered by electricity, gas, fuel oil, or biomass particles), and electric steam generators. Electric steam generators are most commonly used in areas with three-phase electricity due to their low failure rate, minimal daily maintenance, and compliance with national environmental protection policies. It’s important to regularly regenerate the water softening system and descale the electric heating tubes, as failure to do so may result in tube burning and leaks.
Both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) boilers face safety concerns, including occasional ignition failures. Regular maintenance should be performed each season. LPG burners also require managing gas tank replacement and handling, and the smoke exhaust affects the surrounding environment. Despite these challenges, gas boilers provide a solution when only single-phase electricity or insufficient current-carrying capacity is available onsite by substituting gas chemical energy for electric energy. Oil-fired burners are not as user-friendly as gas burners. They require the addition of diesel oil, produce volatile odors, experience wax formation in winter, and may encounter impurity blockages in the oil circuit. However, they can solve the problem of lacking gas and electricity. It’s worth noting that oil-fired boilers become subject to annual inspections by relevant authorities once their capacity exceeds a certain range (e.g., the latest domestic standard of 500kg/h).
Electric heating is the most common heating method, especially in the leaching and saccharification equipment of the brewing process. However, it is rarely used in the mash tun to heat the mash due to the high heat accumulation on the surface of the electric heating tubes. Conducting the heat away in a short period becomes challenging, leading to material burning. Additionally, the surface of the tubes is difficult to clean, resulting in decreased usage. Stricter boiler regulations in some countries have also made customers wary of potential issues. Variations of electric heating methods include electric heating tubes, electric heating tubes combined with heat transfer oil, and direct heating using electric heating tubes, which provides the highest efficiency. However, problems such as burning and cleaning difficulties can be overcome by utilizing thermal conduction. Nevertheless, careful monitoring of temperature control and early intervention based on experience are necessary.
Although biomass particle boilers align with environmental protection policies, they are prohibited in some areas, particularly in cities, due to their impact on the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, they are very cost-effective, reducing electricity costs by approximately 60%.
Direct fire heating involves removing the burner from the boiler and installing it at the bottom of the heating pot. The combustion chamber, except for the pot’s bottom, is insulated with refractory materials, resulting in high efficiency and reusability. This method allows for circumventing regulatory restrictions and conserving boiler space, making it a superior alternative to electric heating tubes. However, equipment heated by direct fire tends to be more expensive than those heated by steam, so this factor needs to be carefully considered.
In conclusion, while there are several heating methods to choose from, it is crucial to consider the energy conditions at your brewery’s installation site and make decisions accordingly. Steam is widely regarded as the best heating method. The type of energy used to generate steam depends on various factors. Heat transfer oil and direct fire heating are also viable options. Although electric heating tubes are commonly used, they might not always be the most suitable choice.In this article, Mice Craft’s engineers discussed the selection of millers, conveyor equipment, and heating methods, aiming to provide useful insights. Until next time!
Plan Your Craft Brewery
Now that you have learned the basics of starting a brewery, you can turn your dreams into reality. Opening a craft brewery is a challenging task, especially for newcomers to the craft beer industry. In such cases, feel free to contact us. Our engineers will provide you with professional solutions. Us offers turnkey beer equipment solutions, and we are here to assist you in any way possible. If you plan to open or expand your brewery, you can directly reach out to Us. Our engineers will design and manufacture brewery equipment tailored to your brewing process. We can provide you with a complete turnkey solution. Moreover, if you have plans to expand your brewery, we can offer customized solutions to meet your specific needs.