In the previous article, ACE craft engineers compared the selection of crushing, conveying, and various fuel boilers, and summarized the pros and cons based on internal conditions and external environment of the equipment installation site. Today, I will discuss other key points that need attention – how to choose cost-effective craft beer equipment.
The domestic style of the powder silo is usually round, but it can also be found in foreign countries. The material used is a SUS304 stainless steel wire drawing sheet, and galvanized sheet is also an option. The upper part of the silo is a shallow cone, while the lower part has a cone angle of 45-90 degrees. The design principle enables easy discharge and reduces accumulation. The number of outriggers needed should be determined according to the site, and in some cases, the silo can be hung from the roof without outriggers. The bottom of the silo is connected to the material-water mixer and can also be supported. In addition to the breathing port and manhole on the upper part, there is also a feeding port, which is best connected with the outlet of the conveyor using a soft connection.
Feed water mixer
The purpose of the feed-water mixer is to mash the dry malt powder with warm water entering the tangential line. This prevents a large amount of dry malt powder from condensing into a group in the saccharification pot, saving time during saccharification feeding. The warm water can be prepared by mixing hot water and feed water. A confluence valve with two inlets and one outlet is recommended. Add a static mixer and a thermometer to measure the temperature after mixing. Another option is to replace the confluence valve with two manual regulating valves, which are practical and commonly used. The static mixer is less common. If you want to observe the mixing state, you can choose a large tube sight glass, which is a high-end choice.
The design of the masher cone or saucer head and the surface finish style are mainly aesthetic choices. They all serve the same functions, but the difference lies in individual preferences.
It is best to use steam as the heating method for the mash pot because it guarantees high-quality requirements for the wort, provides convenient and accurate temperature control. Depending on the customer’s site conditions, different heating methods such as direct fire, electric heating tube, and heat transfer oil may also be used. In the past, firewood and coal burning at the bottom of the pot were common, but due to environmental protection regulations, these methods are no longer suitable. The choice of saccharification process also determines the style of equipment. Some American processes use steam to heat the saccharification in the filter tank, while other methods involve heating the mash from the saccharification pot or using a water pump for heating. The boiling pot should have a built-in heater for volumes of 500L and above.
Considering the high price of sheet metal, it is important to use reasonable materials to optimize cost, ensuring high cost performance for ordinary customers. The guiding principle is to make the thick areas appropriately thick, reduce thickness where it is not necessary, and avoid unnecessary costs. For example, areas with a steam jacket need to be thickened to increase service life. On the other hand, outsourcing should be as thin as possible, unless your processing technology cannot support it. Outsourcing can be used to wrap thermal insulation material and also adds aesthetic properties. Generally, cans are not prone to rubbing or damage. Even 2mm thick cans can be deformed. To illustrate this point, look at stainless steel kitchen utensils – their outer plates are less than 0.5mm thick, yet they are still beautifully polished. However, it is important to maintain craftsmanship in the brewing industry. Therefore, as a buyer, you don’t need to worry too much about the thickness of the package, unless you prefer a thicker design.
The insulation material should be made of polyurethane foam as much as possible, as it provides better insulation. Materials such as perlite, rock wool, and aluminum silicate are not as effective unless direct fire heating is required.
The height of the equipment and the size of the platform depend on the site and process requirements. If space allows, it is advisable to have a more normal height.
For craft beer equipment with a capacity of 1000L and below, it is recommended to use upper stirring to avoid under-stirring and leakage issues. Even for larger volumes, using stirring will require thicker shafts, leading to increased costs and potential problems with non-concentric shaft rotation. Therefore, it is recommended to stir and tighten the seal.
While all-glass manholes with mirror lights look beautiful and atmospheric, condensed water can make it difficult to see through. Mirror lamps are expensive and require more LED lamp beads. The key is to ensure sufficient brightness; otherwise, visibility will be poor. Mirrors with wipers have practical significance.
If conditions allow for outdoor exhaust, it is preferable to discharge the exhaust outside, eliminating the need for additional temperature control and wastewater disposal indoors. In some cases, a circulating water tank can be added under the indoor drain to manage the temperature. However, once the water in the tank reaches a temperature above 80 degrees, it becomes ineffective. Regular water changes or replacements are necessary.
Plan your craft brewery
Today, I will discuss the first steps in planning your craft brewery. There’s a lot to cover, so I will present the information in stages to ensure clarity and understanding. In summary, a cost-effective craft beer equipment should possess three characteristics: visibility, stability, and operability (humanization).
Now that you know how to choose cost-effective craft beer equipment, you can turn your dreams into reality. Starting a craft brewery can be challenging, especially for newcomers to the industry. If you need assistance, feel free to contact us. Our engineers will provide professional solutions and turnkey beer equipment options. Whether you are planning to open a new brewery or expand an existing one, we can design and manufacture brewery equipment tailored to your brewing process. We also offer complete turnkey solutions for your convenience.