The output of beer brewing depends on the type and size of brewing equipment, the amount of beer brewed, the size and number of fermentation tanks, and the fermentation cycle of beer. These are all factors that can affect the total output of a brewery. When putting together a brewery, there are several factors to consider. ACE craft will explain how beer production is calculated.
- The dwell time of beer in the tank
- Number of beers in a core range
- Number of fermenters and brite tanks
- The configuration of your brewhouse
While these factors may not be the main reasons, they do collectively impact the overall output of a brewery.
Not all beers are created equal
When calculating a brewery’s annual production, it’s important to consider the dwell time. How long does beer sit in tanks before it’s ready for packaging? For example, if you’re brewing a lager, it may need to sit in tanks for 4-6 weeks before it’s ready. The longer beer sits in the tank, the less you can brew.
Estimating the size of your brewery
The best way to estimate the size of your brewery and its cellar configuration is by calculating beer production over a year. This will help you determine the number of fermenters you’ll need.
Some important questions to ask when approaching a client are:
How much beer do you plan to brew each year?
How much beer do you plan to sell per month or per week once your brewery is up and expanded?
Calculating Brewery Capacity
For simplicity, let’s assume there are 20 fermentation and conditioning production cycles per year.
We calculate that the average cycle of fermenting and conditioning takes 17-18 days. This means there will be 20 production cycles per year, considering 350 days in a year divided by 17 days per cycle.
Calculating Brewery Capacity – Cellar Tanks
You can have various types of tanks in your brewing process:
- Fermentation vessel
- Brite beer tank
- Horizontal maturation tank
- Serving tanks
The type of tank chosen will affect the brewery’s output and labor costs. For example, in a brewpub, having a sink is a viable option. Some breweries keep cans in their cold rooms and pour beer straight from those cans at the bar. This saves labor as keg beer is not used for draft beer.
Number of vessels in a brewery
The brewery’s design also affects the amount of beer that can be brewed on-site.
Most common settings:
3 Vessel System: Combined mash/lauter tun and kettle/whirlpool
3 Vessel System: Combined mash/lauter tun with separate kettle and whirlpool OR separate mash and lauter tun with combined kettle/whirlpool
4 Vessel System: Separate mash, lauter, kettle, and whirlpool
Having more brewery vessels allows for more beer to be produced in a day. While it might be possible to brew twice on a 2-container system, it would be a long day. Some breweries have 5 or 6 vessel systems and can brew more than 6 times a day. It is important to note that it is not the number of cellar tanks but the brewery’s design that limits the output.
Conclusion on Calculating Brewery Capacity
There are many key factors to consider before making your final decision. If you need help with an upcoming brewing project, please contact us. We will provide you with technical support and a complete brewing equipment system. ACE looks forward to cooperating with you!
If you plan to open or expand a brewery, you can contact us directly for a turnkey solution for brewery equipment. Our engineers will design and manufacture brewery equipment tailored to your brewing process. We offer complete turnkey solutions and customized options for expanding your brewery.