Generally, to ensure a brew master can make a reasonable living with their brewery, they should brew between 80,000 and 100,000 liters of beer per year. In addition to efficient production, the ability to sell or serve the beer in their own premises is crucial for turnover and earnings. Distribution and resale also play a significant role in profitability.
How large should our brewhouse be when starting out?
You can start from scratch with a manual brewery that has two vessels of 500 liters each. However, a 500-liter brewery should be prepared for two brews per day. We recommend a minimum of 1,000 liters (10HL) to have a future-proof platform. It’s also advisable to have three vessels (mash tun, lauter tun, and whirlpool/boiler) for better workflow efficiency and increased beer production.
Starting with a brewing plant with large batch sizes (20-30-40HL) doesn’t necessarily make it more future-proof unless you need to brew large quantities of the same beer. Most microbreweries benefit from brewing a variety of craft beers. If one or two of the beers become particularly popular, it’s possible to purchase larger fermenters and brew multiple times to fill them.
Brewing plants of 10HL and above are all capable of brewing half batches.
We also recommend having a hot water tank (HLT, Hot Liquid Tank) to recycle the hot water from the cooling process. An HLT can also supply hot water for sparging, ensuring all sugars are utilized during the lautering process. Hot water is used to quickly start the next brew when brewing two batches consecutively. Typically, an HLT should be twice the size of the brewery itself, for example, a 20HL (2,000 liters) HLT for a 10HL (1,000 liters) brewing system.
Which brewing principle should we choose?
There are two main types and methods of brewing in a two-vessel brewery.
The first type involves a combined mash tun and lauter tun, along with a kettle/whirlpool tun. This method allows for a single-step mash and the possibility of decoction, where the first wort is heated and returned to the lauter tun.
The second type involves a combined mash tun, kettle, and whirlpool tank in one vessel, with the lauter tun as the second vessel. This setup allows for multiple-step mashing.
A three-vessel system consists of a mash tun, lauter tun, and kettle/whirlpool tun. It offers greater efficiency and the ability to brew multiple times in a day when combined with a hot water tank.
In a four-vessel brewery, the boiling vessel and whirlpool tank are separate tanks, resulting in even more efficient production and increased brews per day.
We typically recommend breweries with smaller batch sizes and more efficient setups, which enable the production of various beer types in small quantities. Scaling up can be achieved by efficiently brewing several batches consecutively with minimal effort. Our breweries can be configured to brew half batches upon agreement, with no additional cost.