Breweries can be found in all sizes, from small micro-units or large commercial units. Therefore, these systems use a diversity of processes based on the degree of automation and type of beer. For instance, in large breweries, the making process is divided into multiple sections. In this article, we are going to talk about the cost of brewery equipment. Read on.

Factors that may have an impact on the brewery equipment costs

All breweries should figure out the equipment cost based on the beer volume they want to produce. There are three factors that have an impact on the cost: material, new/used equipment and size of the brewhouse.

Brewery Equipment Material

Typically, the equipment is made of different types of materials. However, the most common materials are stainless steel and copper.

Brewery Equipment Condition

Apart from the size, the equipment cost may vary based on whether it’s new or used. Often, new business owners have a limited budget to work with. Therefore, they opt for used equipment. Given below are the most common equipment required for the business:

  • Kegs
  • Storage tanks
  • Fermentation tanks
  • Kettles
  • Boilers

Aside from these, cleaning tools, refrigerators, bottlers, cooling equipment, and filters are also on the list of essential equipment irrespective of the brewery size.

Size of the Brewhouse

A brewhouse has a lot of components like a whirlpool, boil kettle, hot liquor tank, lauter tun and mash mixer. Larger units may make use of a 5-vessel brewhouse where each component is a separate vessel. Based on the size, the cost of equipment will vary.

Fermentation Tanks

After the preparation of wrot, the next step in the process is fermentation. This process happens in the fermentation tanks that feature a cone-shaped bottom. The cost of small tanks is around $400, while bigger units may cost as high as $2,500.

Brite Tanks

Beer goes through the filtration process and is pumped into a different tank for secondary fermentation. This tank is called the Brite tank and allows the beer to clarify and carbonate before it’s transferred into kegs, cans or bottles. At time brewpubs, beer is also served from the brite tanks.

So, the non-jacketed brite tanks may cost between $1,400 and $4,600 for a 1-bbl and 7-bbl model respectively. On the other hand, the cost of a 5-bbl tank is around $5,800. If you need large tanks, you can contact the supplier for custom quotes.

Kegs

For beer storage, brewers use kegs even if they store the beer in cans or bottles eventually. Alternatively, they may serve or sell beer to bars and restaurants in kegs. The most common size is a 0.5 bbl keg that sells for $125, give or take.

To protect the taste and prevent spoilage, kegs are also washed. Although small breweries can wash kegs manually, larger units use a keg washer for better efficiency and lower costs.

The Takeaway

The cost of brewery equipment depends upon a lot of factors, such as your location, licensing, building expenses and brewhouse size, just to name a few. So, you may want to consider these factors when making the decision.