Views: 0 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-03-15 Origin: Site
Brewing beer is like woodworking: it takes skill, years of mastery, and the right tools to produce an end product that's pleasing to the eye. The good news is that only a few basic parts are needed to start your brewing journey. Whether you're a seasoned craft beer connoisseur or a budding brewer, here are the components you need to keep your operation up and running.
Brewing beer is cooking. It's that simple. Carbohydrates are extracted from grain material and heated with hops oil, creating a blend as old as civilization. But stirring a jar big enough to serve liquor to the masses requires a savvy chemical engineer or a full-time business owner wading through water.
First, you need mixers; the number of them depends on the volume you intend to produce. Tanks should be large enough to handle grain and liquid volumes, made of materials inert to the mixing process, and equipped with a mixing motor powerful enough to agitate the mash. It may not be as complicated as a distillation column, but different mashes require different capacities and the calculations take some skill.
Unless you intend to pick up these enormous tanks and empty them into subsequent units, you’ll need some kind of fluid transport system. These generally come in two configurations: pump driven and gravity driven. The difference is simple: one uses pumps, the other does not.
The reason for the separate systems is a matter of power and oils. Pumps are sometimes criticized for introducing heat into the process that can break down hop oils. However, having this mechanically driven system allows for more flexible plant configuration. Gravity driven systems not only cut down on power costs, but also maintain the chemical integrity of the mixture. But, unlike their motored counterparts, these eco-friendly systems require a bit of accommodation. Once again, balancing the advantages and disadvantages of each is up to you.
To some, the nuances of beer flavoring are of no concern, chugging American light beer with abandon. But even these individuals will notice if a bacteria bloom sullies a batch. For this reason, lab equipment for testing pH levels and the like is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, the brewing process involves a series of chemical barometers that ultimately affect flavor and quality, so having testing equipment nearby is essential.
Mashing and cooking the wort is only half (arguably, less than half) of the process. Once those tasty sugars are in your liquor, it’s time for the yeast to do its thing. Fermenters are the next step in the process, holding young beer until it matures into something delicious.
Good models will enable three functions. First, they will house liquid without imparting taste. Second, they will possess a bottom-facing valve that allows for retrieval of settled yeast for re-use, since yeast possesses particular characteristics that become a signature component of quality beers. Finally, they will possess temperature controls in order to optimize the process. Yeast is a finicky organism, so keeping it happy is priority number 1.
Once the beer is matured, it’s unlikely to be consumed in a single sitting (unless, of course, you’re debuting at Oktoberfest). For this reason, you’ll need storage tanks or kegs. Large scale storage tanks make sense for businesses with an industrial bottling line, but for most microbreweries, kegging is the way to go. In addition to letting natural carbonation occur in the finished beer, a vastly superior option to artificial CO2 carbonation, these vessels can be distributed to local brewpubs and bars in order to spread the word of your concoction.
But while all of this equipment will help get you started, your knowledge is ultimately what makes it work. In fact, most brewers started very small, building buzz around their creations and honing their skills before a large investment.