How to choose a proper quality brewery
We hope that our tips will help you choose high-quality equipment and a reliable manufacturer.
Step 1: from whom to buy?
Make sure to gather as much information as possible about the manufacturer: its profile, how long it has been on the market, its location address, along with its accomplishments and achievements. Request a list of registered breweries that have been incorporated for the last two or three years – this will help you understand the extent to which the manufacturer is well-liked and successful.
Step 2: what is it made of?
Find out the technical standards of the stainless steel from which the equipment is made: steel quality impacts the service life of the brewery and the stability of making high-grade beer. Recommended steel grades for brewing equipment: AISI304 (DIN 1.4301) or GOST 5632 (08Ch18N10). The best manufacturers of these brands are German Thyssen Croup and Italian Ital Inox. You can make sure that the steel was purchased from one of these manufacturers by requesting the appropriate documents. Unscrupulous manufacturers make equipment from Chinese steel grade Ko 3 1.4016. Despite the good exterior effect, it has the composition that is not qualified as brewing equipment material: if to use it for this purpose, such equipment may lack pressure, and the beer kept inside will show souring signs.
Step 3: how is steel processed?
It is utmost important to learn how welds were processed: this affects the beer quality, meaning that if not treated well enough, bacteria begin to accumulate in the material micropores, which in turn leads to continuous beer souring. Once the equipment is in use at a brewery, such welds can no longer be rectified.
When producing equipment made of high-quality steel, the welds are easy to polish and the inner surface of a vessel must be 2B (IIIC) level-treated, i.e. like a mirror – you must see your reflection when looking inside the vessel.
To find out how steel is processed, we recommend visiting your potential supplier's manufacturing facility. This way you can make sure that it's really a manufacturing plant, measure the steel on site and see for yourself the quality. To do this, ask them to weld the steel cuttings together in your presence. Low-quality steel contains a lot of carbon and sparks when welded.
Step 4: which is the actual product yield?
The brewery yield must be specified for the finished product yield: make sure to specify these data. In addition, you need to specify the weekly yield of the equipment as some breweries are designed to operate five days in a working week, the others will operate six days in a row, and they have more complex equipment.
Pay attention to the length of the production cycle: the optimum is 18 days, in which case quality beer is guaranteed.
Step 5: what are the equipment components?
Optimum components for the equipment required for brewing of delicious beer:
mash-mixing and wort vat and filtering vat should be fitted with electrically actuated mixers.
All brewing line vessels must have a double shell that is well insulated in the middle.
Beer storage tanks must be equipped with a cooling shell, a pressure gauge, a temperature control console, a built-in spray head and a maintenance hatch.
The pumps that are part of the brewery must be sufficient and interchangeable. This will help not to interrupt production process if one of them fails. Find out in advance if there are service centers nearby that you can contact.
It is preferable that the brewing process is controlled from a semi-automatic or automatic control panel.
There must be a Kieselghur or plate-and-frame filter. The filtration from a plate-and-frame filter will be better quality, while a Kieselghur filter will provide a cheaper one.
The equipment must contain a filling and cleaning/disinfecting module.
Equipment may be composed in slightly various ways depending on which brewery you need: restaurant-fitted or industrial-grade. The difference will be in the number of vessels of a brewing section.
Step 6: what extras are available?
We recommend that you find out what kind of service the manufacturer offers you. Staff training, feedstock supply and warranty and post-warranty service are optimum options.
Staff training is best done at a brewery that has been put into operation. It should be held for the whole production cycle, and your employees should be better supervised by an experienced brewer.
Also visit several breweries in operation of the manufacturer you've chosen, so you can see the equipment on-site and try the beer it yields.