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Newsletter #5 – Making room for a micro brewery

When we first had to organise the premises for a 500-litre brewery at Bøllingsø Bryghus, we were frankly completely out of our depth. The questions were in line:

How much space is the is brewing-system going to take up? How many yeast- and storage-tanks do we need? What about the height of the ceiling? How much ventilation is needed? Should the temperature of the room be stable at 20 degrees Celsius? Is our door wide enough to get the equipment in? Does food control require tiles on the walls? Is the water supply powerful enough so that it does not take too long to fill the vessels? How large do we need our cooling-facility to be?

This is the words of partner in Bryggeriudstyr ApS Claus Thorhauge, who is also one of the entrepreneurs behind Bøllingsø Bryghus placed in the centre of Denmark.

− If I knew what I know today, I would have bought or rented a cheap, large and charmless warehouse for the purpose. What was now to be transformed into a brewery had earlier been an old inn and so it was expensive and complicated to design the old kitchen for the purpose. And we cannot really expand, Claus says

He points out, among other things, that in addition to the brewing process itself, it is also necessary to pay attention to raw materials, empty bottles, finished beers, packaging, as well as space to tap and label labels.

− Today, Bøllingsø Bryghus has had to set up a 40-foot container outside the premises with empty bottles to be replenished later, Claus adds.

Adjusted to millimetres

Choosing a room is always a compromise. Should the brewery be in connection with a cosy place where there is a possibility of tours and beer-tastings? Should it lie in the harbour or in the centre of the city? Or is it a beer-factory placed in an ugly industrial district?

Will you start small and grow naturally with time and money? Or should it be full production from day one?

In Bryggeriudstyr ApS we’re in contact with both large and small breweries – and we help them all. Recently, together with a customer, we have a redesigned the drawings of 200-litre yeast and storage tanks a number of times in order for it fit into the basement of a single-family home.

Only 205 centimeters to the ceiling and just a regular door to get the tank inside through. In addition, the challenge is that a small tank of only 200 liters due to the small diameter arches so much that we wouldn’t be able to make manhole on the side of the tank. The manhole has to sit at the top, and so there must be enough room between the tank and the ceiling to get the lid off and reach the tank from above. And the tanks needed to have wheels on!

In the fourth attempt, it was possible to draw a tank that could enter. However, the customer has to peel off the sill to get the tank inside.

Another customer for 2,500 liters tanks, thought he had enough space until we got to talk about how he needed to put the dry hop in the tank from above. We drew the idea a few times until we were sure that the balance between height, diameter and volume was satisfactory.

Custom made is not expensive

All equipment from Bryggeriudstyr ApS is new and tailored to the customer’s needs. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. We are often able to compete with the prices of used facilities and systems

And advice and guidance are free of charge. We are happy to visit you and advise on how you can optimise your production based on the equipment you have. and the premises at your disposal.

Checklist for selection of premises

  • Is the room hygienic: unbroken ceilings, walls and floors that can be cleaned easily. wallpaper, wood, etc. is unsuitable.
  • Is there a drain in the floor?
  • Are there high ceilings with space over yeast- and storage-tanks?
  • Is the door or gate tall and wide so that large equipment can enter?
  • Is it easy to get reach and exit with raw materials and finished goods?
  • Can we drive with pallet lifters in the premises – no level differences or doorsteps?
  • Is there room for all functions, brewing, fermentation, storage, raw materials, finished goods, bottling, labelling, administration?
  • Is there space for expanding in the future?
  • Should there be serving and beer-tasting – space for atmosphere and hang-outs?

The custom-built tank for the basement arrives in April. In the newsletter #7 from June, we will reveal whether it could come in through the door – and be installed in the room.