The brewery equipment can be the largest purchase for a microbrewery or brewbup. The options have changed over time as the renaissance in brewing, as it’s called, has morphed into a strong business for both manufactures and breweries.
Prior to this revolution it was standard to find equipment from other industries and convert these parts to work for the brewing process. This practice is still in place but requires additional conversion steps to make the equipment function properly in the brewing environment. The problems with these converted vessels are, of course, that they were not designed for brewing. Dairy equipment does have man holes, for example. Without these the removal of spent grains becomes a difficult task. They sometimes do however have Clean in Place (CIP) equipment, which is a big plus.
The basics of the Commercial brewing equipment are a large step from that of homebrewing. Volume is a clear difference, and with volume brings new challenges around heat, movement of materials, and sanitation. The equipment in the brewhouse include:
- Grain Mill
- Mash Tun
- Lauter Tun
The grain mill is used for crushing the grains to produce grist. This exposes the starches and allows for a much higher efficiency as well as a quicker mash time. Grain mills are anywhere from 2-roll to 8-rolls and this affect the breakdown and separation of the grain from the husk. Read more
The mash tun is where the grist, or grain, mixes with the water. Additional adjuncts can be added at this stage as well. The mash tun is partially filled with hot water prior to the grist being introduced. The water can be mixed prior to entry by means of a Steel's Masher, or it can be sprayed upon entry using a sparge arm. The Steel's Masher forces the combination of water and grist through rotating plates prior to entry of the mash tun. Read more