May 21, 2024

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Copying a Commercial Brewery Is Harder Than It Looks – Here’s Why

brite tanks


More than one home brew hobbyist has dreamed of copying their favorite commercial brewery. Dreams of creating that perfect beer every time have motivated them from the moment their equipment first arrived. But at some point, they figured out that copying their favorite commercial brewery is harder than it looks. Moreover, their quality doesn’t compare.

So, what’s the deal? Brewing beer at home can be a source of great accomplishment. It can lead to some pretty fantastic beers. In fact, one of your recipes might constitute the best beer you have ever consumed. You just have trouble consistently producing the right flavor and color time after time.

There are some fundamental things that separate your operation from a commercial brewery. It starts with equipment.

Commercial Tank Setups

Large-scale commercial breweries approach the tank question from one of two angles. The first angle, according to Houston-based CedarStoneIndustry, is to utilize separate fermentation and brite tanks. The other angle is one of utilizing a single unitank for fermenting, conditioning, and aging.

Note that commercial breweries spend tens of thousands of dollars on their tanks. You do not have that kind of money. In fact, you might be brewing your own beer using a stove-top kettle and a plastic fermenting bucket with a lid. No, you are not brewing enough beer to water a small army, but the equipment you use still determines the quality of your finished product.

For example, one of the reasons for utilizing a unitank is consistency. A unitank can be automated so the only thing the brew master has to do is monitor the tank itself. Everything inside takes place automatically. This produces unparalleled consistency from batch to batch.

Considerable Floor Space

Another way your home brewing operation differs from your favorite commercial brewery is the amount of floor space you have to dedicate to your operation. In a commercial setting, owners will come up with whatever floor space they need to house all their equipment. You may not have that luxury.

If you are working out of the kitchen, you certainly don’t have the room for stainless steel fermenting tanks, brite tanks, or unitanks. In fact, you are lucky to have enough extra counter space to store your plastic fermentation bucket. If it were not for that, you might not be brewing at home at all.

Unlimited Financial Resources

Finally, copying what your favorite commercial brewery is not easy as it looks for the simple fact that you don’t have unlimited financial resources. A commercial brewery does. A successful commercial brewery generates enough revenue to support mass production and still make a healthy profit. They can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a single unitank.

As for you, the budget is always a concern. You do not have the money to invest in stainless steel tanks and fixtures. You do not have the financial resources to automate your operation. You do everything manually, using whatever components you can find around the house.

You can still make pretty good beer at home, even with your limits. You don’t need all the expensive professional equipment industrial breweries invest in. You do not need a ton of floor space, either. You just need a good recipe and a willingness to follow fundamental brewing practices.

Your operation is never going to look exactly like a commercial brewery on a smaller scale. Because of your natural limitations, you are also not going to achieve the same quality and consistency. But that’s okay. As long as you like the beer you produce at home, that’s all that matters.