Brewery Building Requirements | Preparation 8 Tips

Today’s we will discuss brewery building requirements. Currently I’m finishing up a consult for another brewery installation. So; I thought it was good time to review buildings and breweries.

Here we go with our first tip:

1. Water

Water; that’s where we start, it’s the main ingredient of beer. I have worked in breweries with poor water pressure and it sucks. It makes the job hard.

Recommended water pressure for a brewery is 60 psi with a flow of at least 100 liters a minute. This isn’t always possible but the closer to these numbers the better.

Brewery Building Requirements - Water
Water – Critical to Brewing

You want this water flow to be constant and unaffected by usage elsewhere in a building. Furthermore; having access to hot and cold water throughout the building including your lab is preferential.

Also, you will need a water analysis from a local government agency or from a 3rd party lab to understand the make-up of your water. A water report gives you ionic composition, water hardness and pH thus allowing you to determine treatments needed for brewing.

2. Drainage

You will need drainage throughout your brewery. Drainage is required for the brewhouse, fermentation area, cold storage, boiler room as well as other area where water/liquid spillage may occur.

If possible, you want your floors to have a pitch to help drainage. The recommended pitch is around 2cm per 1 meter towards drains.

Channel drains work best with stainless steel or fiber glass gratings the best options. Also drains need to be correctly sized. So, be able to handle 5 liters of effluent for every 1 liter of beer produced.

3. Finish

Brewery floors are critical when planning a brewery. However, the right floor can save you time plus money down the line. Brewery floors have to be sealed and resistant to strong alkalis and acids. For example, strong acid can eat into concrete.

Brewery Building Requirements - Packaging
Liquid Spills Will Always Happen in Packaging

Breweries are places where spillages of sugary and sticky liquid are hard to avoid. Therefore; if your brewery walls and ceilings are washable it will make your life much easier.

4. Brewery Building Requirements – Electrical

When it comes to electric you will need regular outlets as well as 3-phase outlets too. The 3-phase outlets are for bigger equipment and machinery.

This will require you to work with your architect/designer and equipment supplier to make sure plans are suitable for your brewery’s needs. For instance, when it comes to your brewhouse…

It will need access to 3-phase and regular electrical supply. Same for all your equipment from transfer pumps, boilers to packaging equipment. Having electrical outlets in the correct places is critical.

5. Sizing – How Big?

Sizing a brewery is one of the main considerations of any new brewery. Furthermore; you need to consider tap room space to find a good balance (production/sales). As a quick guide; 10-meters squared floor space is ideal for every 100 liters (1HL) of brew system size:

So, for a brewpub 3 to 5HL then 30-50 meters squared of space could suit. For a brewpub of 7, 10, 15 HL you will need 70-150 meters squared of space. For a production brewery with packaging then floor space is variable. If in doubt, I can help you in this matter as I am a brewing consultant.

Furthermore; for more information about sizing your brewery to determine brewhouse system size, you can read our in-depth guide by clicking here.

6. Ceiling Height – Floor Plans Continued

The size of your system will go a long way to determine your ceiling height. For smaller systems between 5 to 10HL a ceiling height of 3.75 meters to 4.5 meter should suffice. When floor space is a premium but you have higher ceiling then stacked fermenters are a good option.

Asian Brewing Consultant Stacked Fermentation Tanks
Stacked Fermentation Vessels Saves Floor Space

Now, bigger microbreweries and production breweries require additional ceiling height to accommodate bigger vessels. You can work with your equipment manufactures to customize your tanks to fit a particular building.

For example; When you have less floor space but high ceilings, some tanks like fermentation vessels can be made thinner and taller. If you need further help then feel free to reach out to me.

7. Brewery Building Requirements – Venting

The best way to understand this tip is to explain via example. When making beer you will boil your wort in kettle and you need a flue to vent the steam produced.

If you choose a steam fired system; you’ll need an exhaust flue in the boiler room for a gas fired boiler. If you choose a direct gas-fired system then you’ll need exhaust flue for the kettle firebox.

8. Equipment Deliver

For the actual delivery day of the equipment you will need forklift and maybe also a crane (depending on the size of the system). The forks should be extendable and possibly padded to protect the equipment.

You need to make sure the access to the building is sufficient to allow your equipment ample room to pass through. As discussed above the more prep work done, the quicker the installation will go.

So, when utility outlets are properly placed, drains are installed correctly plus all water lines are plumbed then the installation phase will be quicker and smoother.

Brewery Building Requirements – A Conclusion

There are a lot of elements involved in preparing a building for brewing. From floor space and ceiling height considerations to utility needs. The more you plan and prepare the greater chance of success.

If you need help in this matter then as a brewing consultant I can help. I have been a brewer for 25 years; I’ve brewed 6 countries and done several installations.

So; can help you with all your brewing needs to find out more about my services click here.

Neil Playfoot

Neil is a brewer with 25 years international brewing experience. Based out of China (first came in 2010) he works as a brewing consultant helping brewers with their projects and brewing processes. To find out what services Neil can provide your brewery please click here. If you'd like to contact Neil you can email at [email protected].
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