Installing a Brewery Tips and Thoughts

I am currently in the middle of helping a client set up a new 20HL brewery. I decided to write down my thoughts as and then distill those in to some installing a brewery tips.

The client Humdinger in Kunming, Yunnan has run a 5HL brewpub with 10HL FV’s for 5 years.

Their system couldn’t keep up with demand anymore and they knew that a larger brewery was the next step. Also, a bigger system allows them to open a few satellite bars in the city too.

Kunming is a city of 7 million people and there is definitely room for a brewery to have several small bars.

They needed help from a commercial brewer who has both installation experience as well as knows how to brew on bigger systems.

They gave me a call and it was a project that I was happy to work on.

Where the Installation is Right Now

The equipment arrived already and is currently being installed. It’s a semi-automatic system with touchscreen for several commands such as how much water to add to the mash.

Installing a Brewery Tips - The Brewery Delivery
The Delivery of the Equipment
Installing a Brewery Tips - Taking Equipment Off
Taking the Equipment off the Truck

Going up in size to 20HL from 5HL means a lot more pipe-work. The system has manifolds and valves allowing us to direct the water and wort where it’s needed through the stainless-steel piping.

The Tanks

It is a 3-vessel system with mash mixer, lauter tun and whirlpool kettle. We opted for a cold-water tank to work with the heat exchanger. We make hot water that goes back into the hot water tank as we are cooling the wort after the boil on the way to the FV.

This allows us to have a lot of water if we decide to brew two beers in one day. Or gives us a lot of hot water for cleaning. It also means less work for the glycol system when compared to a two-stage heat exchanger.

Preparing for Your Brewery Install

Before the equipment arrived, we worked with the manufacturer and their engineers to plan the layout of the brewhouse. We provided them with the building floor plan then worked together on the layout of the brewery.

Brewery Layout One
The First Version of Our Floor Plan

It’s important as it makes sure we have good work flows and that the utility ports (water and electric) were placed where needed in the building build out. As well as have the drains in the most useful positions.

Greater planning and preparation with your supplier agreed on before the equipment arrives will save time, money and heartache later on.

It makes the actual install more like putting together on giant jigsaw on site. As many of the connections and pipework have been pre-prepared by the manufacturer ready for delivery.

That’s where I refer back to the 7 P’s

Prior preparation and planning, prevents piss poor performance.

Manifolds for directing liquids in your brewhouse
The Manifolds for Directing Liquid in the Brewhouse
FV Welds
How the Legs are Fitted to the FV’s
Installing a Brewery Tips - Flow Meter for HLT
Flow Meter for Hot Water
Installing a Brewery Tips - Fermenters
Building Floor Plan
Floor Plan for the Initial Building

Installing a Brewery Tips – Wrap-Up

Anyway, this was just a short entry today just noting some of my thoughts about the installation for my client so far.

The installation has been a smooth one till now as we planned ahead using good communication as much as we could.

Good communication with your equipment manufacturer – always be open and honest with your manufacturer they can be extremely helpful with the buildout phase. They want the installation to be as much of a success as you. Open, honest and direct communication is the best.

Planning– Understand what you want your brewery to be and work with the manufacturer to make sure you get the right system to reach your brewing goals.

Be Prepared – Carrying out greater planning and groundwork before the equipment delivery; the quicker, cheaper and painless the install will be.

Asian Brewing Consultant Pouring Some Beer "Badly" in The Cellar

I will write further entries as the installation goes on in the hope that it might help people in the future with their own brewery setups. When I can offer more installing a brewery tips

If you have any questions or observations about an installation yourself then feel free to use the comment box below or email me at:

Have a great day and happy brewing



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
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