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I wanted to deep dive into what I like to call “The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List”. The things I’ll list here, won’t turn up on other articles.
They are though, often vital to the smooth running of a brewery. I’ve been brewing for over 25-years now. In this time, I’ve worked in numerous breweries of different size.
Many of the items listed below, I’ve used in breweries I’ve worked at. For the standard equipment like brewhouse, vessels and other stuff.
Please see my “Brewery Equipment List – Deep Dive”. This list is for the smaller stuff, like a pH meter or hose beer hose protection rings.
Stuff, which is either critical, increases equipment shelf life and/or makes a brew crews life easier. Shall we get started?
Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #1 – Keg Coupler
I always ask every client what keg type they will use. As there are several types on the market. As seen in the image below.
Different regions tend to use a different spear type for their kegs. For instance, here in China where I brew, the common standard is S-type kegs.
Obviously, keg couplers are mostly used for dispensing beer. However, in a smaller brewery, if you’re filling keg by hand. Breweries will also use a keg coupler(s) to fill kegs.
When filling kegs brewers need to ensure the one-way valves in the coupler are taken out. I’ve filled thousands of kegs in this manner, over the course of my career.
How many couplers needed, depends on the plans created. However, always make sure you have a few spares in the brewery. They can break, and it’s always good to have a few on the shelf ready to go.
#2 – Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Regulator/Pressure Gauge
Every brewery needs carbon dioxide. As I write this, CO2 sourcing is becoming an issue in some parts of the world, due to shortages.
When working with bottles of carbon dioxide, you’ll need connect the bottle to a regulator. These regulators allow a brewer to restrict the pressure which comes out the bottle.
These regulators allow a brewer to set the pressure coming of the bottle to a desired level. If for example, a brewer is looking to carbonate a beer through a stone. A brewer can set the pressure to a particular level going into the stone/tank.
As CO2 is absorbed by the beer, CO2 head pressure drops. Allowing more CO2 to go into the tank. So, over time the beer will become gassed to the desired carbonation level.
#3 – Secondary CO2 Regulator for Dispense
It seems fitting to add this here. They are not needed for all breweries. However, as we seem to be covering CO2 so far. It makes sense to add this piece of equipment.
Secondary CO2 regulators can be used for beer dispense in a brewpub. I’ve also seen people with small basic pilot brewhouses use these, to carbonate beer in kegs too. This type of secondary regulator allows a brewer to set various pressures for different kegs/beers, off the same CO2 bottle.
#4 – CO2 Hose
Can come in several different formats, with the one chosen often up to the brewer’s preference. Plus, what type of connecters are available locally for using CO2 locally.
The hose will be connected to the regulator of the CO2 bottle (Item #2), with the other end of the hose being connected to item 5, below.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #5 – 1 or 1.5-inch Tri-Clover/DIN CO2 Connection
The other end of the CO2 hose, off the regulator will be connected mostly to a 1.5-inch tri-clover fitting. It can be DIN fitting in many breweries, or something else.
Whatever fittings you have, to connect CO2 hose to brewing vessels. It’s best to use a quick-connect fitting, similar to the one shown in the image below.
This will allow a brewer to switch between connecting the CO2 hose, to wherever it’s needed.
For example, adding CO2 to a tank, pushing beer from a filter into brite beer tanks (BBT) or finings, hop oils or other adjunct into a closed tank under pressure.
Again, often the fittings used depends on where the brewery is based and what is used locally.
#6 – CO2 Bottles/Bank
Smaller breweries will likely use CO2 from a gas bottle. Whilst larger breweries may use a CO2 bank, which is a big tank under huge pressure.
In the larger breweries, a truck will deliver carbon dioxide to the brewery. There will be an access point to the brewery’s CO2 tank outside, for ease of use.
In smaller breweries, they will typically use CO2 bottles. The actual bottles will be rented or bought by the brewery. Bottles will be delivered full by the CO2 company.
Brewers use them, and when empty, the CO2 company will pick-up the empty ones and deliver full ones. The brewery of course will order this CO2 before all bottles are empty. To ensure they don’t run out of carbon dioxide.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #7 – Beer Hose for Dispense
This type of hose can come in handy for a number of jobs in a brewery. So, always worth having some on the shelf ready to go. Make sure its pressure rated and food grade.
It can be used when manual keg filling with the item number one (the keg coupler). Some breweries like to use bigger diameter hose than this job, it’s very much brewers’ preference.
I’ve used this hose to make quick rigs, to move beer from one keg to another. When the original keg has been leaking.
#8 – Adapted Corny Keg for Cleaning Beer Lines
This is piece of equipment may not be used all the time in the brewery. However, if a brewery has any kegerators or jockey boxes for outside bars, then having the ability to clean the lines is needed.
Also, if you’re a smaller brewpub, then having these adapted corny kegs for cleaning beer lines is a cheap option, to be able maintain your draught lines.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #9 – Hose Clamp Pincher
In some countries like my home country (England), they use hops clamps requiring a screw driver to tighten them. However, in many parts of the world to tighten hose clamps, a “pincher” is needed.
Hose clamps are used widely in small-scale craft brewing, for a number of jobs. Mainly used to connect small diameter hose to stainless connection, as well for putting together dispense lines.
I always try and have at least two in a brewery, as for some reason they tend to go missing. Only to turn up some time later.
#10 – Small Beer/Dispense Hose Cutter
You can cut draft beer hose with scissors or even a hacksaw blade, I have in the past. However, to get nice clean cuts, a small line hose cutter really is the specialist tool for the job.
# 11 – Handheld or Tabletop pH Meter
Being able to measure pH correctly, is critical to any brewery. Throughout the process from mash pH, to the pH of the final beer, needs to be tested. To ensure its within parameters set by the brewery.
Please see the table for the typical range for pH targets throughout the brewing process.
However, note, pH targets depend on style being brewed, and what the brewer wants from the final beer.
Either way tracking pH to ensure the brew hits its targets, throughout the process is critical to producing a great final beer.
In smaller breweries this may be a hand-held meter, like the one pictured below.
In larger breweries, there will likely be a tabletop pH meter, which is used by a dedicated lab person. Whatever, pH meter a brewery has, it needs to be calibrated often!
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #12 – 1.5-Inch Tri-Clover Elbow
I’m now going to list some tri-clover (tri-clamp) extra parts, which I always order for clients when they source a brewhouse through me. I’ve written a dedicated article on my site about them, which you can read here.
These parts can be used to built quick rigs, for one-off jobs in a brewery. Spare tri-clover parts can make transferring beer and doing CIP easier, quicker plus, safer too.
As a brewer can diverts beer or chemicals elsewhere by opening/closing valves without having to disconnect anything.
For a tri-clover elbow, I like to put one, on a mobile pump outlet. So, when I connect a hose to the pump outlet, it doesn’t bend.
The beer hose would bend, if connected it directly to the pump outlet, when it would be pointing straight up.
Please note: There are also DIN fitting equivalents of these for breweries using DIN instead of tri-clover.
#13 – 1.5-Inch Tri-Clover T-Section
I’d use this when transferring beer from a unitank to a brite beer tank (BBT). I’d put this fitting on the bottom of the BBT. One connection is to the hose going into the tank with another connected to the tank.
The third connection is attached to a butterfly valves (see #16), with the other side of the butterfly valve connected to a dump hose going to a drain.
This set-up allows me to switch between liquid/CO2 going to the drain or to the tank. So, I can dump stuff to the drain, till I get good beer. I will switch the butterfly valves when needed, to direct the beer to the BBT.
#14 – 1.5-Inch Tri-Clover Sight Glass
So, in the above setup (see item #13), you add in a tri-clover sight glass to see when the beer is coming.
Any time you want to visually see a liquid or gas during a transfer or other brewing process, it makes sense to add a sight glass to the set-up.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #15 – 1.5-Inch Tri-Clover End Cap
These can be used for a number of reasons. Some brewers like to put them on the bottom butterfly valves of a cellar vessel.
So, if butterfly valve is say accidently kicked open. No beer/yeast will come out, as the end cap is there. I often put blank end on BBT’s, when I know I don’t need the carbonation stone.
Carbonation stones are hard to clean, or should I say can be a pain in the ass to clean. If I don’t need to use one, I won’t. I replace it with an end cap instead.
#16 – 1.5-Inch Tri-Clover Butterfly Valve
I always say “you can never have enough butterfly valves”. They can be used in all sorts of set-ups. When transferring beer, I’ll use a few with whatever rig I put together.
Here one rig, where I’m using butterfly valves and some other tri-clover spare parts to push finings into a closed unitank under pressure.
#17 – Tri-Clover Clamps
This piece of equipment really is self-explanatory. When connecting any kind of tri-clover to another part. A brewers will need one of these, to fasten and secure the fitting
Again, a brewery needs to ensure they have enough of these. You’ll surprised how many are used in an operational brewery, during day-to-day work.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #18 – Tri-Clover Gaskets
For every connection and clamp used, a gasket is also be needed. These gaskets are mostly made from EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer).
They can also be silicone, PTFE Tefelon (PolyTetraFluoroEthylene), envelope (PTFE & EPDM) or BUNA-N (Nitrile) depending on the application and needs.
They are used to make a seal liquid or gas tight. Gaskets plus, any soft fittings should be replaced regularly for better sanitary/safety conditions.
#19 – Saccharometers for Measuring Wort Gravity
Anybody reading this article, I hope know what these are. They are used to measure the sugar content of the wort. As the fermentation takes place, sugar is being converted to alcohol.
Knowing the sugar content of the wort, allows a brewer to calculate its abv percentage. Remember to adjust the measurement taken, for wort temperature, if needed.
As most saccharometers are calibrated to 20°C (68°F). So, any reading taken from wort not at 20°C, needs to be adjusted.
#20 – Digital Refractometer
There are several designs, the one pictured is by Atago, a Japanese firm. I’ve used this particular refractometer a lot during my brewing career.
It only works for brewing days on the hot-side. As once yeast is added to the wort, it can no longer take an accurate reading.
It works using light. It’s not the cheapest investment for a small brewery. However, I like to have for brew days, as I can get accurate near instantaneous reading of wort on brew day.
You don’t have to cool the wort down to get a reading. Often when trying to hit my pre and post boil gravity, I need to take several readings quickly. Having a digital refractometer really makes my life easier.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #21 – Digital Thermometer with Probe
Most brewing vessels these days have a probe with LCD (liquid crystal display). So, a brewer knows the temperature inside the tank.
As a brewer, I still like to be able measure/double check the temperature manually. Especially when measuring mash temperature.
I’d recommend investing in a digital thermometer which is tough and built to last. They really come in handy.
For example, when cooling wort to take a gravity reading using saccharometer.
#22 – Stainless Steel Keg Key
These days stainless steel kegs come with a safety element, which ensures the keg spear doesn’t fly out of a pressurized keg, for any reason.
Never remove the safety element, it’s there to protect the brew crew/servers. However, there’s a way to open a keg, even with the safety device.
When opening and later closing a keg, a brewer will need a keg key like the one pictured below.
I always recommended opening your kegs from time-to-time, as there can be some dirt buildup around the top of the keg spear. Which can only really be cleaned by hand.
#23 – Beer Carbonation/Dissolved Oxygen Measuring Equipment
To measure dissolved oxygen (DO) in beer properly requires expensive kit. An expense often out of the budget of a small brewery or brewpub.
However, any brewery looking to package beer should invest in such gear. Equipment like the Anton Parr CboxQ, can measure both, DO and carbonation.
For a smaller brewery being able to measure carbonation only, may suffice. If not packaging to can or bottle. In this instance a brewery can use a device such as the one pictured below.
The original Zahm and Nagel is still quite expensive. However, there are Chinese knockoffs, which still do a decent job.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #24 – Pallet Jack
Every brewery, if possible, plus, if the space allows should invest in a pallet jack. Brewers spend their lives moving stuff around.
Having a pallet jack makes life easier and saves a brewer’s body from wear and tear. A brewer, especially in smaller place does a lot of manual work.
When a brewer can use some equipment to make life easier, they should. There’s no need to be a martyr and put your body on-the-line, unnecessarily.
#25 – Hand Trolley
Much like using a pallet truck, a hand trolley helps a brewer move stuff more easily. I use a hand trolley to move kegs and CO2 bottles, often.
When using a hand trolley makes sure whatever you’re moving, is properly secure. The easiest way is to use one or two chains.
Using a trolley with a curved back is preferred, when moving kegs and CO2 bottles. Furthermore, ensure the footplate is big enough too.
#26 – Bulldog Barrel Filler
This is ideal equipment if you plan to put any beers into barrels. A brewer can actually fill and empty barrels, with a bulldog.
If using this piece of kit, a brewer should ensure they work with very low pressure, to push the beer around. Bulldog barrel fillers aren’t used often in the brewery, unless there’s a big barrel program onsite.
Still, even if dealing with a small number of barrels, I’d highly recommending investing in one of these.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #27 – Beer Hose Protection Rings
Beer hoses gets a lot of use in any brewery. Beer hose is vital equipment so, should be looked after well, accordingly.
One option open to a brewery, is to use beer hose protection rings. These rings will protect the ends/connections of the hoses.
Plus, ensures the hose ends never directly touch the floor. Making the hoses more sanitary, and possibly increasing the lifespan of the beer hose too.
Beer hoses should be changed regularly. How often depends on use, but generally, beer hose should be changed, every two to three years.
#28 – Peg Board for Brewery Spare Parts
I can’t work in a brewery, unless it’s organized. One item, I like to have in all the breweries I work at, is a peg board. Which I used to store my spare parts, when not needed
This also allows me and my brewing team to find items more easily. Having a place for each item to live, when not in use, means no member of the brew crew loses time trying to find a part.
You just have to ensure any member of the brewing team is trained to put things back in their proper place!
#29 – Extra Spray Balls
Not the most important item on the list. As a brewer can’t lose a spray ball easily. They can though, become deformed over time. So, no longer work properly.
However, the pins used to keep spray balls in place are easier to lose. It makes sense to get spares of these for sure.
They are tiny and can often be dropped by a brewer, never to be seen again.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #30 – Pressure Relief Valves (PRV’s)
Pressure relief valves are key items of kit. Every cellar tank should have one. If pressure gets too high in a tank, the PRV valve opens to reduce the build-up.
They can sometimes malfunction and start leaking at low pressures. Or worse not work as intended, so no longer releasing pressure at unsafe levels.
Either way, it’s always good to have some spare PRV’s on the shelf, in case one needs replacing.
#31 – Tri-Clover manifold for Kegging
If you’re looking to fill kegs by hand, then a manifold like the one pictured, can be used. So, a brewer can fill multiple kegs at once.
With smaller brewhouses, I tend to recommend people fill kegs by hand, if possible.
Using a filling machine can actually be more time consuming. It’s a personal preference of every brewer, whether to fill kegs by hand or with a machine.
#32 – Hose Barbs
Ideally, you want hoses with ferrule ends for sanitary and safety purposes. You can order hoses precut, with ferrules fitted by the suppliers.
If you do needs to make a quick hose setup yourself, then you can use these hose barbs instead. However, I like to stress proper precut hose, are always the best option for any brewery.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #33 – Spent Grain Tote
I’ve seen all manner of items used to load spent grain from the mash tun into them. From wheelie bins to IBC totes.
What you use depends on the height of the manway, where the grain comes out. Plus, actual access to the mash tun. Also, need to check with the person who will take the grain from a brewery, what works for them too.
#34 – Spare Solenoid Valves
These valves are used to regulate temperature of the fermentation in unitanks, and other cellar vessels.
They can sometimes get jammed up. Often not closing and leading to a fermentation getting too cold.
Often the fix can be easy. Being some sediment in the glycol system, stopping the solenoid from closing fully. The material simply needs to be removed.
However sometimes with wear and tear, a solenoid can stop working. Like many items on this list, it’s best to carry some spares in the brewery.
#35 – Spare Gaskets for Brewery Vessels and Other Equipment
Spare gaskets for all vessels and other brewing equipment are necessary. Many brewers will say for instance, don’t disassemble a heat exchanger to clean it, without having a spare set of gaskets.
Hopefully a brewer will not need them, but if they do. Then, having spares to hand, can minimize down time.
Carrying spare gaskets for all manways, other ports (like sample taps) plus, cellar vessels is highly recommended. As they can sometimes be hard to source, quickly.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List #37 – Stainless Steel Bucket(s)
A stainless-steel bucket can have many uses, from re-hydrating dried yeast, to holding adjuncts till needed. Using stainless-steel, over other materials makes for easier cleaning and better sterility.
#38 – Stainless Steel Slotted Spoon
For stirring stuff, like rehydrating dried yeast. A stainless-steel slotted spoon can be easily cleaned and sterilized.
The Other Stuff Brewing Equipment List Conclusions
Well, there’s the list, I’ll continue to add to it, as I think of other items. I made this list in the first place, when a current client, asked me too.
It was a good exercise for me to carry out. Plus, I know for many of my readership, this list will be useful.
When it comes to a list like this, other brewers might have different methods to do things, and need different equipment.
If anyone thinks of something missing from the list, please leave a comment or message me. I would like this post to be useful as possible.
Need Help with Your Brewing Project?
My name is Neil and I’m a brewer from the UK, now based in China. I’ve been brewing for over 25-years on a number of different systems, from small brewpub to larger craft production brewery.
So, I’ve worked with most types of brewing equipment, from a hop rocket to centrifuges. It’s fair to say I know my way around a brewery, plus done several brewery installs too.
If you need help with planning a brewery, AS WELL AS sourcing equipment from China, feel free to get in touch. My email is:
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Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing about your project.