Last week, we took a road trip up to Hopewell Junction, New York to meet with Kevin Weaver, President and Louis Mejias, Sales of Brewmation to check out equipment. It felt like shopping for a new car, only we couldn’t drive it home and it will probably end up costing as much as a Bently!
As we enter the already burgeoning industry, it is important to choose the right size system. Too small, and you will quickly reach capacity, not being able to satisfy the demands of your consumer. Too big, and you will end up either wasting space and money or making too much beer and not being able to sell it.
Just like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, we are trying to build a system that is “just right”. We already have a 2.5 bbl brew system (bbl stands for Barrel, and a 1/2 bbl is equivalent to your typical beer keg, or 15.5 gallons of beer), which is small in the brewing world, so our challenge is how we can best use our system to satisfy our customers needs.
Brewmation offers some unique solutions that we believe will allow us to increase the quantity of our smaller size system and allow us to brew consistently good beer. Most importantly, they offer automation solutions that will allow our system to operated by one person with ease. Using a control panel that will house both our hot side (production) and cold size (cellaring) is both a convenience and a necessity if our space and manpower are restricted.
We are also using the panel along with customized heating elements to maximize the use of our smaller system to brew multiple batches in one day. We will be able to double brew on a normal day, essentially brewing 5 bbls of beer and doubling our capacity without buying a larger system. Kevin and his team are working with us to customize a solution to fit out needs.
Secondly, using a special pump that they recommended, we will be able to sparge (a step in the brew process that washes the grain) consistently, which should give us a smoother process and ultimately lead to a consistent beer. Brewing consistent beer is the most difficult challenge of any brewer, amateur or professional, because of the many different variables that affect beer taste.
Ultimately, our space will play a key part in how we design and ultimately implement our system. Stay tuned for our next entry, as we are scheduled to look at locations this Friday!