A Guide to Choosing Brewing Equipment

So, you’ve decided to open a new brewery, huzzah!

Making the decision to open a brewery is an exciting one, but moving from home brewing to production brewing can be a daunting task when trying to figure out what type of equipment and setup will work best for your brewery.

Well have no fear, a tool is here! We’ve come up with useful flowcharts and diagrams to help guide you in the right direction in choosing the best equipment configuration, setup, and size.


Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company Brewhouse


Minnetonka brewing & Equipment Company Brewing Equipment


Minnetonka Brewing & Equipment Company Brewhouse Heating

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Behind the Scenes – Delivery Day

Here at MBEC we do a lot of exciting things behind the scenes of the Craft Brewing industry.  Although each part and process when working with each customer is exciting, one of the most anticipated moments of the entire process with a customer is when the equipment that was thoughtfully designed no longer is an idea on paper, but is finally real and delivered to its forever home at a brewery.

Ever wondering what delivery day is like when bringing brewing equipment to a customer? Well wonder no more, because we are going to give you behind the scenes tour and answer any burning questions about what goes into delivering brewery equipment.

1. Meeting The Truck

LEFT, CENTER TOP, 612 Brew, CENTER BOTTOM Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT Big Wood Brewery

The first step in the grand excitement of the arrival of brewing equipment is being on hand, and ready to meet the truck to get the process of unloading started.

We ensure that all trucks carrying the equipment arrive on time (or if not, we are in communication with the trucking company and driver to make sure all trucks are en route). No matter how many times we deliver, seeing the glorious sight of the equipment truck arriving is always fun and exhilarating!

2. Taking a Gander

LEFT Tin Whiskers Brewing, CENTER Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Tin Whiskers Brewing, CENTER Mispillion River Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

The next step once the truck arrives is one, stepping in and seeing what equipment is present, making sure we have everything, and looks a-okay to move. Then two, getting out of the way and allowing the company hired to handle the equipment to get rolling!  We provide assistance where we can, but mainly let the processionals handle this precious cargo.

3. Unload The Equipment

TOP LEFT, Burning Brothers Brewing, TOP RIGHT, 612 Brew, BOTTOM LEFT, Mispllion River Brewing, BOTTOM RIGHT, Ale Syndicate/Arcade Brewing

TOP LEFT, Burning Brothers Brewing, TOP RIGHT, 612 Brew, BOTTOM LEFT, Mispllion River Brewing, BOTTOM RIGHT, Ale Syndicate/Arcade Brewing

Once the truck has arrived, we’ve opened it up, and taken a gander inside and concluded everything is ship-shape to move, here comes the fun part – Unloading the equipment (carefully) off the truck!  This process is done one piece at a time.  Even the smallest equipment on the truck is quite large, so each piece gets the undivided attention of the crew. From 30BBL Fermenters, all the way to piping, it all comes off piece by piece.

4. Moving Equipment

LEFT Crooked Letter Brewing, CENTER Big Wood Brewery, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Crooked Letter Brewing, CENTER Big Wood Brewery, RIGHT 612 Brew

Next, we move the equipment into the brewery! This is a nerve-wracking experience, even when you are prepared beyond belief.  Since each piece of equipment is treated like an infant made of eggshells (both to ensure everything is done safely, both both crew and equipment) this process goes nice and slow.  This can mean you can take quite a long time moving just one piece, so moving equipment into the brewery can be a whole day (sometimes multiple day) adventure. But it is exciting every step! We never want to rush this process though, no, no, this process takes as long as it takes, and we are a-okay with that.

5. Placing Equipment

LEFT Big Wood Brewery, CENTER Mispillion River, Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

LEFT Big Wood Brewery, CENTER Mispillion River, Brewing, RIGHT 612 Brew

Once all the equipment is safely inside the brewery, the next step is to place the equipment.  Each piece of equipment has already had it’s spot known even before it lands, so next is to look at the blueprints, talk with the brewery owners, then with the movers, and confirm where each piece of equipment is suppose to go.  This can be an all hands on deck to place, since some equipment (depending on size of brewery) needs special circumstances to place. Some need to tilt one way then moved another, some you can rotate and place in one fell swoop, but no matter what a lot of care is put into make sure each equipment piece is where it is suppose to be.

But wait, the fun doesn’t stop there!

6) Setup and Install

MBEC

Once everything has been unloaded, moved, and placed in it’s forever home, the next big step is to install and setup the equipment – now we are getting to the fun part!  This is where Dan the Brewman! flies into help when called. With every brewery, we make sure each pipe is connected to the right place, electrical is all setup up correctly, and walk through how each piece of equipment operates with the brewmaster so they can start brewing ASAP.

The process of moving in new equipment is always a joyous, emotional experience full of excitement, despite the number of times you do it! And now you can say you know the ins and outs of how the process of unloading brewing equipment goes, so be sure to gloat!

See the whole process in action! Watch the video below to see the unloading equipment arrival day unfold!

Can’t get enough equipment unloading photos and media? head to our Facebook Photo Albums to see more, as well as our YouTube channel!

To check out the breweries that were pictured here that MBEC has provided equipment for, follow the links below:

612 Brew – www.612brew.com

Ale Syndicate / Arcade Brewery  (Who are currently alternating proprietorship of Ale Syndicate’s brewing equipment, the first of its kind in Chicago) – alesyndicate.com, www.arcadebrewery.com

Big Wood Brewery – bigwoodbrewery.com

Burning Brothers Brewing – www.burnbrosbrew.com

Crooked Letter Brewing – crookedletterbrewing.com

Mispillion River Brewing – mispillionriverbrewing.com

Tin Whiskers Brewing – twbrewing.com