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FEW TIPS HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD-QUALITY BREWERY

Unfortunately recently there have been several manufacturers and intermediaries producing and selling poor quality equipment, what not only spoils their image, but generally the image of mini-breweries and the beer from these breweries.

Our engineers and brewers have made the guide with lots of advices to help those who have decided to buy a brewery, but are not very acquainted about the subject.

We hope these tips will help you in choosing a good-quality brewery, even if the brewery will not be produced by our company. It is important for us that all mini-breweries, from all manufacturers have good quality and will always keep the brand of beer they produce. Therefore, we decided to bring in into this issue our contribution. Hopefully, our contribution is not useless and will help you.

First, when you decide to choose a brewery, it is necessary to gather as much information about the manufacturer and his achievements as you could find. You could start by e-mail correspondence. You should find out if this manufacturer and his breweries are popular among the customers. This information can be obtained simply by checking with the manufacturer a list of breweries, established at least the last 2-3 years; this will immediately show his position and success on the market today.

Next, you have to pacify the technical characteristics of the brewery with the manufacturer.

STAINLESS STEEL

The first step is to obtain general technical specifications for stainless steel, which the breweries are made of. This is a very important point, because on the quality of stainless steel and the quality of processing depends the longevity of the brewery and the constancy production of the high quality beer. There are several parameters that determine the quality of stainless steel:

Grade of the stainless steel

Grade of the stainless steel should be: AISI 304 (DIN 1.4301) or GOST 5632 (08Ch18N10).

Ideally, if this steel is produced by the best manufacturers, worldwide reputable manufacturers are Thyssen Krupp (Germany) and Italinox (Italy) today. If the brewery is made of this grade steel and one of the above manufacturers, then you could be sure that there are no “surprises” like rust are not waiting for you.

The fact that the steel is produced by these manufacturers is not difficult to find out during a visit the factory of manufacturer, ask for a purchasing documentation and check if it is from Thyssen Krupp or Inox. The eventual absence of such documents already gives ground for thinking if this is a manufacturer you want to work with.

The tanks of the breweries with productivity of 200 litres to 1000 litres of beer per day should have the certain thickness of stainless steel:

inner cylinders of the fermentation and conditioning tanks at least 2.5 mm
inner cones of the fermentation and conditioning tanks at least 3.0 mm
cooling jacket of the fermentation and conditioning tanks at least 2.0 mm
cupolas of the fermentation and conditioning tanks at least 2.5 mm
upper and bottom cupolas of the service tanks at least 3.0 mm
outside jacket of the cylinders and cones of the fermentation and conditioning tanks at least 2.0 mm
cupolas, cylinder parts and the bottom of kettle, filter vat, boiler and whirlpool at least 2.0 mm
outside jacket of the cylinder part of the kettle, filter vat, boiler and whirlpool at least 1.5 mm

Tanks thermal insulation of the breweries with productivity of 200 litres to1000 litresof beer per day:

cylinder parts and cones of the fermentation and conditioning tanks а) while using polyurethane 50 mm;
b) while using mineral-fibre material 100 mm;
cylinder parts of the kettle, filter vat, boiler and whirlpool а) while using polyurethane 30 mm;
b) while using mineral-fibre material 50 mm;

Stainless steel processing

One of the main parameters for the production of high quality and tasty beer is a high quality surface processing of stainless steel and its welds, directly contacting with the beer. Poor-quality processing of steel and welds causes the accumulation of bacteria in the micropits and microcracks what necessarily in a period of 3 to 12 months since the launch of the brewery in operation, will cause a permanent and fatal damage of beer (souring) and practically can not be eliminated. That means that the brewery can be scrapped.Therefore it is very necessary to check and make sure that the internal processing of stainless steel was 2B (IIIC), so-called “mirror”. Looking inside the tank, you should see your reflection. Welds should be smooth and flat, arrangement of welds have to be not more than Ra 0.32 µm (for example, our company has the arrangement of 0.16 µm).Welding of stainless steel sheets AIS I304 (DIN 1.4301) or GOST 5632 (08Ch18N10) at a temperature of 400 ° C never causes intercrystalline corrosion due to the fact that the steel has a very low carbon content. This steel type can be easily polished.

Check the technical characteristics of stainless steel

The only real way to check the quality of steel and its processing is to visit the factory of the manufacturer. Reasons for visiting the factory of the manufacturer:

  1. You will verify that it is a real factory, not a mediation company.
  2. You will become familiar with the production.
  3. You can make your own measurements of steel, and also ensure of high-quality steel and welds before ordering the brewery and prepayment.

Simple and free way to check the quality of steel, while visiting the factory of manufacturer is to weld together small pieces of stainless steel in your presence. If the steel has poor quality and contains a lot of carbon then it will spark during the welding.

Unfortunately, recently some manufacturers have begun to use not suitable steel for the breweries. Basically, not conscientious manufacturers mainly use Chinese steel, grade Ko 3  1.4016. Outwardly, it looks beautiful and accurate, but unfortunately its composition does not match the appearance.

First of all, before welding to avoid the formation of microcracks it is necessary to warm up the welding sheets in place of welding on 100 ° C – 400 ° C depending on the thickness of steel. Naturally it is difficult to implement, and certainly the manufacturer who decided to produce the brewery out of this cheap and low quality steel do not do this.

In addition, after welding of the steel, the cooling should be done very slowly, what no one of these manufacturers observes too. This causes non-uniform structure of the material in the spot of weld, which leads to the appearance of cracks and corrosion (rust), tank made of this steel can not be under pressure, which eliminates the use of this steel in the manufacture of fermentation, conditioning and service tanks. It causes the souring of beer and practically can not be eliminated. That means that the brewery can be scrapped.

In addition, we recommend to visit the factory, also for the reason that recently appeared number of so-called “manufacturers” who work on the principle of “after us the deluge.” These dishonest manufacturers in pursuit of profit, or do not comply with these parameters relying on lack of knowledge of the customer, or what is worse, write these parameters only on paper, hoping that the finished brewery no one will disassemble and check.

That’s why; even if you have a wonderful brewer, the brewery is not able to produce high-quality beer for a long time and you will become bankrupt very soon. But people, who decided to do brewing as a business, do not buy the brewery for 1-2 years. Brewery and brewing is the business which is capable to bring a decent and steady income to the owner for many decades.


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