Building a Brewery: Features of Our Brewhouse

By Hidden Sands Brewing Company | Inside Hidden Sands

Mar 22

Technology & automation sets our Brewhouse apart

Earlier this month, we wrote about our relationship with DME Brewing Solutions, and how we went about selecting them to build our brewhouse. Now we’d like to tell you about the features of our equipment, and what makes it so special.

With all the years of planning that went into this project, we had an arsenal of features on our wish list for a brewhouse. We only wanted to do this once, so equipment that could outlast our current facility and deliver throughout our intended growth was a requirement. We additionally needed it to be able to brew any style of beer (which not all brewing equipment can), since market trends continue to change as the industry evolves. One of our core principles and value propositions is consistency and quality, so we needed a brewhouse that batch after batch after batch, would create consistent products.

We worked closely with Rick (our Project Manager at DME) through many ideas and configurations, ultimately specifying a brew house which we felt would best suit our needs not so much now, but in the future.

So what did we end up with?

We elected to go with a four-vessel brewhouse, giving us the ability to brew nearly round-the-clock once we get to larger fermentation tanks. Our first two vessels are oversized at 25 barrels to accept the larger amount of grain needed to produce higher gravity products. The remaining two vessels are sized at 20 barrels. This will allow us to brew almost any beer style, and still yield 20 barrels at the end of the brewing process. Once we have developed our products and need to crank out larger volumes, this four-vessel system can run continuously, producing wort for the larger fermentation tanks we see in our future.

To help our brewers orchestrate everything, we chose to automate our brewery with a Process Logic Controller (PLC) and a Siemens Braumat Compact System. Our entire brewhouse has automated pneumatic valves which will give the brewers touch screen control over everything. The process pumps are controlled by the PLC, as are most of the other manual actions required on non-automated brewhouses. The Siemens Braumat PLC will manage our recipes, monitor our glycol chiller and control our fermentation and bright tank temperatures.

We positioned our spent grain outlet so we can employ a pump for spent grain removal when our volume increases. Additionally, our 60-barrel hot liquor (water) tank is sized for continuous use. Everything is powered by an Allied 40-horsepower steam boiler, positioned one floor above our brewhouse to reduce the amount of steam piping required and allow for the most efficient operation.

Other small details such as LED tank lighting with internal wiring, glass manway covers with our logo etched in them, raising and lowering rakes, magnetic volume meters and a slew of others features make it a really well-appointed kit.

Rick at DME considers it the Cadillac of brewhouses…we tend to agree.

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