Author Topic: What is the minimum fill level for a 300 litre fermenter or conditioninhg tank?  (Read 5012 times)

Offline Surf Monkey Beer

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Hey guys,

So, on the brink of opening a very small craft brewery here on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia. I am looking at buying some 300 litre fermenter and conditioning tanks to get me started.

I don't think initially I will be filling the 300 litre fermenters due to running test recipies. Can I ferment 100 litres of beer in a 300 litre fermenter or is there a minimum fill level the fermenters should have?

And i will be Tank conditioning in the conditioning tanks (no force carbonating) so do the conditioning tanks need to be full or could they work with a less than half fill level?

Anyone have this knowledge they could throw my way?

Cheers

Offline brewfun

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I wouldn't fill it with anything less than 200 liters. Simply, the headspace will become problematic on a number of levels.

If you're making beer to sell, then make enough to sell. Your time is better spent that way and your business will benefit more from selling than testing.

It should only take a batch or two to learn your beer system well enough to predict how a recipe will turn out. You should already have a very solid knowledge base about your ingredients and techniques. I always recommend doing a very basic wheat beer or pale ale, that has a wide target range. No matter what balance it has, it'll sell as long as it isn't contaminated. Once you taste a basic beer and know how it meets your expectations, you should be able to hit a full size batch of anything and get close to perfect on the first try.

All things considered, if you need to "test" recipes, you should have a smaller pilot system. You shouldn't have any fear about making a full size batch.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Surf Monkey Beer

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Thank you, very solid answer.

I am just waiting for the delivery of my brew magic system from Sabco. The reason for doing test batches is because I have my three mainstream beer recipies set but as a business I want to be experimenting with all the wonderful fruits and food products available here in Colombia, but these experiments I want to be doing just small batches, so what I will do is use a small fermenter in a fridge for those experiments and save the 300 litre jacketed fermenters for the beers we want to pump out. And believe it or not two of my three mainstream recipies are Belgian wit and Pale Ale.

Thanks again
happy brewing