When that first bottle of microbrew fills a glass, it should be a well-carbonated, diamond-clear beer with a crisp, clean taste. Microbrewers play a balancing game to assure that the boiling wort transforms itself into sparkling beer with each fresh batch. Brewery chillers have a lot to do with the process.
Consistency is Key
One of the most important factors in producing a successful brew is the consistency with which the product is manufactured. A microbrewery’s ability to produce identically tasting beverages with every batch is a key element that helps determine whether a customer buys the product again. Loyal customers grow to expect the same flavors, regardless of the batch from which their beer hails.
Forced cooling can help transform a transparent, hot wort into a crystalline, delicious beer in the fastest, safest and most efficient way. Fast and correct cooling also helps reduce the effects of dimethyl sulfide, which can add unwanted aromas to the brew. The longer the hot wort stands, the more likely the unwanted effects of the dimethyl sulfide will prevail.
During the period after the wort temperature falls below 140° F, and before fermentation begins, the bacteria and wild yeast pose the highest risk of contamination. Causing the wort to spend only a brief period of time in this stage reduces that risk considerably. When the wort is force cooled so that the yeast can be pitched immediately, this substantially the contamination risks are lowered.
To Rent or To Purchase
Purchasing a brewery chiller in the first year of opening a microbrewery can be a major investment, especially for startups that are operating on shoestring budgets. They can be quite costly, and in the crucial startup period, the operator might not have a clear idea of the exact chilling capacity that will be needed as the business develops. A practical alternative is to rent a chiller rather than buy one.
During the first year of brewing, when cooling needs change, rental chillers can be added to or downsized easily. Not only does renting a chiller help keep operating costs down, it can also help a business procure a higher quality piece of equipment than would otherwise be affordable, and at a fraction of the cost per month.
If a brewery has already purchased a chiller, but does not want to risk losing product should the main chiller breaks down, a rental chiller can be used as a handy backup piece of equipment to be used in case of an emergency. A rental chiller can also be used as a booster to handle any overflow product that the main chiller cannot accommodate.
Finding a rental company that can not only provide the right chillers on demand, but that is also willing to work with the brewery to best accommodate its specific needs, is an important step in the right direction. Whether your microbrewery needs a temporary chiller, a chiller to compensate for an emergency situation or for times when the owner is conducting research and developing his or her ideal system, the ideal rental company will be able to provide the exact chillers that are needed to do the job.
It is also a good idea to do business with a company that does not lock the microbrewery into a long term contract, especially in the first year of business. The perfect company will make rental units available from single month rentals to more long term rentals as needed.
If you are opening a microbrewery and are interested in renting chillers instead of purchasing them, please contact us to schedule a consultation. We are a family owned business that provides high quality chillers manufactured in the United States.