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29. Scaling and logistics rethought: Multi-function mash-tun, kettle, and whirlpool

D. SCHROEDER (1); (1) Simatec Impiantibirra, St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.

Brewhouse Operations II
Friday, October 9
10:00–11:45 a.m.
River Terrace 2

One of the most daunting and consequential questions a brewery can ask is, “How big should my brewhouse be?” An oversized brewhouse will output stagnant product and, in turn, cause an inability to pivot, customize, and experiment with smaller batches. A too small brewhouse transforms your success into a burden—equipment wear and labor skyrocket, while the relatively young brewery must embark on the process of upgrading the brewery: permits, construction, fundraising, scaling, and starting over from square one. Simatec Impiantibirra has patented two designs that allow for a pragmatic solution to this question. First, a whirlpool paddle that converts a kettle into a brewhouse. This paddle is unique in itself for its simple yet elegant design and for reducing hot-side aeration of the wort by eliminating an auxiliary pump. It also opens up possibilities for scaling. Our second patent is held regarding the modular brewhouse: because the kettle is multifunctional as a whirlpool and a mash tun, we can exponentially expand the brewery with the existing tanks. Simatec can add 1, 2, or 3 multifunction tanks to the existing tank and lauter tun, stagger brews very closely together, yet retain the footprint and control of a small brewhouse. This opens up possibilities for the scaling of small brewhouses not only from the perspective of the brewer, who will wish to create smaller custom batches but also have the option to brew high volumes of popular brews, but also from the financial side, where choosing an undersized brewhouse can open up massive financial obstacles as the brewery grows.

David Schroeder is a professional in the beverage industry with a decade of experience in brewhouse operations, management, sales, and strategy. At his first microbrewery job in Austin, TX, the brewery experienced a 170% volume increase and he learned firsthand the challenges of training staff, scaling equipment and processes, and quality control of liquid produced. Since that time, he has been a student of different sectors of the beverage industry supply chain—from the Maillard Reaction in coffee roasting, to reducing sediment level and increasing shelf life of cold-brewed coffee, to the performance of sensitive raw materials in aromatics. His work with Simatec stems from his interest in bringing new technologies and rethought operation processes that save time, money, and ultimately make better beer.

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