|Breweries can vary enormously in size, from the smallest microbrewery to
the largest multinational brewing corporation. The diversity of
processes is likewise diverse, being largely dependent on the type of
beer produced and the degree of automation desired.Water Purification Equipment
For example, a larger brewery is more likely to be composed of distinct sections such that each is dedicated to a specific phase of the brewing process.At the other extreme, a microbrewery is more likely to consist of a single room, where the entire brewing process is performed.
Despite the great difference in size, however, much of the brewing process has remained essentially unchanged, as it’s dictated by relatively simple biochemical processes.A microbrewery, or craft brewery, is typically owned independently and much smaller than the corporate breweries that produce most of the beer appearing in bars and retail shelves.
However, this distinction has become blurred in recent years as major brewers have created some very large “craft breweries.”
Brewery Equipment Material
Brewery equipment is made of various materials, the most common brewing kettles being made from copper and stainless steel.
Copper Brewery Equipment
Brewery equipment has traditionally been made of copper, especially the kettles in which the wort is boiled. Copper ore is readily available and easily smelted into pure form.
Furthermore, copper transfers heat quickly and evenly, which is highly desirable for brewing. However, copper reacts with many chemicals, which can give a metallic flavor to the beer. It can also be corroded by many types of cleaning solutions.
Stainless Steel Brewery Equipment
Today’s commercial breweries predominantly use kettles made of stainless steel, although they’re still known as “coppers” regardless of the materials used to make them.Many modern kettles have copper cladding to provide a more traditional appearance, but this cladding is purely cosmetic as it doesn’t come into contact with the wort. Stainless steel reacts with very few chemicals, although chlorine is one of them.
Brewery equipment made of stainless steel shouldn’t impart any flavors to the beer, provided it isn’t cleaned with bleach. Stainless steel is also much stronger than copper, which is a critical consideration since kettles are pressurized when the wort is boiled.
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