Installation assistance and customer support are critical components of a turnkey purchase. Installation assistance can vary greatly in scope. Make sure you understand, preferably in writing, what the seller plans to offer in assistance. What is the additional fee, and what will you need to reach out for additional outside help to accomplish. The list can be a short as a few electrical and plumbing needs. On systems larger than 20-bbl, many suppliers send a representative or team out to make sure the brewhouse is put together correctly and functionally. It’s not uncommon for a representative to expect a labor force to be provided to work under their supervision. This is an important area to go over closely with the supplier of a turnkey system to prevent as many expensive surprises as possible.
It is also important for you to have a competent brewer on hand during the installation to ensure that the brewery will operate the way you expect it to and is capable of making the styles of beer you’re planning to make. There are many seemingly minor details that can become major problems later if not addressed early in the installation.
The expectation with a turnkey installation is that you will have a functional brewhouse, fermenters, brite tanks, cooling systems (for both the brewhouse and tanks), a filter (if needed), the required pumps and hoses, and a setup for cleaning and filling kegs. What size and level of equipment the package actually comprises varies with the size and scope of the planned brewery. The needs for a nano brewery project are much easier to meet than those of a larger system. The complexity and amount of peripheral equipment necessary to maintain a brewery escalates quickly as the brewery size increases.
Let’s go over the basic concept of how to make beer; Mix hot water and malt, boil the resulting sugary wort along with some hops, add yeast, ferment, and enjoy. To make sure the result is something actually enjoyable, mankind has come up with thousands of twists and variations on the basic process. Today there are more options and better tools available to help make beer than ever before. All one has to do is pick out which process and tools are optimal for their situation.
A turnkey brewery will have all the parts for a given process, but you, the buyer, need to make sure that you are buying the equipment that will support the right process for your brewery. If the plan is to do split mashes with infusion heating, the equipment will have to be especially designed to do it. If the plan is to use lots of whole hops in the kettle, you’ll want to make sure the kettle is designed with that in mind. That said, here are some things you can expect in your turnkey brewery. There are many variations, so make sure your supplier thoroughly explains the capabilities of all of the specific components.