Comprehensive Guidance The 5BBL Brewing System For Your Craft Brewery

May 20, 2023

A 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system refers to a commercial brewing setup with a capacity of 5 barrels, where each barrel is equivalent to 31 U.S. gallons or approximately 117.35 liters. This system is commonly used by small to medium-sized craft breweries or brewpubs.

The benefits of using a 5bbl brewing system for your craft brewery

Using a 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system can offer several benefits for a craft brewery. Here are some advantages:

Scalability: A 5-bbl system allows for a moderate production volume, making it suitable for small to medium-sized craft breweries. It provides the capacity to produce a significant amount of beer while still maintaining a hands-on approach and the ability to experiment with different recipes.

Flexibility: With a 5-bbl system, breweries can produce a wide variety of beer styles and experiment with different ingredients and brewing techniques. This flexibility enables them to cater to diverse customer preferences and continuously innovate to stay competitive in the craft beer market.

Efficiency: Compared to smaller homebrewing setups, a 5-bbl system offers increased efficiency in terms of production volume. The larger brewing vessels and equipment allow for more streamlined and productive brewing processes, reducing the time and effort required for each batch.

Distribution potential: A 5-bbl system provides breweries with the opportunity to expand their distribution reach. While still considered relatively small in the commercial brewing industry, a 5-bbl system can produce enough beer to supply local bars, restaurants, and even limited distribution in nearby regions, helping to increase brand exposure and sales.

Cost-effectiveness: When compared to larger brewing systems, a 5-bbl system typically requires less investment in terms of initial setup costs, space requirements, and utility expenses. It allows breweries to start brewing on a commercial scale with a more manageable budget and grow gradually based on market demand and business success.

Quality control: With a smaller brewing system, breweries have greater control over the brewing process and can pay meticulous attention to detail. This allows for tighter quality control, ensuring that the beer consistently meets the brewery's standards and satisfies customer expectations.

Craftsmanship and creativity: A 5-bbl system is often favored by craft breweries that prioritize craftsmanship and artisanal brewing. The smaller scale allows brewers to focus on the artistry and creativity of beer making, producing unique and distinctive brews that can help establish a strong brand identity.

Potential for growth: Investing in a 5-bbl system provides room for future growth. As the brewery expands and gains popularity, it can gradually increase production or add additional fermenters and bright tanks to scale up operations further.

It's important to note that the ideal brewing system size depends on the specific goals, production capacity, and business plan of each craft brewery. The 5-bbl system is just one option among various brewing system sizes available in the market.

Components of 5bbl brewing system

A 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system typically consists of the following components:

Mash/Lauter Tun: A vessel where the mashing and lautering processes take place. It is used for mixing and extracting fermentable sugars from the grain, as well as separating the liquid wort from the spent grain.

Brew Kettle/whirlpool tank: The vessel where the wort is boiled with hops and other ingredients. It is equipped with a heating system and often includes features like whirlpool ports and tangential inlets for efficient hop utilization and trub separation.

Hot Liquor Tank (HLT): This tank holds and heats the water used for various brewing purposes, such as mashing in, sparging, and cleaning.

Wort chiller: A heat exchange system that rapidly cools the hot wort to the desired fermentation temperature.

Fermenters: Tanks where the cooled wort is transferred for fermentation. They are typically equipped with cooling jackets, temperature controls, and ports for adding yeast and taking samples.

Bright Tank: A vessel used for carbonating and clarifying the beer before packaging. It allows any remaining sediment to settle out and ensures the beer is clear and ready for serving or packaging.

Pumps, Valves, and Piping: Essential for transferring liquids between vessels, controlling flow rates, and regulating pressure throughout the brewing process.

Glycol system: Helps regulate and control the temperature of the fermenters and bright tanks during fermentation and cold crashing.

Control Panel: The control center that manages and monitors temperature, timing, and other parameters of the brewing system. It ensures consistency and precision in the brewing process.

Cleaning System: Equipment and accessories for cleaning and sanitizing the brewing vessels, such as spray balls, CIP (clean-in-place) systems, and cleaning agents. Proper cleaning and sanitation are crucial for maintaining beer quality and preventing contamination.

Grain Mill: A device used to crush the malted grains before mashing, allowing for efficient extraction of sugars during the brewing process.

Brewhouse Piping and Plumbing: Interconnected pipes, hoses, and fittings for transferring liquids, controlling flow, and managing utilities like water, steam, and gas.

Hoses, Fittings, and Clamps: These components connect various parts of the brewing system and facilitate the movement of liquids during brewing operations.

Types of 5bbl brewhouse system

Electric brewhouse system: An electric brewhouse system uses electric heating elements to heat the brewing vessels instead of direct fire or steam. This type of system can offer precise temperature control and is often favored for its energy efficiency and ease of use.

Steam-fired system: In a steam-fired system, steam is used to heat the brewing vessels. This method provides efficient and even heat distribution throughout the vessels, contributing to consistent brewing results.

Direct-fire system: A direct-fire system involves the use of a gas burner or flame to directly heat the brewing vessels. This traditional method is known for its rapid heating capabilities and is often favored for its ability to achieve intense boils.

How to choose the right 5bbl brewing system

When choosing the right 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system for your brewery, consider the following factors:

Production goals: Determine your desired production capacity and growth plans. Assess the demand for your beer and choose a system that can meet your current and future volume requirements.

Space and infrastructure: Evaluate the available space in your brewery and ensure it can accommodate the brewing system you choose. Consider factors such as ceiling height, floor load capacity, and utility requirements (water, drainage, electrical, etc.).

Brewing process and efficiency: Consider the specific brewing process and techniques you plan to use. Assess the features and capabilities of different systems to ensure they align with your brewing style and efficiency requirements. Look for features such as automation, precise temperature control, and ease of use.

Components and configuration: Determine the specific vessels and components you need based on your brewing process. Decide whether a two-vessel, three-vessel, or combination vessel system suits your requirements. Consider additional components such as a wort chiller, control panel, pumps, and valves.

Budget: Establish a budget for your brewing system, considering not just the upfront cost but also long-term maintenance and operational expenses. Balance your budget with the desired quality, features, and capabilities of the system.

Manufacturer reputation and support: Research and choose a reputable manufacturer or supplier known for producing high-quality brewing equipment. Consider their customer support, warranty, and after-sales service. Read reviews and seek recommendations from other brewers.

Expansion possibilities: Assess the scalability and expandability of the brewing system. Consider if it can accommodate future growth and potential upgrades, such as adding more fermentation vessels or increasing automation.

Local regulations and certifications: Ensure that the brewing system meets all local regulations and certifications, including safety standards, electrical codes, and health requirements.

By carefully considering these factors, you can choose a 5-bbl brewing system that aligns with your production goals, brewing process, available resources, and budget while ensuring scalability and future growth possibilities.

Installation and maintenance of 5bbl brewing system

Installation and maintenance of a 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system involve several steps and considerations. Here's an overview:


Site preparation: Ensure that the designated area for the brewing system meets the necessary requirements, such as appropriate floor load capacity, access to utilities (water, drainage, electrical), and compliance with local regulations.

Equipment delivery: Coordinate with the manufacturer or supplier for the delivery of the brewing system components. Ensure that there is sufficient space and equipment available to unload and move the components to the installation site.

Assembly and installation: Follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult with professionals to assemble and install the brewing system components. This may involve connecting vessels, piping, pumps, and electrical connections. Pay attention to proper alignment, sealing, and secure mounting.

Utility connections: Connect the brewing system to the required utilities, such as water supply, drainage, electrical power, and gas (if applicable). Ensure that all connections are properly installed and comply with safety standards.

Testing and calibration: Before using the brewing system, conduct thorough testing and calibration of all components and systems to ensure proper functionality and accuracy. This may include checking temperature sensors, control panel settings, pump operations, and overall system performance.


Cleaning and sanitation: Develop a regular cleaning and sanitation schedule for the brewing system. Clean and sanitize all vessels, piping, and other equipment to prevent contamination and ensure product quality. Use appropriate cleaning agents and follow established procedures.

Routine inspections: Conduct routine inspections of the brewing system to identify any signs of wear, leaks, or damage. Check all connections, valves, and seals for proper functioning. Inspect electrical components, such as wiring and control panels, for any issues.

Preventive maintenance: Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for preventive maintenance tasks, such as lubrication, filter replacements, and equipment inspections. Keep detailed records of maintenance activities and address any identified issues promptly.

Component maintenance: Regularly maintain and service individual components of the brewing system, such as pumps, valves, and temperature sensors. Follow manufacturer guidelines for maintenance, including lubrication, part replacements, and calibration.

Professional servicing: Depending on the complexity of the brewing system, consider scheduling periodic professional servicing by experienced technicians. They can perform in-depth inspections, maintenance, and repairs to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the system.

Staff training: Provide comprehensive training to brewery staff on the proper operation, maintenance, and cleaning procedures for the brewing system. Ensure that they understand the specific requirements and safety protocols associated with the system.

Regular and proactive maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity, efficiency, and safety of the 5-bbl brewing system. Adhering to manufacturer guidelines, implementing preventive measures, and addressing issues promptly can help optimize system performance and extend its lifespan.


Investing in a 5-barrel (bbl) brewing system involves careful financial planning and consideration of various factors. and conducting a thorough financial analysis, you can make an informed decision regarding the investment in a 5-bbl brewing system that aligns with your business goals and financial capabilities.

Basic Information
  • Year Established
  • Business Type
  • Country / Region
  • Main Industry
  • Main Products
  • Enterprise Legal Person
  • Total Employees
  • Annual Output Value
  • Export Market
  • Cooperated Customers

Send your inquiry

Choose a different language
Current language:English