Archive: Equipment

BREAKING TRADITION WITH BARRELS, KEGS AND GROWLERS

From the iconic images of barrels and kegs at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany to the rows of art-laden cans at your local bottle shop, beverage containers matter. More than ever, the containers used to store, transport and dispense beer, wine and spirits are sales and marketing tools, and it’s time to start looking at them as such. Your Kegs deserve An Upgrade Josh Fast, Manager of Marketing and Internal Sales for SCHÄFER Container Systems, is excited about the future of kegs. “The standard keg design hasn’t been upgraded in probably 70 years, but we’re changing that and showing that there are better options,” he said. “Thanks to the local craft beer industry, expectations have noticeably increased for breweries and pubs […]

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Bottle Filling Machines: What’s New, Improved, and Considerations

Without bottle filling machines, how would we crack open a refreshing beer on a hot day or experience that slow pour of a craft spirit into a glass? Filling machines are an integral part of the craft beverage production process and used by producers of craft beer, spirits, wine, cider, and a wide variety of carbonated drinks. Bottle filling machines are nothing new, but there are some new developments in this industry that are helping beverage producers innovate and share their products with consumers in exciting ways. Background on Bottle Filling Machines Filling machines have existed since the Industrial Revolution, and by the end of the 20th century, the machines were widely used for various applications. These machines have been […]

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Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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Pumps in Craft Beverage Processing

Breweries and distilleries use pumps on the hot and cold sides of the beverage production process, but there is a lot that goes into selecting the right pumps for each job. When choosing new pumps, brewers and distillers must consider the intended purpose, hygiene standards for compliance, energy efficiency, cost, and other factors. By applying the feedback of industry experts who work with pumps every day, beverage producers can recognize common issues that arise with pump use, how to avoid those issues, and how to choose the best pumps for their operations.  Pump 101 for Brewers and Distillers There are quite a few reasons why brewers and distillers use pumps, including the elimination of unwanted, viscous, and abrasive raw materials […]

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Automation Now Making a Splash in Distilleries

Worlds seem to be colliding, as tradition-conscious craft distillers look for ways to build modern efficiencies into their businesses. For an increasing number of proprietors who deem themselves artisans as well as entrepreneurs, technology is the means to that end. H.E.J. (Odin) van Eijk is one such entrepreneur. Van Eijk said he saw the need for more automated systems years ago, so he started developing a robotized approach to distillation and launched a line of automated tools under the iStill banner in Amsterdam, Netherlands. iStill’s automated distillery systems are catching on, van Eijk told Beverage Master Magazine, noting that they currently have about 50 systems operated in the U.S. Those systems, with capacities ranging from 26 to 1,300 gallons, can […]

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Using New, Reused & Recycled Barrels in the Brewery

Barrels are one of the hallmarks of the wine industry, and commonly associated with the craft spirits industry; however, they play an essential role in brewing beer as well. Breweries utilize barrels and kegs in a variety of ways, and, depending on the purpose, will seek out specific vessels, whether new, used or recycled barrels, or stainless steel kegs. History and Use of Beer Barrels The history of the barrel dates back thousands of years to when English monasteries produced and stored brewed beer in wooden vessels. Early brewers made wooden casks from vertical strips of oak that were held together with steel hoops. Over time, the process improved, ensuring the barrels were water-tight, easily transportable, and able to enhance […]

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Minnetonka Brewing & Distilling Equipment Company: Now, From Start to Finish

Founded just as the craft brewing boom began, Minnetonka Brewing & Distilling Equipment Company’s initial concept was to provide affordable, high-quality brewing equipment and accessories to the fast growing industry. Early on, industry veteran and founding partner, Dan Kahn, mentioned craft distilling would be the next craze, so we went in search of high-quality distilling solutions to add to our impressive line of brewing equipment. Minnetonka is excited to be associated with the fine folks at Squarrel Barrel. Enhancing and building upon the 2,000-year-old process of barrel aging, they have designed and developed, and are bringing to market, a new era of wood aging solutions. We’re a thrifty bunch at Squarrel, so we’re always looking for ways to conserve resources, […]

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Before You Buy New or Used Equipment: What You Need to Know

As a business owner, the decision to buy new equipment becomes a priority when a piece of critical equipment breaks down and it costs as much or more to fix it as it does to replace it. Or your equipment becomes obsolete and the new technology will allow you to increase your capabilities. Or…the new equipment will make it easier to grow your business – serve more customers, produce more products faster and of a higher quality. Each is a valid reason to buy new equipment. Now, for the big question: How Shall I Pay for It? Cash, Bank Loan, or Lease? 1) Leasing conserves your capital 2) Leasing preserves your bank lines of credit 3) It’s easier to qualify […]

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How to Choose the Right Pumps & Drives for Your Brewery

Certain pieces of equipment are essential to breweries of every shape and size, while others become more necessary as operations grow. Commercial brewers use various types of pumps, and an increasing number of breweries are incorporating drive technology into their beer production process as well. The Uses of Pumps in Breweries In the modern craft brewery, pumps a variety of purposes, and are essential to the brewing process, regardless of the size of the brewery. These devices raise, transfer, deliver and compress fluids with a suction side and a discharge side. Some pumps have a single purpose, while others perform a multitude of functions. Pumps transfer hot water into the top tier of the brewery and recirculate mash, as well […]

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Software for Distilleries: What Spirit-Makers Need to Know

As a response to the craft beer boom and the sheer number of breweries operating across the country, there are currently more tech companies working with brewery software than distillery software. There are overlaps in the basic needs of these two industries, and an increasing number of software developers are working to accommodate distillery operations too. However, there are significant distinctions between breweries and distilleries in terms of software needs to keep track of things like proof gallons, angel’s share/evaporation, and barrel aging. This has led to the development of highly specific software that is designed with the unique needs of distillers in mind. Leading Distillery Software Companies One prominent leader in the distillery software industry is Whiskey Resources, which […]

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