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Building a Better Brew Lab

image of beer brewing

Nothing speaks to the glory of 21st century America more than kicking back with a frosty mug of Honey Lavender Ale, Hoptimus Prime, or Apocalypse Cow. The craft brewing industry is booming in the US, gaining over 10% in volume sales (both domestic and export) in 2016, as compared to the flat growth of the beer industry overall.

And while most brewers are able to start small in a kitchen operation, cost climb quickly, especially as wider distribution demands greater care with bottling and testing. According to Casey Bartman, Jr. of Founders Brewing, although the basic gear for brewing past the hobby level will only runs around $4,000, once you grow beyond 15,000 to 20,000 barrels (bbls) a “microbewery lab” is functionally mandatory, and costs go up.

When you’re running a small operation, you look for any way to save money so you can reinvest in your growing business—which often means saving money by wasting time with highly manual processes and equipment. A pressure cooker might make sense when your output is small, but when sales and capital catch up to you, it’s time to upgrade to equipment that is going to save you hours of burner-babysitting and worry over temperature control — not to mention the convenience of fitting your entire batch of glassware into one load. A Priorclave industrial autoclave can bring huge peace of mind. Put your glassware in there, shut the door, press a button, and walk away to do something else.

[Photo credit: Gina Pina, CC BY 2.0]