Brewery assembly and installation instructions

In this video we will be installing the BREWHA BIAC beer complete brewing system in 12 easy steps. The BIAC includes one fermenter so for customers with multiple BREWHA fermenters, the steps would be exactly the same but you would be repeating just the fermenter assembly steps for each additional fermenter that you purchase. In this video we are assembling the 1.5BBL BIAC, however the installation steps are almost identical for all of the different sizes and note is made where they are different.
0:00 Introduction and Building and Utility Overview
03:52 Section 1 Packaging
04:23 Section 2 The Hoist and Gantry
06:14 Section 3 Stainless Casters
07:10 Section 4 Ports on the Tank Cone and Cylinder
10:00 Section 5 Water Jacket
13:14 Section 6 Heaters
13:36 Section 7 Water Chillers
15:10 Section 8 Lid and Lid Ports
19:03 Section 9 ETC
20:12 Section 10 Water Level Ruler
20:27 Section 11 Pump
23:15 Section 12 Mash Colander

Note: This video follows the BIAC installation section (starting pg 15) in the BREWHA beer brewing system manual

Video on how to brew amazing beer with the BREWHA BIAC
Benefits of the BIAC complete microbrewery system
BIAC complete microbrewery system product page

Hi, and welcome to another BREWHA video.

In this video we are going to demonstrate how to assembly the BREWHA BIAC brewing system.

The BREWHA BIAC is the simplest way to brew the best beer. It is simplest to set up, it is simplest to operate, and it is simplest to clean, and it takes up the smallest footprint of any commercial system, while still providing full control over the brewing process so that you can make the best tasting beer, exactly how you want it.

All of this is achieved by reducing the brewhouse (what in a traditional brewery is a large platform with multiple fixed vessels and lots of piping and pumps) to just one vessel (the Mash Colander). One Mash Colander can be used in as many different BREWHA fermenters as a customer wants to meet the production needs of their brewery, be it 1, 2, 4, 6 or 10 additional fermenters…. You name it.

In this video we will be setting up the BIAC system (which includes one fermenter) so for breweries with multiple BREWHA stainless conical fermentors, the steps would be exactly the same but you would be repeating just the fermenter assembly steps for each additional fermenter that you purchase. In this video we are assembling the 1.5BBL BIAC, however the installation steps are almost identical for all of the different sizes.

We will get to the equipment in a minute, but as a bit of background to the building itself, today as you can see, we are setting up here in a warehouse (the BREWHA warehouse in Victoria), which is basically a big box. The BREWHA system is quite flexible in what it can fit into -- any building from a garage to a retail space and everything in between can work fine. Here, like most buildings, we had power available at the panel, which is where it comes into the building, and an electrician ran a cable over from that and tied that into our controller. Since we are moving our tanks around on casters, if we were doing floor work I would have put a drain or trench along the back wall under the controller (not in the middle of the room) but for the time being we just use a mop to clean up. It is possible with the BREWHA system to have your waste water volumes very close to zero – which is another major benefit of the BREWHA system but most municipalities will want some kind of solid waste interceptor to minimize solids going down the drain -- your local architect or someone from municipal waste water department will be able to confirm. For taking care of steam from the boil, you can see we have a fan that can vent out of the building, and as another option if you can’t vent outside, we have shown how we have installed the wall mounted steam condenser – cold water is ran through the jacket and condenses the steam as it passes down through the tubes. The only other utility related item we installed is the Reverse Osmosis water purifier. If your region has good water, just filtering might be fine, but an RO purifier removes close to 100% of impurities. We talk a bit more about water in our brewing video on the website and you can see the link to it here.

So that covers the space, power, plumbing (waste water and supply water) and venting for your brewery. More details about those requirements can be found on the BREHWA website or feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Now to installing the BREWHA equipment.

Assembly of the BREWHA BIAC is relatively intuitive and straightforward; you can be ready to brew in as little as a few hours. A brewer may want to substitute or alter a few parts, which is entirely acceptable, but this video explains how to assemble it in the typical manner. The BIAC photos in the manual are of the Small size; here in the video we are showing the 1.5BBL system. The different sizes are almost identical for almost all aspects of the install (special note will be made where they differ).

1. Packaging: The BIAC will arrive in two wooden crates, the fermenter (3-in-1 fermenter with Homebrewery systems and 4-in-1 fermenter with Microbrewery systems) in one crate and the Mash Colander in the other (Figure 11). Remove the screws and open the crates. The fittings and accessories are packaged inside bags inside the vessels or in separate boxes. Before emptying the fittings out of the bags, look at the packing list inside the bag, as it may help you identify where the fittings from that bag should be installed.

2. Electric Chain Hoist: The Small system doesn’t require a hoist but it can be used. A hoist is recommended for the Medium and Large systems (inspensive manual or electric ones can be purchased from Hardware stores and securely attached to floor joists or trusses). For the larger systems, install a gantry (an I beam with ‘legs’ ) and mount the trolley and hoist on the beam. Especially with the 7BBL brewery, which requires a 4000lb gantry, this is a two or more person job, and a forklift or suitable lift should be used to position the equipment while it is being secured. Once the gantry and hoist are installed, the lift beam (or Lifting Cable for the 5-15USG/20-60L brewing systems), included with the complete accessories package, can be used to help remove the vessels from the crates (the larger vessels have lift lugs on the lid for this purpose). Ensure your hoist or lifting mechanism is securely installed according to the manfuacturer’s instructions, and at no time operate underneath the vessel in a way that could cause bodily harm if the hoist fails. At this point the Colander Tipping Cable (with 1.5–7BBL) that will be used to dump the mash can be installed. It comes with the upper end already finished with an hourglass sleeve and thimble (an extra thimble, quick link and cable clamp are supplied for the unfinished end); connect the finished end around the trolley bar or neck connecting the hoist. Adjust the cable to the length you need so that when the Colander is tipped, the bottom will be above your grain disposal receptacle. This way the spent grain can be easily unloaded. Then cut the cable and securely fasten the cable clamps once the thimble is in place.

3. Heavy Duty Casters: The fermenter is shipped without the casters installed to prevent damage in transit. To install the casters for the smaller fermenters, first lock the wheel, which will allow the caster/bolt to be screwed in manually (Figure 13). The casters on the 1.5–7BBL models attach with four M8 bolts, and there are two swivel casters and two fixed casters for each fermenter. The fixed casters should be installed on the side opposite of the fermenter push bar. The bolts should be installed through the caster plate and fermenter leg plate with the nut side up, so the bolt does not impede movement of the swivel caster (Figure 14). Only use the fermenters on a flat, smooth surface, and use wheel chocks to prevent rolling. To minimize risk of accidental tipping, fermenters should not be moved when full, or if moved, moved with extreme care. Inspect bolts frequently and replace when worn.

4. Ports on Cone and Cylinder: Attach the first of the four sanitary valves (five with the 1.5–7BBL) to the bottom port of the fermenter by placing a gasket between the vessel and the valve and attaching a clamp; use a 1.5” butterfly valve or a large stainless ball valve (1-3/8” fullport ball valve) here with the 5-15USG/20-60L BIACs, or the 2” butterfly valve with the larger (1.5–7BBL) tanks. The valve can be installed in either direction and it will not affect performance. (With the large dump valve and the Small fermenter, the handle may need to turn up to fully open the valve. Tighten the ball valve clamp manually until it is snug. Over-tightening (e.g., with a tool) could damage the silicone gasket. (It is good to fill the fermenter with water to check for leaks before each brew day. If a valve is leaking, wiggling the handle while tightening may help, or the valve may need to be reassembled to ensure the gaskets are properly seated.) One can attach a hose barb fitting to the outer side of the valves to connect a hose (generally a large hose barb will go on the bottom port to assist in draining of trub/yeast ‘cake’ from the fermenter). During fermentation, the brewer can dump yeast/trub out the bottom port when fermentation is ending (after about 4–5 days with ales) to prevent the yeast cake from getting too hard (be sure to rinse the port thoroughly with water and sanitizer after every use so that microbial growth doesn’t occur). There are two sizes (1.5” and 2” or 1.5” and 3”) of tri-clamp (TC) ferrules/ports on the cone portion of the fermenter. The 2” TC ports (3” on 7BBL only) are for heating elements—one each on the Small, Medium and Large fermenters, two on the 1.5BBL, four on the 3BBL, six on the 5BBL and five (3 phase) on 7BBL 4-in-1 fermenters. The uppermost 1.5” port on the side of the cone is for the temperature sensor. The middle 1.5” port on the side of the cone is for a racking arm/transfer valve (since it sits above the level that trub/yeast normally settles during fermentation, it can be used to transfer/rack beer to kegs—other ports can be used as well for racking if desired). A racking arm can be inserted here before the racking valve; when using such a fitting, a teflon gasket will rotate more easily than silicone but is harder to seal. The lower 1.5” port on the cone that only opens into the jacket (it doesn’t open into the fermenter) is for chilling water to enter the jacket (see step 5). The Microbrewery 3–7BBL models have a fourth 1.5” port on the cone, just above the bottom of the cone to which a valve can be attached for connecting a serving or racking hose (once yeast is removed), as well as a port on the lower side of the cylindrical portion of the vessel to which a beer sampling valve or sight glass can be attached.

5. Water Jacket: If using tap water for temperature regulation, attach the Temperature Control Valve (TCV) to the 1.5” port on the side of the cone that opens only into the jacket of the fermenter, or, it might be easier to first attach a valve to the jacket port and then the TCV, since the TCV can then be removed without emptying the jacket. This might be the case when switching from tap water (after cooling the boil) to water chiller (during fermentation). (Use only clean water with the TCV at temperatures between 2°C/36°F and 40°C/104°F.) The TCV is used to shut off chilling tap water going into the jacket to cool the wort after boiling and during fermentation, so it doesn’t need to be installed until after the boil is completed (especially with the 120V Small BIAC, it is best to leave the jacket empty during boil to reduce heat loss). The power cord on the TCV should be plugged into the ‘C’ or ‘blue snowflake’ receptacle on the Electronic Temperature Controller (ETC) (see section on ‘Programming and Operating the BREWHA Electronic Temperature Controller’ for more information) or the Water Chiller cord on the Touchscreen Controllers. If using warm water (don’t exceed 40ºC/104ºF) to warm the fermenter, connect the TCV to the ‘H’ or ‘red flame’ receptacle on the ETC. The Water Pressure Regulator (WPR) should be installed either before or after the TCV to ensure that water pressure does not exceed the design limit of the jacket. The water pressure regulator should be installed with the arrow (etched on the back) pointing in the direction of water flow. During fermentation, if using the Water Chiller to maintain fermentation temperature, the TCV should be removed and the Chiller pump (or the main Chiller power) plugged into the ETC instead of the TCV and the Chiller pump hose connected to the jacket inlet, and the jacket exit hose returning to the Chiller water reservoir (it should be submerged and secured so it doesn’t move). When the fermenter needs chilling, the ETC will power the Chiller pump (or Chiller itself) instead of the TCV to let cool water circulate through the jacket. (The Chiller cart is installed according to instructions inside the cart box, and the 3/8” hose barb fittings and clamp to connect the hoses are installed by removing the shark bite connectors.) If you are using tap water in the jacket for chilling, connect a hose to the upper jacket port on the side of the tank and run to a drain. It is strongly recommended to never close or impede flow out of the fermenter jacket in any way, and to attach a high-quality, high-temperature kink-resistant hose with larger diameter than the input hose to the jacket exit port, so that back-pressure does not build up in the jacket and damage the vessel.

6. Heaters: Install the heating element and gasket on the larger 2” port(s) on the side of the cone (3” for the 7BBL). Install the element with the slot on the outer cap of the guard facing down (so it will drain if there is an internal leak).

7. Water Chiller: For closed-loop chillant circulation (e.g., with a BREWHA Chiller during fermentation) connect your Chiller return hose to the jacket exit port and run it back into the Chiller water reservoir. The return hose should be fully immersed and secured in the water bath, or air will enter the jacket through the hose and the jacket will siphon empty, possibly flooding the Chiller and your floor. All flow out of the jacket port should be unimpeded (e.g., no valve) in order to prevent any pressure buildup; the jacket is designed to withstand no more than 5psi pressure (7psi in the 4-in-1). Especially with tap water, the Water Pressure Regulator should be installed on the water line going into the jacket. The regulator has an arrow etched on the side, showing the direction of flow—install it with the arrow pointing toward the fermenter jacket. More can be learned about preventing damage to the vessel in the ‘Safety’ section of the manual.

8. Lid and Lid Ports: Attach the Pressure and Vacuum Safety Valve to one of the 1.5” lid ports (see Figure 22). Always keep this valve installed on the fermenter lid and test it regularly to ensure it is operating as designed. The 1.5–7BBL MB models also have a large 6” center port for the CIP assembly (in the Small–Large the CIP is added through one of the two 1.5” lid ports), adding hops or installing a distillation column; install the 6” gasket, cap and clamp to that port. For using CO2 to rack beer to kegs (using just gravity is possible but inefficient and will introduce oxygen into the fermenter), a valve (or the Stainless Side Blow-off Assembly) can be attached to a port on the lid to seal it (see Figure 23). Then using the Fermenter Gas In Post and a regulator maintain 1–2psi (up to 14.9psi in 4-in-1 fermenters) of gas when racking your beer (it is safest to always have the pressure relief valve connected directly to the vessel, NOT to a valve, so put the valve only on the second lid port). Ensure the valve stays open during fermentation to avoid any buildup in pressure in the vessel, which is designed to hold less than 3psi (14.9psi in the MB models). If there is any risk of someone accidentally closing the valve during fermentation, remove the handle once in the open position. If carbonating in the 4-in-1 install the Stainless Side Blow-off Assembly or a tee can be used to add a pressure gauge (see Figure 24). To ensure a tight seal, the 4-in-1 fermenter lid clamps should be tightened in a star pattern first by hand (gradually tightening to ensure lid sits evenly), then by using a tool (the 1500–5500W element wrench can be used to good effect). Regularly apply food-grade, anti-sieze compound to the bolt threads to ensure they don’t gall/seize. If not using CO2 to carbonate or rack, the hose barb can be attached directly to the port, or if using CO2, attach it to the valve. A blow-off tube (section of 1/2” tube) should be attached to the hose barb and the other/distal end placed in a bucket (with a little Star San if desired) to allow gas produced during fermentation to escape. The longer pump hose (if purchased) can be repurposed, but be sure to sanitize it first (rinse it well and place it for 5 minutes in a pot of boiling water). With the distal end of the hose in water, it forms a trap to prevent flies or microbes from entering the fermenter. Figure 22 shows the end of the hose in a glass on the fermenter, but where practical, it is recommended to use a longer hose and place the bucket, jar or glass on the floor so that if a small vacuum is created during fermentation (as water cools it contracts creating a vacuum), the water will not be sucked back into the fermenter. When crash cooling or otherwise cooling more than a degree or two, be sure to remove the hose from the water (or add 1–2psi of CO2 to the top of the fermenter) or the water could be sucked up into the fermenter.

9. ETC: Connect the temperature sensor to the ETC or Touchscreen Controller with the sensor cable by aligning the slot and pushing it on (see Figure 25). When attaching, hold the cable connector collar and turn in clockwise direction while very gently pushing in until the ridge and groove align. Failure to align the cable and controller/sensor will likely result in damage and failure to operate correctly. The cable can be removed by pulling down on the collar as shown in the picture on the far right. Never pull on the cable directly, and check the cord grip on the connector frequently to ensure it is gripping the cable securely. The ETC can be placed on the fermenter or hung from a wall or vessel. See more ETC installation instructions under ‘Programming and Operating the BREWHA Electronic Temperature Controller (ETC)’ in the ‘Installation’ section of the manual, and there is a link to an error code guide on the ETC product page of the BREWHA website.

10. Water Level Ruler: To determine volume when filling the fermenter, hang the stainless water level ruler over the side of the fermenter when mashing and boiling (Figure 26). Remove the ruler before sealing the fermenter lid during fermentation.

11. Pump: If using a March 815 Pump Assembly (model 815 comes with the Small/5USG/20L, Medium/10USG/40L and Large/15USG/60L systems, and the March 7S commercial brewery pump model comes with the 1.5-7BBLs systems), wrap the pump NPT male threads with teflon plumber’s tape and attach the tri-clamp fitting (some food-grade Teflon paste can be applied to the thread prior to the tape if it is difficult to form a seal). The 7S pump comes with tri-clamp fittings welded on but will need a power cord attached for 208–240V power; the plug for the pump is connected to the pump cord on the 1.5-7BBL Programmable Touchscreen Power Controller and if connecting to the Controller, have an electrician properly connect the cord according to the 208–240V (‘Hi Voltage’) diagram on the pump. The larger diameter, braided, food-grade, high-temp silicone hose can then be connected from the bottom valve on the fermenter to the inlet port of the pump (3/4” hose on the March 815 pump and 1” hose on the March 7S pump). Connecting to the bottom port is generally best and will generally yield better wort clarity. If you find that grain plugs the pump, you are probably mixing the mash too vigorously or too near the bottom of the Colander, or your crush size is too fine; this will also increase the risk of grain scorching on the element and ruining the flavor of the beer. If the line is frequently plugging due to too much grain entering, it can be connected to a side port on the cone and the grain that falls through the Colander false bottom can be removed from the bottom of the fermenter and brought to the top of the Colander manually. (To minimize plugging due to grain, only connect the recirculation hose to the bottom of the fermenter after grain bed agitation is completed and the bottom cone is cleared of grain that may have settled there.) The long, narrower hose (1/2” ID) should be connected from the exit/top port of the pump (or to a valve attached to the exit port on the pump; see step 12) and the other end to the inlet port of the Mash Colander (or sanitary valve attached to this port if that is preferred; see step 12). The pump cart should be assembled according to Diagram 1. The Water Level Sensor (with 1.5-7BBL BIAC) can be hung off the side of the Mash Colander with the tips in the water in the fermenter and connected to the Power Controller. When the pump is on ‘Auto’, if these tips become exposed, the pump will shut off, helping prevent heater dry-fire and stuck mash. (Use a valve, not the Level Sensor, to control flow rate.)

12. Mash Colander: Install the Mash Colander 90° hose barb to the inside port on the Mash Colander (Figure 28) and attach a short hose (60–90cm/2–3’) to direct the wort back into the top of the Mash Colander. Slip the hose float over the end of the hose to keep it from sinking down into the mash (a hose clamp can be used to keep the hose float in place). When recirculating wort (out the bottom of the fermenter and into the top of the Colander), it is important to throttle (partially close) the valve on the Mash Colander so the pump doesn’t withdraw wort too quickly (never throttle on the inlet side of the pump, as this can wreck the pump by causing it to cavitate/overheat). If the pump withdraws wort too quickly, three things can happen: first, it creates a pressure differential which pushes the grain down inside the Colander, plugging the false bottom, leading to a ‘stuck mash’ where the wort cannot flow at all. Second, the wort level in the fermenter surrounding the Colander and immersing the heating element(s) will drop so low that the elements are exposed, which could melt or damage them. Third, the pump will be damaged if it is ran dry.

The wort level should stay almost constant throughout the mash period—if it starts to rise, the pump is moving wort too fast, so close the downstream valve further. If wort is not passing through the Colander at all, the mash might be stuck and need to be stirred up again and the filter bed reformed. The pump can move liquid much faster than recommended, so the recirculation rate should be throttled back considerably during mash and vorlauf. Always keep the pump below the fermenter in order to provide sufficient pressure into the pump, and if the pump starts ‘screeching,’ turn it off immediately or it may be damaged.

More information and tips can be found by searching for ‘stuck mash’ on the BREWHA website. More installation instructions for the BREWHA controller, immersion water heaters and water chillers can be seen in other sections in this manual. Instructions for other accessories can be seen on the BREWHA website’s ‘Accessory/Product’ pages, and a list of brewery items not supplied by BREWHA (such as a grain mill) can be seen on the website by searching for ‘what else is needed’.

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