Microbreweries are fast becoming a staple of the American city. The area in which I reside boasts close to twenty of these facilities, each one creating a different type of beer. Many of the buildings are now designed or reconstructed to show off the inner workings of the brewery. Walk by one of the newer establishments and chances are there will be large plates of glass where a wall would normally be, and inside you can see giant tanks complete with their own staircases.
Those huge, metal cylinders are stainless steel tanks, and you’ve probably seen them in the traditional silver color associated with stainless steel, or in the warm tone of copper. Stainless steel tanks are often used because unlike copper, they won’t discolor. But no matter their color, stainless steel tanks come in a variety of sizes, and odds are the stainless steel tank manufacturers from where these tanks come understand a brewer’s needs. And the tanks aren’t just used for storing beer; they’re also part of the beer-making process. A stainless steel tank manufacturer can outfit a brewery with agitation tanks, vinegar tanks, or storage tanks, depending on the business’s needs. Many stainless steel tank manufacturers who deal in making brewery tanks even make tanks for dispensing beer.
The tanks microbreweries employ also come in a variety of types of construction. They may be single- or double-jacketed, pressurized or non-pressurized, insulated or not, heated or not, and they even come in different shapes. Next time you’re able to peek in at a brewery, see whether they have cylindrical tanks or whether they have decided to use the conical tanks. The cone-shaped tanks are usually a bit smaller than their cylindrical counterparts, so depending on how much room a brewery has, they may be using the former rather than the latter. Either way, it’s fun to try and guess just how many bottles of beer they can get from just one of those tanks.