How Big should your Cold Brew System Be?
Cold brew coffee is a lot like beer: it is served 12 to 16 ounces at time, and cold. We size our cold brew coffee systems similar to how we size our beer brewing systems: by the barrel. Our brewing systems range from 1 barrel to 10 barrels. On average, you can estimate about 31 US gallons of beer per barrel. If you plan on brewing 31 gallons of coffee at a time, a 1 barrel brewing system would be a good place start. If you want to aim a bit higher and brew 310 gallons of coffee at a time, a 10 barrel system would be a better option for you.
Many cold brewers create a concentrate form, which effectively doubles the volume they produce. So 31 gallons of concentrate will produce about 62 gallons of cold brew. By using this concentrate at the point of service, you can cut the container size and storage space required by cold brew in half!
What about Weight?
Coffee weighs about a quarter of an ounce per cubic inch, depending on the grind size and the density of the bean. Many cold brewers start by using a pound of coffee to a gallon of water for their systems. Because the coffee beans will retain water after brewing, a gallon of water into the brew may produce anywhere from a half to three quarters of a gallon of cold brew coffee. 5 gallons of water may yield 3 1/2 to 4 gallons of coffee.
Taking the above into consideration, we size your cold brewing vessel to allow for the amount of coffee you plan to use, and the production you want to achieve. We also design the cold brewing vessel to make managing the coffee easier. Smaller systems might have a top-out cold brewing system for removing coffee beans. Larger brewing systems might have side mounted manway to allow you to remove coffee grounds from the bottom of the vessel, using gravity instead of using your back.
The size of your cold brew batch and the concentrate of your cold brew will dictate the amount and weight of dry and wet coffee you will be managing. We design our brew vessels to make it easy to get your coffee grinds into and out of the brew vessel, and to maximize the amount of cold brew you can make per day.
To learn more about cold brew and determine the best cold brewing system for your needs, we recommend that you review some additional information, and contact us directly with any additional questions that you may have. We are always here to help in any way that we can.