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Building a nanobrewery

2019. January Greg Kieckhefer
Building a nanobrewery — Gravity Brewing Craft Beer Budapest Hungary

As far as we’re aware, Gravity is currently the only Hungarian brewery with a production volume under 500L – if you run something smaller, please get in touch, we’d love to chat! – but “nanobreweries” in the 100-250L range are commonplace in more mature brewing markets. The UK, US, and Czech Republic are strewn with tiny brewhouses, from pilot rigs for large breweries to amazing home setups in cavernous garages.

One challenge of this segment of the market is that the small volumes produced haven’t traditionally attracted the wealth of equipment options that large production breweries rely upon. Recent years have seen increased attention to the nano scale, but we still just don’t have purpose-built hardware for every eventuality.

As a result, our pilot brewery incorporates equipment from several countries, as well as an increasing number of unique solutions we’ve designed and built ourselves. It’s also permanently under refinement and reconstruction – every day we learn new things about our setup and the science of brewing, and when we find a better way of doing something, we implement it.

Gravity’s pilot brewery at Rakoczi 29 measures 18 square meters, which is just as tiny as it sounds. We’ve had to conserve every square centimeter we can, and come up with some creative solutions to the problem of being squeezed into a couple kitchen closets.

Building a nanobrewery — Gravity Brewing Craft Beer Budapest

Every brew day begins in our malt storeroom, a creatively converted stairwell where we prepare the malt and other grains for the day. From there, we bring our ingredients next door to the ‘hot side’, where the actual brewing happens. Most of each 6-8 hour brew day is spent here, converting grains, hops, and water into ‘wort’, the sugary liquid which will become our beer.

Once the wort is complete, we transfer it into our ‘cold side’, which is the glassed-in row of fermentation tanks you can see from inside Neked Csak Dezso. They’re one of our partner bars, along with Kandallo and Hollo es Roka, and receive a keg or two from each batch we make. The cold side houses everything that happens post-boil, from oxygenation and yeast pitching to dry hopping and kegging. It’s all on display, so if you see us in there and have a question about our brew process, feel free to say hello and ask us!

Finally, we have a small merchandise section within the bottle shop at Neked Csak Dezso, with all the usual swag – t-shirts, baseball caps – as well as some very cool custom bits and pieces. Check it out next time you visit!

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next time, when we’ll be running you through the start of our brew day: malt and milling!

Building a nanobrewery