Modern nano-brewers have more choices in terms of equipment than ever before.
Whether it is an increase in the number of companies that manufacture nanoscale equipment, or whether the availability of equipment is driving a sudden increase in growth due to the nano boom, this is a chicken and egg problem.
No matter what size system you choose, you have a lot of choices.
The budget may be the main determinant of the system you choose.
People with limited resources can choose a second-hand brewery.
As many nanobrewery expand into larger systems, the market today is even more powerful.
When buying a used system, you need to make sure it meets your specific needs - or is easy to adjust.
The cost of the old system can be quickly consumed by retrofitting costs.
Whenever possible, it's a good idea to check the old system you are considering when you're still using it, so you can be sure you don't invest in another brewer's headache.
When purchasing a new system from a manufacturer or supplier, ask the brewer who has used a similar system for reference.
Ask the brewer about the company's performance in terms of delivery time, brewing tank quality, ease of operation, and - perhaps most importantly - how the company solves quality problems.
If you have a coffee machine near one of the systems you are considering, check to see if you can come to the system on the brewing day and see how the system works.
You need to pay close attention to how the system meets your specific brewing needs.
For example, if you make a lot of big beer, is the right amount of mash suitable for handling larger food bills?
New or second-hand, one of the first questions to answer when choosing a system is how to fire the brewery.
The three options for brewery heating are direct fire, electricity and steam.
For nanoscale systems, steam is rarely a viable option unless you have already installed a steam boiler.
The cost of adding a steam generating boiler, piping, etc. can be prohibitive.
This can directly trigger a fire - natural gas or propane - or electricity.
Direct fire systems are usually cheaper and simpler to set up, but they are not efficient.
In a direct shooting system, most of the heat you produce does not enter the water or wort, but instead enters the air.
Also, there is a problem in that smoke is emitted from the burning gas or propane.
With direct fire protection systems, temperature control is often less accurate and slower.
Burnt wort is also a problem.
In recent years, electric brewing systems have become more complex and popular.
The main advantage of electrically heated brewing systems is that they are almost 100% effective - all the energy you supply to the electrical components is transferred to the liquid you are heating.
The use of ultra-low density elements eliminates the problem of scorched wort.
Temperature control is very precise and fast.
Also, no toxic gases can be emitted.
The disadvantage is that the upfront cost of the electrical control system may be much higher than a simple burner system.
In some areas, electricity costs are higher than natural gas - although most of the cost is offset by increased efficiency.
However, you must ensure that you have enough power to run your brewing system to meet other power needs - lights, pumps, coolers, etc.