24x60" stainless steel commercial work table
A 24x60" stainless steel work table (shown in picture) is perfect for 20 gallon kettles or smaller and is what we use now in our newly built (larger) brewery. For 30 gallon kettles we recommend a larger 30x72" table. Any larger than that will most likely require something custom, or use two tables.
Two separate smaller 24x48" stainless steel work tables with backplash are used as work surfaces off to the side.
Make sure the table is rated to support the weight of the kettles, water, and grain. Water weighs approximately 8 lbs per gallon. A 3 x 20 gallon kettle setup used to produce around 10 gallons of beer like ours will therefore weigh approximately 300 lbs when you include the kettles (approx 100 lbs), up to 40 lbs of grain, and 20 gallons of water (160 lbs). We don't recommend using tables that only *just* meet the maximum weight. The more the table can hold, the more stable it will be.
The gauge (thickness) of the stainless used on the work surfaces is not critical. The difference between 16 and 18 gauge (for example) is only 0.008" and does not add anything significant to the load bearing capabilities of the table. It's the structure underneath that counts. That said, thicker 16 gauge tables tend to be built with stronger support structures so generally speaking the thicker the stainless the more the table can hold. This will be reflected in the table's maximum capacity rating.
Bottom shelves come in both stainless steel or less expensive galvanized steel. Both work just fine. Our tables all have lower shelves made from galvanized steel. Some restaurants may require stainless to be used throughout their food prep areas for regulatory reasons.
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