Author Topic: Garage Setup  (Read 2391 times)

Online Jeff M

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Garage Setup
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:56:05 PM »
Hi Folks!


       I have been getting pretty big into brewing and have decided to convert my garage into a brewery/test kitchen.  My problem is that the garage has been a open air exterior type garage for many many years.  While it has recently had work done to it, its still unfinished and "wild".   I have thought of a few things i need to do to it to make it a viable workplace, but i need unknowns filled in.

Things i think need to be done.
1.  Pressure wash of entire garage.(certain psi? Soap?)
2. Running electricity to and inside of garage.( how many outlets? suggested amps for things i dont know about?)
3. Water and sewerage, is the convenience worth it?  I live in MA.  Its Cold.  Running pipe threw the foundation for sewerage is out of the question, but is there another way?
4. Insulation.  Blown or fiberglass?
5. Walling.  IVe been looking at plastic sheeting since its easily cleanable and im worried about moisture problems in drywall, causing mold and other horriblness.  Would i need a vapor barrier? what else?
6.  Flooring.  Old asphalt slab.  i have seen cement floor finishers that seal and make pristine, is it worth it?

    IM sure there are things ive forgotten, but im really just looking for input because im out of my depth and i want to make sure i dont make rookie mistakes.

Cheers,
Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 05:49:30 AM »
If you live in a town, township or city the first place to start is the city engineering office.  You are looking to do several things that will technically require permits and inspections.  They can easily answer most of your questions for you.

That said, have fun with your project!!

Paul
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 06:47:24 AM »
GFI protection on your outlets. Oh, and one other thing too. GFI protection on your outlets.

If the garage is going to be closed up during brewing, you'll need a ventilation hood for steam and combustion gases (assuming gas burners). With proper ventilation the plastic sheeting walls are nice but not manditory.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 06:49:21 AM by mtnrockhopper »
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Online Jeff M

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 07:16:47 AM »
GFI protection on your outlets. Oh, and one other thing too. GFI protection on your outlets.

If the garage is going to be closed up during brewing, you'll need a ventilation hood for steam and combustion gases (assuming gas burners). With proper ventilation the plastic sheeting walls are nice but not manditory.

A good friend of mine is a licenses electrician, ill be sure to tell him i need GFI protection.  The garage is well aired, it has 3 windows and a door, and they dont need to be closed during brewing, cept when its freezing out.  ill have to look at vent hoods.

Im assuming the only thing ill need permits for is water and sewerage, but ill go have a chat with whoever deals with these things at town hall.
Thanks guys:)
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2013, 07:21:06 AM »
Even when it is cold I find cracking the doors and windows provides enough ventilation (although  I haven't tested this with some sort of measuring equipment). I also have some electric heaters that I plug in during the winter.
 
A friend has a hose spigot connected to hot water so he has hot water for cleaning. This is very nice, especially during winter.
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 08:01:20 AM »
One of the guys in our club has one of those small 10 gallon electric water heaters that fit under the counter and feeds it with filtered water.  Turns it on a few hours before brewing and BOOM, instant strike water!
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Online Jeff M

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 10:16:51 AM »
One of the guys in our club has one of those small 10 gallon electric water heaters that fit under the counter and feeds it with filtered water.  Turns it on a few hours before brewing and BOOM, instant strike water!

Ill probably end up running a hose. the water in my hometown is quite soft so i can add salts etc to it for hardness.  ill get a breakdown of it from the local water company when brewing begins to tailor the water to what i want.  im more worried about drainage, as the frost line here is VERY deep, i have a feeling thats gonna be a headache.
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Offline rob_f

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 07:47:56 AM »
I have a similar setup to yours.  My garage has three windows and two garage doors.  It is insulated and drywalled with a room above and GFI outlets.  I've been brewing in it for years.  My basement laundry room is on the wall of the house that the garage is attached to, so from the start I ran a hose from the laundry sink to the garage for chilling.  Last year I added a SS mop sink with hot and cold water.  The drain line is an open-sight drain into the laundry sink.  I had the plumber put cutoff valves on the incoming water in case of cold.  I'm in Maryland and the garage hasn't gone below 40F with the windows and doors closed.  I don't even try to keep it clean, though, with two cars coming and going. The sink has been great, but might not work in your situation.
Rob Farrell
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Offline gymrat

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 08:49:30 AM »
This is my garage setup. Nothing fancy but definitely functional. Eventually I am going to get the scraps out of there that the previous owner left, maybe put a tub sink in and feed it with my rv hose. The small water heater sounds like a really good idea.



I try to keep it set up to where I can move everything off to the side and get a car in if I want to.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 09:35:34 AM »
I highly recommend stripping and acid cleaning your floor, then sealing with an epoxy based sealer - makes cleanup much, much easier and it looks nice too. 

As for electricity, plan out what equipment you will need, then consult with an electrician.  He'll probably also suggest some places to put outlets that you didn't think of.  GFCI is a must, as was mentioned, and if you do want to brew with all doors closed, a hood/vent fan combo is also needed.

Lots of "how tos" here: www.theelectricbrewery.com

Here's a pic of my brewery:

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Online Jeff M

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 11:42:01 AM »
I highly recommend stripping and acid cleaning your floor, then sealing with an epoxy based sealer - makes cleanup much, much easier and it looks nice too. 

As for electricity, plan out what equipment you will need, then consult with an electrician.  He'll probably also suggest some places to put outlets that you didn't think of.  GFCI is a must, as was mentioned, and if you do want to brew with all doors closed, a hood/vent fan combo is also needed.

Lots of "how tos" here: www.theelectricbrewery.com

Here's a pic of my brewery:



I talked to Rustoleum, Their Epoxy Floor Kits are not safe on asphalt, but im not 100% sure my slab is asphalt, so thats gonna be fun.  A very good friend of mine thats interested in brewing is an Electrician, so ill make sure everything is done correctly with options for a keezer and lagering fridge etc.  Any recommndations for what to think of when it comes to expansion, with this being my first foray into AG im unsure what i may need in the future.

You have an awesome setup man, im very jealous.  But ill get there in time;)  a breakdown of what you have going on in your setup would be awesome, im very curious.

Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Offline blatz

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 01:10:48 PM »
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Online Jeff M

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 02:35:10 PM »
here is another thread: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=14134.msg179693#msg179693

Awesome, maybe someday ill understand what all that means;)  gonna start with propane, then maybe ill look at electric.
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Offline imperialstout

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Re: Garage Setup
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2013, 06:59:20 PM »
Question: How big is your garage and is it attached to the house? I just started brewing in our attached two car garage, about 25 x 25 x 12, with a 10" propane burner and do not need any extra ventilation. Hot water is brought from the kitchen sink in a 2.5 gal sanitized water jug, a few trips required but much cheaper than plumbing and heating the garage.

Brewing waste water, always a very small amount, is just dumped in the back yard. The cooling waste water, 5 gal from MT (I pump ice water from the 10 gal MT, through an immersion cooler and back to the MT) is likewise just dumped in the back yard. The brew table is a piece of 3/4" plywood, 6 feet long and 30" deep, hinged to the wall with fold down legs so it can be folded against the wall when not in use.

Having an electrician for a friend is great. He can help you layout the brewing area. My electrician is very busy. He told me what I needed to get at HD and let me run the wires and install the outlets and switches,  the most expensive part if the job, then he inspected the work, made the final connection to the sub panel and signed off on the job. If your friend is too busy to do all the work this may be an option for you.

I used fiberglass insulation as, like your garage, there were no interior wall coverings. We then used 3/8" plywood to cover the walls. Didn't want to constantly deal with broken sheetrock walls.

I heat the garage with a kerosene heater. It takes the edge off but don't expect to be able to brew in a T shirt. If you have a single car garage, which it looks like you do, and plan to heat it with a kerosene heater and brew with a propane burner, you may need some ventilation as others have suggested. Leaving a door or window open a but should work. A CO2 meter may add another level of safety.

Hope this helps.