Author Topic: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?  (Read 7895 times)

Offline blatz

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Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« on: July 20, 2010, 08:19:37 AM »
Okay - here goes:

I might be moving and have the ability to design a new room (attached to the garage) entirely for brewing.  Pretend for the moment that $$ is not a limiting factor.  My FIL is the builder, so I basically have carte blanche - he can do basically whatever I tell him I want to do.

My brewing area will be about 15 x 15.  

I have the ability to have it LP hard plumbed.

The first thing I have to decide is whether the system should be stationed inside.  My FIL is promoting this since I could brew inside where its cooler (a/c).  We could get a commercial grade hood vent system, but this would also probably require me to switch to a brewsculpture setup, such as this: http://morebeer.com/search/103473//2

I don't think I could continue on my homemade gravity fed stands and banjo burner inside - just can't see that working.

Could forgo that all and continue just the way I'm doing (rolling my carts out into the driveway), but then I'm not taking advantage of building the 'ultimate brewhouse'.

Thoughts?

Will probably tack a lot more questions on here as they come up.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 08:24:23 AM »
Definately do the inside thing to avoid the heat, humidity, pop-up thunderstorms/hurricanes, etc.

Keep your other system for brewing outside if it's a nice day.

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Offline hoptomation

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 08:26:49 AM »
Would you consider switching over to electric?
Cheers - Luke

Offline blatz

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 08:31:02 AM »
P.S.  I hate you.  ;)

sorry, I knew I would get some flack.  :D ;)

Would you consider switching over to electric?

definitely, but I don't know enough about it - looks like more research is in order.  one thign I am toying with is giving myself enough capacity to do 20gal batches (I currently do 10-12gals) so I could brew for club events more easily, and for my FIL who is consuming way faster than I can fit into my brewschedule.  If I can't, its not a big deal, but it'd be nice to have the flexibility.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 08:33:26 AM by blatz »
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Offline hoptomation

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 09:29:01 AM »
best place to start for electric is firm up your desired batch size and then research what size element you want relative to an acceptable amount of time to heat up your water. 

although it seems that for most people electric systems and automation go hand-in-hand there is no reason you couldn't still have a simpler non/less-automated system
Cheers - Luke

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 09:38:57 AM »
If it is a new build, I would think over what you want for floors and drains. 

Many good things on setting up your home brewery were covered at the NHC by John Blichmann.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/4955/Tips___Tricks_to_Setting_Up_Your_Own_Homebrewery-Blichmann.pdf
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 09:41:42 AM »
I think automation is the key to fine tuning your process. Not to take anything away from the cooler with a braid because it is the old reliable and works just fine but if your serious enough about brewing (which I know you are) to build a brewery then you should automate the brewing process. Think RIMS or HERMS. Could be steam, electric or gas fired. Temp controllers, pumps and plate chillers. etc...etc...

I like some of the systems on the market but you may opt to DIY for some of the process features in the effort to reduce costs.

I think you'll be doing yourself a great favor by automating your process.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 09:43:47 AM »
If it is a new build, I would think over what you want for floors and drains. 

Many good things on setting up your home brewery were covered at the NHC by John Blichmann.

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/4955/Tips___Tricks_to_Setting_Up_Your_Own_Homebrewery-Blichmann.pdf

+a million

This^^^^  is a must do.
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Offline euge

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 09:58:26 AM »
You'd want tiled floors that can be scrubbed and mopped down. +1 on drains. High ceiling too.
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 10:08:35 AM »
Boy if money wasn't an option, I would think one of those hot water on demand contraptions would be cool.  Before the Dry Dock got their new brew house, I got to brew my barleywine there.  They had this box that looked like one of those tankless water heaters, but it was a commercial one, so you could set the temp higher.  For the mash, we just entered in what temp we wanted (something like 174) and started the water flowing and it just came out at that temperature.  It cuts down on time and also means you don't need a HLT.  

Pretty slick.  No Idea how much they cost, but you said "Pretend for the moment that $$ is not a limiting factor."

Offline hoptomation

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 10:20:30 AM »
I put in an electric tank less water heater for my radiant floor heating and i believe some of the smallest models would run you only $200 or $300 (unit only, none of the other costs).  So far it seems like only some of the home centers carry the electric tank less models though.  I went with a hydro shark 3 model that I got at Menards.
Cheers - Luke

Offline blatz

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 10:30:30 AM »
Guys - this is AWESOME - thanks for all the advice and keep the ideas coming - floor drain is something I thought of, but didn't realize the importance until now - definitely a must. 

Also, that Blichmann link will be studied over the weekend, thanks Jeff.

What I am trying to do here is to assemble all the best ideas and "hey it'd be cool to haves", then figure out what I can afford now, and maybe leave room for additional things to add on later that I can't afford now.

I'm pretty sure we're set on installing an RO system, too.

Stainless steel sink with double capacity slop sink is a must as well, AFAIAC.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

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Offline blatz

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 10:32:43 AM »
You'd want tiled floors that can be scrubbed and mopped down. +1 on drains. High ceiling too.

Ceiling will be at least 10'.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 10:36:10 AM »
A big utility sink with pulldown spray hose and that waterproof wallboard stuff.  Gotta think of the process after the beer is done too. 
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Building the Ultimate Brewhouse?
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 12:24:35 PM »

Stainless steel sink with double capacity slop sink is a must as well, AFAIAC.


As John B. pointed out, you spend more time at the sink than anywhere else.  At least a double sink, or even tripple would be good.  Or one with a built in SS sideboard would be nice as he points out, for a place to drain and stack things.

I have one of the plastic twin utility sinkd from the big box store.  Better than nothing.

The big thick rubber floor mats that you see behind some bars are good to have in front of the sink.  Comfort is good, and it increases the safety factor.  No slip surface when wet, and glass objects bounce on it - I know this to be true!

Jeff Rankert
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Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!