Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brewery Plans

First, we finally got a full set of plans from our engineers this week.  As soon as we received the plans we went down to the town to submit and discuss the permitting process again.  Luckily the town was willing to accept the drawings and the permit applications without the names of the contractors who will be doing the work.  

We decided to split the permits into two different applications.  All the demolition work we plan on doing to the floors is going to be in one application, and the rest of the work will be attached to another application.  The logic behind the split is that the demolition work does not require a lengthy review and it is the first work we need to get completed, so the construction official said they could get us those permits more quickly if it was separated from the total application—so we did.  

We were told to expect our demolition permits in a week or two and our full set of permits within two to six weeks.  Not the time line we were hoping for but there's nothing we can do about that.   

The way the engineers designed the brewery they gave us a few options so we could decide on how we wanted to proceed once we started getting some quotes in from contractors.  We would like to pull up the existing concrete floor in the entire brewing area and pour a new concrete floor that is sloped to a center trench drain.  However, if that is beyond our budget, at a minimum we would just cut out a center strip of concrete that would allow us to install a trench drain in the center and leave the floor mostly in tact.  If we go in that direction, we will probably install a curb around the brewing area to keep the water from flowing all over the brewery.

The photo above shows the layout of our brewing equipment.  It’s a bad photo and kind of small but we can try and describe what's going on.  This section of our warehouse is the outside wall of the building.  The top rectangle is actually outside the building and its where we intend to install our glycol chiller unit.  The two smaller squares on the left are our steam boiler that will heat our boil kettle and hot liquor tank.  In most breweries these units are somewhere out of sight, but since our gas, electrical and water supplies are located in the utility room partially show in the photo, that was the best place to install them.  The two vessels with what looks like stairs between them that are perpendicular to the wall are the brew house vessels.  The four tanks that are lined up against the back wall are the hot liquor tank and three ferementers, and our bright tank is at the end of the drain.  The small square unit next to the bright tank is our keg cleaning and filling equipment.  The room all the way to the right is our mill room where we will store, mill and auger our grain to the mash tun.  

The idea behind the design was to keep everything centered around the sloped floor and trench drain.  We wanted to be able to everything clean and keep water from running all over the brewery.  There are a few things we plan to change about the design, for example, right now the grist case is outside the mill room next to the fermenters.  We are planning to move that into the mill room to contain any potential grain dust and to keep it away from fermenting beer.  The keg cleaning and filling equipment will probably be moved into a separate packaging area in the future, but for right now there is room and its seems like a convenient place to put this equipment. 

I know the picture is small and the description is questionable, but it hopefully gives you an idea of how our brew house and cellar will be organized.