Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brewing Equipment In Place

Since all the work on the floor has been completed we can finally move the tanks into position.  We spent the weekend pulling the shipping cradles off the tanks and peeling off the plastic protective covering.  It's great to see all the shiny new stainless in its final location.  

The next few weeks should see a lot of activity around the brewery as we are getting closer to actually brewing.  The DME representative is coming out next week for 10 days to help with the final install and answer any questions the contractors may have regarding steam, plumbing and electrical.  If all goes well we should be in a position to test the operation of the equipment by the end of next week.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Floor Covering

The urethane floor covering we decided to put in our brewing area was installed over the past three days.  It looks great and now we can finally get the equipment moved into place.  After watching their team install the product you can understand why it’s so incredible durable.  

Since the product is ¼ inch thick, the first thing they did was remove the top layer of the freshly poured concrete.  You might be wondering why we didn’t just pour the concrete a ¼ inch lower so we could skip this step in the first place.  We asked the same thing and were told that inevitably the concrete guys never get it right.  They said it works out better most times if you just pour the floor as designed then go back and remove the top layer.  They also needed to chisel out around the boarders and near the drain so the edges were not brittle.  So that was day one.  

The second day four guys mixed, dyed and hand troweled ¼ inch of this product over about 1,000 square feet of flooring.  The trick to this is following the gradual slope established by the concrete guys.  They also used the product to create a slope around the walls where we were unable to cut out the old concrete because we didn’t want to get to close to the roof support with the concrete saw and jack hammers.

Day three involved cutting in joints and filling in the seams and edges with some type of flexible sealant.  We were told to let it cure for about 24 hours before getting it wet and they recommended waiting about two days before putting heavy equipment like our tanks on it.  

The next day we hosed down the floor to see how well the water flowed to the drain and how slip resistant the floor was when it was wet.  They did a great job mirroring the slope of the concrete so the water didn’t pool and the surface was slip resistant but not so rough that we couldn’t get it clean.

Tomorrow we plan to get the shipping cradles off the tanks and move them into position on the new floor.    

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quick Update

We were able to track down a survey of the property from a company in Long Branch that did some work on this building in the early 1980s.  They were kind enough to give me a copy of what they had so that I could use that for the basis of our Minor Site Plan Application.  The engineers based their site plan on the survey data from that drawing and laid out where on the property we intend to install the unit.  I got the drawing from them yesterday and submitted the application with some pictures of the property and some data on the chiller itself.  I also found out that the meeting was moved from May 23 to June 8, so we won’t know officially if we can install it until two weeks later. 

We are still waiting for the fire suppression (sprinkler system) permit but these are the last two items we need from the town…for now. 

The FlowCrete guys are scheduled to start installing the floor covering tomorrow and the plumber is coming by the go over the work plan for the next few weeks.  We should be in a position to move the equipment into its final location this weekend and the electrician is planning to finish the main service by Monday.

We are still working to finalize the date, but the team from DME coming down to help install the equipment will probably be here at the end of the month.  We should be able to get the brew house functioning over the ten days they are here.

The condenser unit for the cooler arrived a few days ago and the box itself should be here early next week.  By then the brewing equipment will be out of the way so we can build that in place later next week.  The only piece of equipment we are waiting for is the keg washer and our 1/6 kegs—both of which should be here within a few weeks.     

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Concrete Floor

We were able to arrange for the inspector to come by around 11:00 am to sign-off on the installation of the wire mesh and rebar dowels that were used to strengthen the concrete.   This helped move the project along because if we could not coordinate with inspector on getting him here the same day as the installation the concrete team would have to come back after it was passed and that would add at least a few days and additional costs. 

With the structural supports set and all inspections passed we were set to start pouring the new floor by 11:30 AM—of course the concrete truck was delayed and did get here until close to 3:00 pm.  On a side note, the owner of the concrete company quoted me the price based on some plans we emailed him but when he came by to review the site before starting the work he realized that a concrete pump was going to be needed to move the concrete from the trucks, through our loading area and on to the area where the new floor was being poured.  It changed the price but it wasn’t really a big deal.  Since we are so knowledgeable about all things construction we assumed it was some kind of small pump to move concrete.  In reality the concrete pump is a truck is the size of a fire engine with a gigantic arm that can move concrete hundreds of feet.  Not really what we expected.   

Once concrete trucks arrived the team started pouring and working the concrete to get the correct slope on all four sides.  It took about five hours of screeding and troweling to get the concrete to set up in the proper slope.  

After that the owner stayed behind to continue to go over the floor with a power trowel every few hours as it cured.  Once it was fully set he needed to score the new the new floor in three places.  The reason they cut the floor is that as the concrete cures it will shrink which causes cracks.  With the cuts in place any cracks that might happen will hopefully form against the cuts and protect the floor.  We took off around 11:00 pm and from what he said the next day, he was here until around 3:00 am by the time the floor had cured enough to make the cuts.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Floor Prep

After having to unexpectedly dig up most of the sand where the concrete floor use to be to repair the electrical that was destroyed by the demolition team, we needed to back fill the holes now that the plumbing and electrical had passed inspection.  We were told that since most of the sand had been disturbed we would need to wet it and tamp it down with a mechanical compressor so we would have a solid base for the new pour. 

We also needed to excavate some of the sand in order to account for the slope on the new floor.  Since the drain was installed about two inches lower than the existing edge in order to create that slope we would need to remove a few inches of sand in order to get a full six inches of concrete on the new pour.  All this was supposed to be handled by the demolition team, but since that went so well the last time we decided to get a new crew to pour the concrete and since it was such short notice we did the prep work ourselves over the weekend.  It took about a day to remove the excess sand and then compact the base down but now the floor is ready for new concrete.