Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

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stevetk189
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Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:02 pm

First thread I've started in a while as I've been busy brewing and beginning work on my brewhouse. It's an unused outbuilding. I say unused, it's been very useful for storing tonnes of junk that's built up - getting rid of which was the first job.

It's been slow progress as I'm on a very tight budget and have been waiting for the various building materials to come up on special offer around the various DIY stores here. Luckily special offers are fairly frequent so it's not been too bad overall so far.

I still have the floor drain to sort out and make good the floor surface once it's in. There is an existing drain in one corner that I thought was going to be perfect. The outbuilding was once upon a time a laundry, there's a huge concrete sink in there that drains into the floor drain. Trouble is I've noticed some fairly dodgy odours coming from it during the summer and further investigation showed it has no form of u-trap so it just runs directly to a soak-away and land drain. So, scrap that idea and go for a new one, properly plumbed into a nearby drain.

The idea is it'll be a pumped system BUT set up in such a way that should a pump fail or a power cut surprise us (we get quite a lot) the system will revert to gravity feeds.

The laundry is not big so I've had to be fairly careful with the layout. 100l HLT up on high, 80l thermo pot mash tun on mid level and 100l copper at around waist height.

I can hear some folks wondering why the 100l HLT for a 100l copper. I'm future proofing as best as I can for, hopefully, having to upgrade to a 200l+ copper next year or the year after. So, biggest pots I could get. These are without doubt the dearest part of the project 230euros all in but still bloody good value in my opinion.

A couple of Kaixin pumps (courtesy of Wolfy's post elsewhere) are on the way and now I'm just waiting for the pots and pumps to arrive so I can place it all out and begin working on piping runs and electrics etc

So, here's a few pics. I'm certainly not a joiner as you'll see but I'm pretty pleased with the work so far.

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Brewstand, work area built and end wall clad. Dodgy window hole bricked up in the back wall, ready to begin cladding.

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Tidied up a bit to see the brew area and finished cladding.

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Middle high bit for the HLT, to the right and abit lower is for the Mash Tun and over to the left, lower still is for the Copper when using pumps. If using gravity the copper and gas burner will move onto the floor. I think I'm going to opt for an electric HLT on a timer and temp controller BUT have a gas burner in situ just in case of the aforementioned power cuts - they can last 2 minutes or 6 hours, the joys of very rural life.

You can just see at the right, part of the old concrete sink. I built the frame around it as I didn't have the heart - or strength to smash it out.

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Making a start on the ceiling insulation, the last bit I'll have to leave until I can find an extractor (on offer) for steam extraction duties.

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As it looks at the time of writing.

There are a few more on my blog too.
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GrowlingDogBeer
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by GrowlingDogBeer » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:15 pm

Looking good so far. Don't forget about steam extraction.

A 100 L HLT seems entirely sensible if you have a 100 L Boiler, especially if it takes a while to heat up. I think it makes sense treating and heating the total Brew Liquor prior to starting the brew, which means your HLT does need to be as big as your boiler.

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by far9410 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:19 pm

great pics, you've overtaken me on the brew house build, i'll have to post some pics of mine to show(slow) progress

is the high stand for the HT a moveable item, if so whats the thinking behind that?
no palate, no patience.


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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by seymour » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:40 pm

Very cool, stevetk189. The untreated whiteboard look is so pretty, reminds me of a Finnish sauna. Keep up the good work!
Are you going to tile over the stinky drain, or what?

Hops bines growing to the roofline outside, I presume?

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:29 pm

Cheers folks.

@Runweill Steve, last but one pic mentions extraction. I got hold of an extractor today and I'll see how it goes alone. There's the option built in to add another on the other, higher wall. Problem is extracting to the higher wall is on the other side of the wall is a covered bar in the rear garden. Difficult to explain so might have to pop a photo on to show you.

Also, cheers for your comments re the HLT size. I tend to prep the mash liquor, then while the mash is on, prep the sparge liquor. rather than have a massive volume of water to heat then keep warm while the mash is on but my thinking behind the two 100l pots is come the time I upgrade the copper to 200l I can convert the current 100l copper to another HLT and have two going.

@far9410 - the high HLT isn't moveable, it just looks like it. I'll be cladding it and possibly having the HLT temp controller and pump controls on the front - though I'm planning a main board control panel on the back wall with sections for each bit ie HLT temps and pump/s, MT pump and temp readout with option to add a HERMS system later and so on.

@Seymour, there's a nicely established rose outside but I do intend to grow hops next year. However due to knowing the AA% without expensive lab tests I'll probably just use the home growns for own consumption brews or late addition aroma in the commercial ones.

Final paperwork is off to the Douanes (Customs) today so hopefully by next week I'll have an idea on when they'll visit to inspect the brewery and take samples to confirm ABV for the duty, 1.38 euros per % ABV per 100 litres, which I thought was quite generous.

Started on the floor drain today, nasty looking hole in the floor - I was fortuitous to get hold of a metre long floor drain for just 15 euros, and with some 40mm plastic waste pipe and fittings I've knocked up a good u-trap and waste feed off to an area where I hope to have a sink.
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by chivelegs » Fri Oct 05, 2012 8:55 pm

Looking very nice. Were you not tempted to use the concrete sink as part of the set-up though?
Do you have to pay tax on home-brew, or are you going commercial? I ask because a mate of mine lives in Limousin (The Limousin? Le Limousin?...I dunno.) and when I went to visit him, he took me out to a local brewery run by an English guy.

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:34 pm

No tax on homebrew and yes I am going commercial on a very small scale as a secondary income, hopefully growing to a bigger scale. Feedback from locals and a couple of bar owners in Limoges city so far is very positive. Which brewery did you tour? I'm in the Limousin too.

I did wonder how to make use of the sink but it was just too big really, to have all the gear elsewhere in the room would leave me no room at all.
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by chivelegs » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:11 pm

Do you know, I really can't remember the name. It was a British guy near La Souterrain but I was deeply underwhelmed by the beer. Hopefully I haven't just insulted an acquaintance of yours, but it was near-undrinkable.

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:55 pm

chivelegs wrote:Do you know, I really can't remember the name. It was a British guy near La Souterrain but I was deeply underwhelmed by the beer. Hopefully I haven't just insulted an acquaintance of yours, but it was near-undrinkable.
I think I know exactly who you're on about. I was also underwhelmed. If it's the same folks, I did a load of work for them to rescue their original website, re-vamped it, sorted them out with better, cheaper hosting etc etc did a load more bits and bobs for them as they decided that since I'd done their website I was also responsible for their printer running out of ink at 23:30hrs and other such things Then didn't pay me. Bas**rds!
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by Crispy Hedgehog » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:18 pm

I am going commercial on a very small scale as a secondary income, hopefully growing to a bigger scale
I did wonder how to make use of the sink but it was just too big really
Are you planning on just bottling or going down the cask/keg/firkin route? if you are successful then it might be useful for a cleaning area???? But then if you're getting to that point it will probably mean a bigger premises anyway .......

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:52 am

Crispy Hedgehog wrote:
I am going commercial on a very small scale as a secondary income, hopefully growing to a bigger scale
I did wonder how to make use of the sink but it was just too big really
Are you planning on just bottling or going down the cask/keg/firkin route? if you are successful then it might be useful for a cleaning area???? But then if you're getting to that point it will probably mean a bigger premises anyway .......
Bottles to begin with, off sales from the brewery direct, local markets and a couple of bars. Ultimately I plan to sell pins or maybe even firkins along with supplied beer engines and a line cleaning, cellaring service. Might just be easier to buy a bar... 5 year plan and all that.

I got the floor drain in yesterday, pics shortly. It was a bit of a pig to keep level with all the plumbing attached so I had to pack it in places with some old ceramic tiles I smashed up. TIP: When trying to move pieces of broken tile don't run your finger along the edge... ouch, blood.
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by floydmeddler » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:10 am

Very exciting stuff Steve! Looking forward to following you on your adventure. Place is looking top notch!

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:15 am

Cheers Floyd, I'm just popping a few pics on my blog so I can post them here.
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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by stevetk189 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:51 am

Putting in the floor drain.

This wasn't quite as complex a job as I'd been expecting but it was a bit fiddly. The plumbing runs were a bit aukward and I managed to slice the end of my finger open trying to move a piece of ceramic tile I was using as packing to support the pipework before concreting it all in.

More pics on my blog.

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Floor marked up and disk cutting through the existing floor.

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Cut out finished, ready to start digging whilst keeping my fingers crossed not to unearth any shells, grenades or guns (Quite a lot of Resistance weapons caches dotted about here, it's not unheard of to find things that go bang.).

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Gluing up the fittings. I chose to make a u-trap rather than buy one as it was a lot cheaper. Should work just as well and keep any drain niffs from coming back up the drain.

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Modern art. I call this piece, Angst in time of light with chips.

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Fitted and filling it all back in. Very pleased with it and so I treat my self to a nice pint of my Apollo IPA.

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Re: Brewhouse Build - Outbuilding Conversion

Post by darkonnis » Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:12 pm

Very very nice! I'm back to saving money at the moment to buy the next lot of gear then hopefully do it all at once. 1.38 euro per % per 100L is cheap as chips!

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