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El_Matador 10-14-2012 03:00 AM

Brewery Incubator Build (Brew Pub)
Hey guys! Its been a while since Ive posted, but Ive had some pretty exciting things going on. Most exciting of all is that Im starting a Brewpub; but its a little different.

We own two other businesses, one is a Coffee Shop, called Caf Luz and one is something called Kitchen Incubator; where we help aspiring food entrepreneurs start their businesses by providing them with a fully licensed commercial kitchen to manufacture their products, as well as all the business guidance a small start-up needs (Accounting, distribution contacts, business plan, etc).

We fell in love with brewing around two years ago, and dove right of onto the deep end with it. The Houston homebrew scene is awesome and full of incredibly talented brewers that are held back from opening their own place because of the amazingly backasswards Texas beer laws. So we decided to extend the Kitchen Incubator concept to brewing, and Brewery Incubator was born.

The way were setting it up is that were incubating 10-12 startup brewers. Were providing the system and retail point for them (the coffee shop is being transformed into a pub) for them to establish a strong brand identity and client base. We also have an entrepreneurial specialist on board and a lawyer specializing in Texas craft beer law to help them out when theyre ready to head out on their own. The idea is to already have a client base and a help navigating funding and legal issues as to maximize their chance of success.
Were probably around 85% complete on our buildout, we have a truly Pico-brewery set up right now. For the time being its only a half barrel, but were looking at expanding to a 3 bbl system within the next year. Our biggest constraints right now are space and of course funds. Well be launching a kickstarter campaign soonto help fund the rest of the build out.

For the time being, I figured you guys would enjoy seeing what weve done so far and what the plans going forward are.

Our brew house is a modified Sabco Brew Magic. Right now the changes include a bigger pump and full low pressure Nat Gas system mated to Jet burners. I tend to go a little overboard on things, and I might have over done it with the burners, Im pushing about 600k BTUs total. It does heat up quick though. The next mod to it is new sightglasses, as all that heat may or may not have melted the composite ones that came with the system
The Short term upgrades for the brewhouse include a 55 gal kettle and a bigger mash tun.




Our cold Liquor tank is not the prettiest, but it works. We have mated it to a chillwizard and it gives us awesome cooling. I can get my wort cooled to within a half degree of my target temp. It's that large cooler on the far side of the Sabco. A 55 gallon Drum lives inside of it that we fill with water and hook up to a PID controller that regulates the Freezer.


I am in the process of designing what will be my Sanitizing, Cleaning and keg washing station. These are some prelim drawings of what its gonna look like.



Also, were putting in a trough where the 3cpt sink is in right now, so we can wash our kettles a little easier.

El_Matador 10-14-2012 03:10 AM

We have 5 18.5 gal conicals and 3 14.5 gal blichmann fermenators . We also have 2 5 gal Bourbon Oak aging barrels for the special stuff. We are mostly set up to do Ales, as we temp control the whole room, but we do have the ability to do Lagers in our state-of -the-art lagering chambers (Repurposed Fridges). A big part of our kickstarter campaign is going towards 10-15 more fermenters and an actual lagering chamber.




We got these symphonies, they were the original prototypes that the company made, and after some new gaskets and other work, we’ve got them working fantastic. I like them better than the blichmanns to be honest. I’ve pressure tested them up to 35 psi, and they’ll hold it perfectly. I could use them as bright tanks if I wanted to. I was doing some pressure testing on this one when this was taken.


Our Beer cooler is going to be a 300 sqft walk in freezer that we're repurposing. Its already on location and all it needs to be converted is a automated temperature controller. I'm looking at installing a Love controller on it pretty soon. We should be able to pack in quite a few of them there, the only problem is gonna be running about 40 ft of line from here to the pub space, I know we’re gonna need a glycol, line chiller, and they don’t come cheap!

We’re also going to have a smaller draft system over in the caf, for our stout and other warmer temp beers.

This used to be our caf. And is now in the process of becoming our Pub, the plan is to put in bar seating all around to maximize space, as you can probably tell, its tiny, though with outside seating included, we should be able to pack around 50-60 people all in all. As with the brewery, we built the entire thing ourselves, from refinishing the floor, to designing and putting up the lights it took its name from.


If all goes according to plan, we should open to the public in December.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress!

helibrewer 10-14-2012 03:22 AM

Interesting concept. There's a place out here in Sonoma County that does the same kind of thing for winemakers, they can actually market their private label through the company. It use to be called Crushpad but is now called The Wine Foundry.

Chuckster 10-14-2012 03:07 PM

Neat set up and the cafe is a killer spot love the decor! Can't wait for more updates

tom_gamer 10-14-2012 03:16 PM

I live in NW Houston. I will need to come check it out.

El_Matador 10-14-2012 03:51 PM

Thanks! Everyone is welcome to come in and check us out. The kitchen component is still running so we're open. All feedback is welcome!

El_Matador 10-14-2012 03:53 PM


Originally Posted by helibrewer
Interesting concept. There's a place out here in Sonoma County that does the same kind of thing for winemakers, they can actually market their private label through the company. It use to be called Crushpad but is now called The Wine Foundry.

I wish we could do that, but our insane TABC laws would prevent that. We won't be able to distribute under the current laws, which is why eventually we're only doing a 3 bbl system

calebawilson 10-14-2012 06:00 PM

Interesting idea how will you choose the 10-12 brewers?

El_Matador 10-14-2012 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by calebawilson
Interesting idea how will you choose the 10-12 brewers?

We take applications. It's all about how ready they are to make the jump and the quality of the beer. We already have 4 we're about to accept and two more that are really promising.

calebawilson 10-14-2012 08:09 PM

Where might someone go to fill out application?

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