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Old 03-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #21
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It's a major basement reno (the entire basement's being done) so there will be contractor trucks and building material in the driveway/garage for some time. I'm also in a new neighbourhood so I see city inspectors drive by every day as they're quite litterally building new houses 2 doors down. I'm not trying to hide anything.

So back on topic: I think the best thing to do is to call it a 'hobby room' and not a 'brewery'. Calling it a brewery would raise alarms as they'd think it's some sort of commercial establishment. If they ask, the hobby is making beer.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:00 PM   #22
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Kal,
British Columbia experience here...

At first glance, you may have problems with the quantity of air you want to exhaust to the outside. Some jurisdictions require a dedicated, tempered make-up-air source to balance the outgoing exhaust, if the exhaust is over a certain quantity, relative to the square footage of the dwelling. The total exhaust is what counts, so add up your kitchen range hood and toilet exhaust, the dryer is exempt.

If you have any naturally drafted gas fired appliances in the house, you don't want the products of combustion backdrafting while you are brewing.

If your water heater and furnace/boiler are direct vent (balanced, sealed combustion air and venting) you may be able to have a relaxed requirement for make-up-air, but you will have to speak nicely to the inspectors, both building and plumbing/gas.

The key with inspectors is to consult with them. They enjoy thinking they are in control and will usually work with you, as they just want potential "issues" to go away (at least that is my experience. Construction, 28 years).

Good luck.
Ken.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:14 PM   #23
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Quote:
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At first glance, you may have problems with the quantity of air you want to exhaust to the outside. Some jurisdictions require a dedicated, tempered make-up-air source to balance the outgoing exhaust, if the exhaust is over a certain quantity, relative to the square footage of the dwelling. The total exhaust is what counts, so add up your kitchen range hood and toilet exhaust, the dryer is exempt.
We have a 900CFM hood fan in our kitchen and we were required to install a large make-up air system already because of it. I think the limit was 280-300CFM. Anything higher and the builder told us we MUST install a make-up air system. So we did.

It's a large 10-12" duct to the outside with an inline heater & damper, which feeds into the cold air return. It's tied to the kitchen hood fan through a current sensor: When the kitchen hood is on, the damper opens allowing air from the outside to enter the house.

The brewery exhaust fan is about 450CFM. The brewery will have it's own make-up air system so I didn't plan on tying the brewery hood fan to the whole house make-up air system at all. I'm planning on a simple duct with a damper to the outside (no heater - no point). When I brew and have the large brewery hood fan running I want to have the brew room door closed too so that I don't suck heated or cooled air from the rest of the house (a waste of energy). I want to suck in make-up air from outside. We'll make sure there is the required distance between the input & exhaust to avoid recirculation.

Thanks for the heads up Ken. Make up air is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed properly. My old brewing room had a make-up air system too for this reason.

We do have a natural gas fireplace and both the hot water tank & furnace are direct vent (air in and venting directly sealed to the outside).

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:19 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Got it!

"Nothing to see here Mr. Inspector. We're just makin' back bacon, maple syrup, and tuques for our beavers!"



Kal
Kal you made my day, I love this post
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #25
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The "issues" that would arise from an Inspector standpoint given the scale of the kitchen equipment/brewery would be from that of ignorance on the inspectors part.

I am not an inspector but, I do code review prior to permitting.

Had I not had the viewpoint of being a homebrewer, I would be questioning whether or not you are a home occupation and whether or not you are beyond the limits of of a home occupation thus infringing on Zoning allowances, licensure requirements, and health department regulation.

Sure, it may seem ludicrous from your viewpoint but as a Licensed Code Official we are obligated to question these things.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:28 PM   #26
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It's mostly about zoning. Are you allowed to have a commercial kitchen, second residential kitchen (think multi-family housing)? Submit it as a brewroom for your homebrew beer.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #27
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It's mostly about zoning. Are you allowed to have a commercial kitchen, second residential kitchen (think multi-family housing)? Submit it as a brewroom for your homebrew beer.
Meh. I say submit it as an unspecified remodel. Naming the project is usually not mandatory. And typically, showing equipment details on residential plans is not required.

A single tier brewery cooktop looks just like that, a cooktop, until you specifiy brewpots.

I am not saying lie. What I am saying is that often times applicants create their own problems by providing too much information that would have otherwise not been asked for or questioned.

If they ask, tell em you make beer, do lots of crab/lobster/crawfish boils, and really like soup.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:35 PM   #28
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Saying "brewery" is just a red flag. Whether it's legal or not is irrelevant because the ignorant will not go out of their way to investigate legality but rather they will just hear "moonshine" or "meth lab". "kitchen" is an adequate description for the purposes of permitting and if they do press you, tell them you boil syrup and make soups as a hobby. The fermentation aspect of what you really do is non of their business.

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Old 03-28-2012, 02:37 PM   #29
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I say submit it as a homebrew room. It is legal period. Being upfront and honest is the easiest route. make sure you can demonstrate that you don't make more then you are supposed to and he will have no legal ground for denying you. in the end you could be making sex toys down there its none of there damn business as long as the building is safe.

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Old 03-28-2012, 03:20 PM   #30
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I think the point of calling it a kitchen is that plan reviewers/inspectors understand that. And, it IS really just an over built kitchen. The problem I see with calling it a "Brewery" is that most people interpret that as a "commercial" use.

It's not "lying" or "hiding the truth" - it's just good communication.


Quote:
I say submit it as a homebrew room.
The problem with calling a "homebrew room" is that there are not likely codes and regulations written for that use. At that point, the inspector/reviewer has to make a judgement call on what that really means.
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