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Old 05-21-2009, 05:38 PM   #1
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Default Garage home brewery

This week I finally got the go ahead to start converting my garage into a brewery! Currently it is full of lots of crap, some garbage, some stuff we need to keep, and mostly stuff that needs to go elsewhere.

Step 1. Remove EVERYTHING from the garage
Step 2. Tear out paneling/shelving from garage walls
Step 3. insulate walls
Step 4. Run gas/water/electricity etc to the garage
Step 5. Put up walls/flooring/ceiling

Here is a picture of the current state of my garage. The finished garage will only contain brewing equipment with a small work bench+tools and some general storage away from everything else.



Here is the garage put into sketchup.



I have about 21x21' to work with. Two garage doors. One is electric the other is manual.

So I have a few questions I am hoping I can get some input on.

I want to relatively temp control the garage. I will store grain etc there and be brewing in there so I hope to maintain a decent temp. I live in upstate NY so it gets both hot and cold.

I know I need to insulate the walls. What is the R number I should be looking for?

The garage doors are the weak point in the garage. They are old/dirty/solid wood and hung slightly above where the ceiling would be. They are going to leak heat/cold to the outside. I dont like the idea of overhead doors dropping grease or dirt etc into the garage. Possibly replace the with barn stye doors.

I am also building a 10 gallon all-grain brewing system. I am thinking of making it natural gas heated and running a line from the house to the garage. I was thinking of going electric but I have fears that NYSEG will kill me on electric costs. I also want to run out a water hook up and more electric lines/sub box and network cable from the house.

I have read a few of the forum posts here with others building brew sheds. Any comments, suggestions or recommendations would be very helpful.

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Old 05-21-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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Right out of the gates this whole thing is suspect at best... Your picture shows the siding on the gable going verticaly while your sketch has it going horizontally... what the hell is THAT all about!?!

C'mon.. joking.

Cool set up.

I can only offer a few little things...

1) I plumbed my rig in with NG and love it.
2) Instead of trying to temp control the whole garage, I would suggest building a much smaller temp contolled cabinet for fermentation. Trying to keep that entire garage as a certain temp is going to be really tough and expensive. Get some kind of heat in there for yourself while brewing but then build something specifically for fermentation. There are a million great examples of what guys have done for that on this site.
3) if you're going to store your grains out there, make sure you store them in something that will lock out moisture.
4) a hot water line of some sort would be a huge help. It'll save you a ton of time bringing your pots up to temp when you're starting a batch and it makes clean-up much easier. Maybe a tankless system if you run NG out there??

hmmm... what else?? That's all I got

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Old 05-21-2009, 05:58 PM   #3
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Sorry... another thing on heating the garage... rememnber when it is the dead of winter and you're going to want heat out there, if you're going to heat the garage with the garage doors closed, make sure you have a really solid plan for ventilation.

If not, you'll get pretty dizzy pretty quick and the parametics won't be able to revive you from the CO poisoning.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:04 PM   #4
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+1 on not attempting to control the temperature of the whole garage. Build a fermentation closet. This will allow you to lager as well.

What is your kW/hr rate up there? You will need to run power, might as well add 240 while you're at it. It's gotta be easier than piping in a gas line.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:06 PM   #5
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Sorry... another thing on heating the garage... rememnber when it is the dead of winter and you're going to want heat out there, if you're going to heat the garage with the garage doors closed, make sure you have a really solid plan for ventilation.

If not, you'll get pretty dizzy pretty quick and the parametics won't be able to revive you from the CO poisoning.
another reason to consider all electric
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:09 PM   #6
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Don't let those 'lectric freaks talk ya outta NG!!! They're like a cult!!!

"C'mon blackheart... go electric... everyone's doing it. It's not addictive. What's a matter?? Chicken? You'll die from NG!"



Awful lot of us go NG and haven't died yet. You just need to plan on some decent ventilation.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:18 PM   #7
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I am also not doing the electric thing. I like my gas.

Having a model will really help. Model each component and then you will know your layout before buying everything. That will save you some bucks.

I think he is just talking about temp control to keep it comfortable, not for fermenting. I would suggest changing out the doors to barn style as you suggested and installing a heater/cooler unit sized for the area.

Use whatever bats will fit in the wall cavity. If you have 2x4 studs, that means R13, if you have 2x6 you can fit R18. Use the thickest bats or equivalent that will fit.

I would run NG, and a 240 line because once you are trenching, laying the lines is the easy part.

I suggest separate fermentation chambers. I really like my upright side-by-side chamber and would eventually like two of those and a fermento-lager-taporator for serving.

Make sure once you have it modeled you go through a mental brewday to make sure your work flow works right. Imagine yourself doing each task in order and where you have to move/get things from. This will help you organize the area.

There are a lot of brewing related parts in the Sketchup warehouse, but if you need somethign specific ask here. I have quite a few pieces and might be able to help out.

Here is my current layout:

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Boerderij_Kabouter View Post
I am also not doing the electric thing. I like my gas.

Having a model will really help. Model each component and then you will know your layout before buying everything. That will save you some bucks.

I think he is just talking about temp control to keep it comfortable, not for fermenting. I would suggest changing out the doors to barn style as you suggested and installing a heater/cooler unit sized for the area.

Use whatever bats will fit in the wall cavity. If you have 2x4 studs, that means R13, if you have 2x6 you can fit R18. Use the thickest bats or equivalent that will fit.

I would run NG, and a 240 line because once you are trenching, laying the lines is the easy part.

I suggest separate fermentation chambers. I really like my upright side-by-side chamber and would eventually like two of those and a fermento-lager-taporator for serving.

Make sure once you have it modeled you go through a mental brewday to make sure your work flow works right. Imagine yourself doing each task in order and where you have to move/get things from. This will help you organize the area.

There are a lot of brewing related parts in the Sketchup warehouse, but if you need somethign specific ask here. I have quite a few pieces and might be able to help out.
Thats a nice looking sketchup model. I might have to get some of those parts from you. I plan on modeling my brewing system shortly. It's almost done on paper. I have already done 5gal corny's and the kegerator and tap handles.

I plan on figuring out the whole brewing space to optimize the work area. Luckily one of us knows a bit about general kitchen layouts and designs for restaurants etc. which should help.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:37 PM   #9
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Binghamton = heated pathway to melt the snow so you can get to the garage in the dead of winter - Brrrrrrr

Basketball hoop has got to go. Imagine the vibrations knocking your fermenting brew - the horror!

Insulate the floor as well if you can. Vapor barrier & insulation over the concrete. Also the ceiling gets insulated.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arturo7 View Post
+1 on not attempting to control the temperature of the whole garage. Build a fermentation closet. This will allow you to lager as well.

What is your kW/hr rate up there? You will need to run power, might as well add 240 while you're at it. It's gotta be easier than piping in a gas line.
we have a few chest freezers which we are converting into kegerators/temp control for storing/fermenting/conditioning beer.

The current plan is to ferment in corny's stored in a chest freezer set to the correct temp. until we can afford much larger and nicer equipment and then go back to using the corny's to just serving.

In that case I do not need a separate cold storage section in the garage. Though the thought has crossed my mind. It could be possible in the future.

Right now I am more concerned with build a space which is clean and closed off from anything but brewing.

Grains and other materials will be stored properly for sure. I cant wait to start buying grain by the sack full.
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