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Old 01-24-2011, 02:46 AM   #1
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Default KCBrewer's Garage Brewery

I'm putting an end to disorganized brew days. I had been looking for a free countertop for the garage to get the brewery more organized, and finally came across a good sized countertop being pulled from a coffee shop turned yoga, so the wheels were set in motion.

I also had $20 worth of Lowe's gift cards, so I picked up about a dozen 2x4's to get me started. The plan is to have a ferm chamber, carb/condition chamber, grain milling station, easy grain access, and plenty of workspace to keep things from getting cluttered.

Here's the area that will become my brewery.



The specimen.



Framing started.



Rough framing nearly complete.



Countertop cut to size and set in place.



Now it was time for something cold. A tasty glass of BM's Centennial Blonde hit the spot.



Back to work. A little more framing and some test fitting. You can see here there will be a fermentation chamber on the left (should hold 5 carboys easily) and a carb/condition chamber in the middle which will house 5 cornies and a 20lb co2 tank. There will be a single tap tower above this area for "sampling" before moving kegs to the bar. To the right will be the grain milling area.



Grain mill mounted and some more test fitting of supplies. The mill will be motorized eventually. I have a motor, just need the pulleys. I bought the bins on the right for grain storage, but they're not airtight and I ended up returning them. Those stackable vittles vaults are just so fv&*ing expensive, especially when you need 10 of them.



And this was the result of a couple days of playing in the garage.



Next up is adding the cooling side of things. I used the refrigeration system from a basic 14 cu ft refrigerator. For those who don't know, you can remove the entire cooling system from a fridge without cutting any refrigerant lines, as you can see below. You then have a frost free cooling system that can be made to work with whatever chamber you build, and don't need to worry about brazing lines or recharging the system properly.

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Old 01-24-2011, 02:48 AM   #2
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Here is the electrical side of things from the fridge. I also kept the fan shroud and inside freezer panel that covers the coil



Here is the coil mocked up.



From the back side. The condensation drain pan is rusted out, but it isn't going to be used anyway. Any plastic pan to catch the water will work.



Some OSB to close up the back side. The final product will be lined with this:
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...36&R=100389836
so no wood will be exposed, including behind the coil. It's available at home depot/lowe's for $26.97.



And a shot from the inside. The thermostat, light & switch are mounted up top so it will have light that comes on when the door opens. This is still just a mock up. I have the drain line mocked up as well using 1" pvc which isn't shown in this pic.



Here is a shot from the back where the coil is mounted.



I folded the coil by cutting just the steel wires.




Next was onto the fermentation chamber. I am using a standard 24v thermostat with heat/cool. This controls an 80mm fan from a computer power supply to pull air from the refrigerated chamber for cooling, and for heat in the winter I used a porcelain light fixture that will hold a ceramic reptile heat lamp. There will also be a regular light bulb installed with a refrigerator door switch. Everything is controlled with just a standard 24v home thermostat and a fan control center from an old furnace. I'll add some more detail on the wiring for all of it when I'm not so tired.

What you see here is the mount for the fan control center in the top rear, the thermostat mounts below that, one fixture up top is for a light and one is for the heater. On the right is the computer PSU which has been gutted and contains just the fan to pull air from the refrigerated chamber.



And that's where it's at currently. I've plugged everything in to test it before I start insulating and sealing it up and all seems to work well. I may do a final test with things closed up with plywood, just to make sure it's going to work as planned before sealing things off.

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Old 01-24-2011, 04:11 AM   #3
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I'm also interested in gutting my fridge to cool a fermentation chamber. Excellent work, so far...

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Old 01-24-2011, 04:44 AM   #4
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subscribed

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Old 01-24-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
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I'm just getting started, but I've got a space like this in my garage (with under-counter space) that I thought would be perfect for fermenting. I knew temp regulation would be an issue, but I think this will help me solve it. Subscribed and thanks.

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Old 01-24-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
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subscribed

yeah... that!
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:47 PM   #7
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Jealous. I need a build a brewshed in the backyard. Probably going to have to do some other things that have been on the to-do-list for a while to get permission......

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Old 01-24-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the compliments everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonInBTR View Post
Jealous. I need a build a brewshed in the backyard. Probably going to have to do some other things that have been on the to-do-list for a while to get permission......
I went back and forth for a while before deciding to do it in the garage rather than the backyard. We have a hot tub that sits on a 12x12 concrete slab which already has a 50A GFCI circuit ran to it. We really don't use it often because it sucks to go out in the freezing cold/snow to get to it, so I thought about moving it up near the house and using the area to build a brew shed. I plan to switch over to electric soon (brewing with NG in the winter sucks!), so this would have been perfect.

The reasons I decided to go with the garage instead were because it was cheaper than building a new shed, it will be easier to plumb water to it, the garage is right off the basement where my bar is located so no moving kegs from the back yard down to the bar, and no going in and out of the cold/heat or having to heat/cool another building.

I really liked the idea of the backyard building though just for the cool factor. We have a pool also, so it would be freakin sweet to have a brewery/bar right by the pool. Maybe I'll move ahead with it someday, but for now this will work just great and save me some money.

I'll get some more updates soon. I did most all of the above in 2 good days of work last weekend, but have been too busy to get back to it. This week is looking better though, so I should be able to at least get everything insulated, sealed up, and actually up and running. I plan to brew at least 2 batches this weekend, so I'd like to have it ready to roll.

Anybody know a good source for cheap airtight grain storage bins that hold full sacks? I'd really like something like the stackable vittles vaults that you can get into with them stacked, but it would run me over $400!
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:31 PM   #9
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Anybody know a good source for cheap airtight grain storage bins that hold full sacks? I'd really like something like the stackable vittles vaults that you can get into with them stacked, but it would run me over $400!
2 Home Depot buckets will hold a full grain bag and at around $3 ea are a bargain.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:59 PM   #10
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That's what I use.

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