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A moment of silence for my brewery.

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steelcity

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It is with great sadness that I must report on Sunday August 28th, 2016 that my homega brewery met it's untimely end. I live in Connellsville Pennsylvania and last Sunday my house was one of the ones affected by the floods in the area. Fortunately there were no injuries or loss of life. It had been a hectic week trying to clean up and salvage as much as possible. Unfortunately aLloyd of my brewing equipment and supplies were in the basement and mostly everything is a total loss. I wasn't sure where to posthe the question so I am posting it here. I know I will not be able to use all of the plastic stuff. The question I have is would I be able to still use my brew pot and corny kegs? If I am able to keep something that would be better than nothing. Has anyone ever delt with this issue before and if so what would I be able to use and what wouldn't I be able to use. Thanks

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kh54s10

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Sorry for your loss. :(

I would just clean everything possible. I would guess you had chemicals in the flood water so I guess I too would question the plastic. Any metals or glass should be able to be cleaned and used again.

Is all that green stuff hops? ;)
 

flattie

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Oh man. That brings back memories of Sandy.

I would think that anything Stainless Steel would be fine after some PBW and Starsan.

I'd be too afraid of the plastic stuff getting scratched up and harboring some nasties. That said I would think that would apply to anything on the cold side (ie: fermentation buckets).

If your igloo coolers are mash tuns I might consider giving them a thorough cleaning (or two) and seeing what they look like. Consider the fact that you will take the wort out of the mash tun and boil it so that would take care of any sterilization issues if your mash tun did get scratched up and was hanging onto some nasties and your cleaning attempts didn't get it.

The important thing is you are safe. Dealing with the aftermath is daunting but take it one step at a time. Call you insurance company and ask them for what you can and can't get started on before they come out. Take lot's and lot's of pictures. Don't throw anything away until you get the okay from the adjuster.

After Sandy we got the go ahead from insurance to begin demolition/remediation immediately provided we took lots of pictures and kept all the receipts. This meant getting all the wet drywall,trim, doors, flooring, etc., ripped out to the studs so we could flush everything with freshwater and apply mold treatment. This meant we didn't have to deal with eliminating a mold issue days/weeks later like some did. Getting the walls open, air flowing, etc. was key.
 

jcav

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Real sorry to see this. Hang in there and I hope you can get some of this replaced so you can get back to brewing again. Main thing is you and your family are safe!

John
 

jcav

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I'd probably re-use everything. Looks like a big mess there, but I'm not understanding why the flood waters made it unusable.
That's an excellent point. I must have misunderstood, I thought some of the equipment got damaged and was unusable. If it's just very dirty and grimy from the flood water and basement debris, I would clean the heck out of it and then sanitize like normal on the cold side of things and go for it. You'll be back in business in no time!

John
 
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steelcity

steelcity

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Well haven't had time to go through everything and check but there was a bunch of stuff that was damaged and wasn't salvageable because of the mud or it was just broken. One of the main concerns I had was my fermenters are scratched. I was concerned that that would harbor bacteria.
 

Fizzycist

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You should make a go-fund-me to revive whatever isn't salvageable and post it here. I'd donate.
 

oceanic_brew

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Make sure you keep receipts of anything you purchase in the next little while! Any food or lodging.

Sorry for your loss, that picture is heart breaking.
 

YeastMode

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When you are ready, post what you need on this thread and let's see what we can all come up with to get you back going. I know that I have a bunch of random useful stuff that I am no longer using and I would be more than happy to send to you free of charge.
 

iclypso

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Glad everyone's ok. I might replace gaskets and rebuild poppets and valves to ensure cleanliness. Replacing buckets seems like a good idea, too. Other than that, I'd think a good cleaning/sanitizing should get the salvageable pieces back in business. On a lighter note, if you stirred with a wooden paddle, I bet it came in useful.
 
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steelcity

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Thanks I appreciate aLloyd of the advice and support. It's been a crazy week and I just wanted to think about something else besides the cleanup for a little. There's already a number of ideas running through my head for the new and improved brewery. I guess that's something to look forward to for when things get back to "normal".
 

KnobCreek

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Unless it was a flash flood up in the mountains far away from any population then the flood waters contain all kinds of nasties including E. coli and fecal mater from sewers. Plastic is porous and holds onto odors. Get rid of Everything plastic. Then Clean, clean, clean, sanitize, sanitize and sanitize the stainless. Triple check glass for Any scratches. If you find any get rid of it too unless you don't mind fecal mater, freaky diseases and other assorted nasties in your brews. Flood water is some Nasty stuff. Don't take chances.
 

shantycellars

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Grew up in the center of PA - 1972 flood damn near wiped out my little town along the Susquehanna River - one thing I learned from that flood was "things can be cleaned & used again". Wash that flood mud off & out... hose it down - DON'T use abrasive scrubbers... a sponge will do - bleach it out and then RINSE - RINSE - RINSE... use your regular sanitizer and proceed as before.
Think POSSITIVE! and GOOD LUCK!
 

Homercidal

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I'd reuse everything. Clean and sanitize well. Everything should be usable unless it was electric.

I'd probably get new hoses and things that would be too difficult to clean.
 

tvissoc

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Dude, this sucks. I feel your pain. I lost a LOT in a flood at our house 2 years ago, including two cars. Hadn't started my homebrewing adventures at that point. Though, come to think of it... I used some of the flood insurance money to buy my first Norther Brewer 5 gal kit.
 

HLSheppard

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That is terrible! I hope you have as smooth a transition back to brewing (and normalcy) as possible!
 

z-bob

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I'm so sorry!

I'd probably get rid of hoses and plastic fermenters, and clean/reuse almost everything else. Anything glass or metal should be okay with a good scrubbing with some disinfectant.

You know you need to power-wash the walls and spray with some kind of sanitizer/mildewcide?

Might be a good excuse to get rid of everything and upgrade ;)
 

uechikid

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Oh Man! I can't even imagine going through what you are I'm so sorry.
As far as your brewing equipment is concerned, bleach is your friend. Clean everything with hot soapy water then sanitize with bleach. Even the plastic. If that plastic cooler is part of your brewing system I would make sure that nasty water hasn't made its way into the walls. If so, get a new one. Also, with your stainless stuff, don't let the bleach stay in contact too long. Long term exposure to bleach will corrode stainless steel.
Good luck, keep us posted.
 

AndrewduToit

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Good Luck, I really hope you can salvage everything and get back to brewing soon.:)
 

bigringking

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Can anyone who has gone through this offer any advice on how to ensure that your insurance would cover the brewing equipment in just such a situation? I don't intend to hijack but I think this is a good place to get some advice while it is still fresh.
 
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@steelcity I would chuck out your tubing for sure and like others have said anything plastic. Shoot me your address (when you get settled and ready) and I will send you a care package of a bucket, lid, airlock and some new tubing to get you started. It's my donation and gift to you. Sorry for the loss. Glad everyone was safe and unharmed!

Cheers
Jay
 

flattie

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Flooding like this is not covered by home owners insurance. Your only coverage world be through FEMA flood insurance. From first hand experience the coverage for damage to contents will not even come close to what it will cost you to replace the damaged items.

Unless you have a receipt showING it is practically new purchased in the last month, expect a substantial got from depreciation.
 

tvissoc

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Can anyone who has gone through this offer any advice on how to ensure that your insurance would cover the brewing equipment in just such a situation? I don't intend to hijack but I think this is a good place to get some advice while it is still fresh.
Flood insurance typically (at least in my case) only covers the home structure, not the contents. There are some insurance companies that will allow you to pay for coverage on household items separately. I'd inquire with your insurer.
 

tvissoc

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Regarding insurance, there is also a difference between flooding from an external source vs something like backed-up drains.
 

Homercidal

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Doesn't it matter if you are in a flood zone? I know insurance companies sometimes require a separate policy if the area is deemed a flood risk. Otherwise, I think it would fall under any other act of God, like lightning, wildfire, tornado, etc.

And I have no idea how the payout compares to actual value. I don't think I've ever had a home insurance claim in the 23 years I've owned my home.
 

HLSheppard

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Doesn't it matter if you are in a flood zone? I know insurance companies sometimes require a separate policy if the area is deemed a flood risk. Otherwise, I think it would fall under any other act of God, like lightning, wildfire, tornado, etc.

And I have no idea how the payout compares to actual value. I don't think I've ever had a home insurance claim in the 23 years I've owned my home.
It matters if you are in a flood zone if you are purchasing a flood insurance policy (I used to be an agent). Unfortunately, there (in my opinion) is never a good coverage option for basement flooding. You can buy additional Backup of Sewer and drain that will pay more than standard (I think mine will pay $5k vs. $2500) but that's still a drop in the bucket when it comes to real flood damage.
 

sammyj61

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Really sorry to hear about the brewery!

Like most have already said, I would toss any and all plastic that was exposed to the flood waters. Any scratches on the plastic that were present before or happened during the flood now can harbor unwanted critters. As you are painfully aware, your equipment was also exposed to some nasty stuff and plastic is permeable to many chemicals.

As far as any stainless goes, wash it really well and sanitize. You should be good to go from there. Good luck!
 

jonnyv

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Sorry man, that sucks. Connellsville is my wife's hometown, her parents sent us some pretty crazy pictures. Looked like a hell of an ordeal; one picture showed a large junk of road washed away. Good luck getting everything back to normal.
 
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