Backyard Brew Shed / Bar

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Steven Sinclair

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So, I've finally pestered the wife enough to where she's finally given in and is allowing me to build the brew shed / bar in the back yard.

:ban:

Persistence is key, right?! (lol)

Anyway, I have enough room in the back corner of the yard for a 12' x 16' shed. I've spent hours looking at different backyard brew shed builds and backyard bar builds, but never a combination of both in such a small footprint.

Ideally, I'd like to have a brewing area (15gal electric setup), a cold storage area, a bar area (at least 3 stools), and a half-bath. The shed would be built so that the 16' dimension would be the front and the entrance(s) needs to be on that wall (see image below). The half bath could have a separate external entrance and/or an internal entrance.

If any of all y'all have time to submit suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Ideas?

Thanks in advance.

Cheers!

basic.shed.footprint.jpg
 

2hennepin6

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I have no good input other than it sounds like a great idea and where are you located? 3-4 season operation in VT or MN vs. AZ or FL for example might elicit different specs.
 
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Steven Sinclair

Steven Sinclair

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I have no good input other than it sounds like a great idea and where are you located? 3-4 season operation in VT or MN vs. AZ or FL for example might elicit different specs.
Located in Oregon (zone 6a/6b). We do get snow and have seen down to -40, but the shed will be well insulated and have it's own HVAC, so temperature (hot or cold) won't be a concern. Thanks again.
 

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Generically speaking, see what can be combined, and it might be easier to share the space.

* Can you brew on the same table you'd serve food on, maybe brew on the bar. Maybe not brew on it, with that setup, but maybe the bar can hold your crap for the brew day - a place to rest thermometers, hoses, and so on.
* Can you use a single sink and faucet for everything, washing bar glasses and cleaning brew stuff?

Another random thought - probably want some nice looking storage for the small stuff, stainless pots or fermenters will look cool by a bar area, but the thermometers and hoses here could detract.

For the half bath, I'd be thinking about the door. Will it go in or out, will it prevent you from putting some shelves up in a spot you'd really want them, could it be a bifold or even a pocket door to stay totally out of the way?

Anything you can stack is good, go vertical to save floor space.
 

Deadalus

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Will you need a permit? Tiny houses get away with not needing one based on size (square feet). 12x12 is a common limit but check your town codes. Consider where you are locating the shed and where you sewer lines run (septic or city). A half bath will have some minimum footprint code wise. Even if ordnances are less strict, it's nice to follow code in case you have guests with physical limitations. For an electric setup, I would expect that you would need a subpanel with a line run and probably underground?

Sounds like you are wanting the bar to be available year round and not just a summer outside bar but if you could maybe incorporate a spot to add additional summer seating on the exterior side could be nice too. If the bar area was perpendicular to the wall, maybe a window opening there.

My brew rig is a 24X72 SS table on wheels, 3v all keggles. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten away with 60" not sure about 48" but maybe. Electric and building it custom you don't have to rely on a standard tabletop size.

A deep sink is super handy and personally I wish for at least a 2 compartment sink so I could soak things in one and still clean in the other. If you got hampered for space, you could maybe put an outside sink on the backside with a little overhang.

If you want a 3 person bar, design space for a chair position is somewhere on the web, I looked it up once but don't remember it. (I am building some chairs for my own keezer bar and saw it referenced.)

Are you perhaps thinking of a walk-in type cooler as cold storage? Something for your kegs at least and then a system for fermentation temperature control.

If needed, I like the idea of the pocket door or possible folding doors although in my experience folding doors tent to break easy. An outside door provides a little privacy but when it rains you get wet.

Sounds like a cool project. Keep us appraised!
 
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Steven Sinclair

Steven Sinclair

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* Can you brew on the same table you'd serve food on, maybe brew on the bar. Maybe not brew on it, with that setup, but maybe the bar can hold your crap for the brew day - a place to rest thermometers, hoses, and so on.
Yes, technically, I could brew on the same table on which food is served, but wasn't really planning on serving food from the brew shed.

* Can you use a single sink and faucet for everything, washing bar glasses and cleaning brew stuff?
Yes, technically, I could get away with a single-vessel sink, but would prefer the traditional 3-vessel (wash, rinse, sanitize).

Another random thought - probably want some nice looking storage for the small stuff, stainless pots or fermenters will look cool by a bar area, but the thermometers and hoses here could detract.
Yes, with the 7 foot stainless table, the 15 gallon, 4-vessel brewery, and the 6 Spike CF10 fermenters, I think I'm okay as pertains to the "bling" factor. (lol)

For the half bath, I'd be thinking about the door. Will it go in or out, will it prevent you from putting some shelves up in a spot you'd really want them, could it be a bifold or even a pocket door to stay totally out of the way?
With the half bath or any bathroom in general, I've never been a fan of pocket doors...they just seem less private. Two entrances are planned...one from outside and one from within. Both doors will swing inward. Code states the swing of the doors can cross over other door swings because both would never be open at the same time. This is the smallest footprint I could think of for the half bath...

small.half.bath.jpg


Anything you can stack is good, go vertical to save floor space.
Yes, the plan is to have much vertical storage.

Thanx.
 

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How big is the toilet wall to front edge of the bowl(depth), about 30"? I can't read the top and bottom wall dimension but the left/right is 4'6", or 54". If you think about that center front point of the toilet, it is 15" from the wall right and say 30" from the back wall. The door frame will be about 3" off the right wall. That would be the door hinge placement. You could draw a right triangle that is 12" wide and 24" deep and the hypotenouse would be about the maximum width of the door ~26.83". That's if you want it to swing in. Also, you can get a smaller toilet than 30". A wall mount for instance too but the wall depth I think is different and they seem to be more expensive. Door swinging to the outside and you could go shorter than 54", toilet depth + 21".

I think you could make a narrow rectangle, sink depth + 21" + toilet depth as one side length, toilet and sink opposite ends, narrow rectangle side 30", doors on the long sides opening out. Door is not code required to open in is it? Make sure you put in a strong fan haha! I think this could work but always run it past the inspector beforehand and it may not work out with the rest of the plans or even look the way you want. I don't think the spaces in front of the fixtures have to be independent. They just need to satisfy the maximum. (I think showers have a width on the entrance bigger than 24"? No matter here though.)
 
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Steven Sinclair

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I've attached an image of what I have so far. Let me know what you think. I'm open to any suggestions you might have. I may be able to design a beer, but I just don't think I have what it takes to design a space in which to create said beer. (lol) In addition, I don't think 12x16 is large enough, but you have to work with what you have, right? Cheers!
 

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If you move the door for the walk-in cooler down some, i.e. to the middle of the wall, you'd be able to line things up on that top wall under the HVAC. Seems like it'd give you more storage space.

Maybe lay out the bathroom with tape somewhere, and see if the size feels OK. Looks small but might be just fine. If needed you could expand it (vertically on the sketch) Double sink would get closer to the brew rig but it might be worth it.

I don't see any flat table space, but maybe you're going under the brew rig for that? I always need a spot to put crap. But you'd know your own brew needs.

It seems a bit segmented. Enclosing the bathroom and cooler are necessary of course but if they were on the same wall (maybe the right side on the sketch) the rest of the area would be a lot more open and feel bigger?

Any sink or storage or frig or anything at the bar? I suppose if it's just beer on tap from the side of the cooler you're good to go (and of course this is a good reason to have it nearby, not on the other wall).

Will you have an awning or something for shade, or keeping rain off the bar stools when they are in use or even when they are not used?

Just thoughts, for what they are worth. Not all will be good ones :)
 
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Steven Sinclair

Steven Sinclair

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Enclosing the bathroom and cooler are necessary of course but if they were on the same wall (maybe the right side on the sketch) the rest of the area would be a lot more open and feel bigger?
I've always wanted the half-bath and the cooler on the same wall, but was worried I wouldn't be able to push the beer that far. Is that possible? Thanx again.

Just thoughts, for what they are worth. Not all will be good ones :)
Trust me, if the thoughts are not my thoughts, they're most likely better! :p
 

Deadalus

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Ideas (keep any you like discard the rest)

Swing the outside bar seating around the corner to the door side. You'd have an 8-9' section of wall to work with. This would make your bar area wider visually. You'd be looking at your taps and I suspect you have personalized plans for the taps as most do. The fermenters in the bar area could then go on the wall where the seating currently is. You'd be utilizing the wall space, the corner left of the tap for the conicals. There would be a slightly better view towards your brew rig too. This would create an option for interior seating.

I like that short wall in front of the bathroom door for privacy, that was a good idea!

If you could move the walk-in door towards the taps, keeping the same wall, and have the door swing towards the entrance door, you would free up that wall under the HVAC unit for storage or a conical or two. Alternatively, you could put shelving along the wall to the left of the walk-in door.

Consider having one or two sideboards on the sink for draining items.

If you get to completely rearranging, one thing that sticks out slightly is that the middle is open space. I think this happens because you have divided the building up into quadrants. In my house the kitchen is small and when we remodeled it, we were able to create more counter space by adding in a peninsula. You've done it with the short wall in front of the bathroom for instance. A potential way to add more wall space in the brewing area could be to put a full glass wall halfway down the middle of the room from the HVAC unit. Or a half wall with or without glass above it. You could maybe then turn your brew rig 90 degrees. Defining that area well will help the tile you are going to put in so you can have a floor drain;).
 

archi77

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Check with your local inspector about minimum door widths. Your first sketch showed 21" doors into the toilet room. Our local inspector said 24" minimum, with 30" recommended for "comfort". The main door into the kitchen doesn't list a size, but make sure it's big enough to get equipment in and out, etc. (there may also be a minimum for egress, too.) I would recommend 30" minimum, if not 36". Nothing worse than banging your knuckles on the door jamb while carrying something in.
 
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Steven Sinclair

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All doors are 28" doors, but I could expand them to 30". However, that extra 2" does make a difference (heard "that's what she said" off in the distance) as pertains to the associated room size (half-bath).
 
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Steven Sinclair

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Swing the outside bar seating around the corner to the door side.
I'd absolutely love to be able to do this. Unfortunately, along that wall, is the primary walkway, which is only 3' wide. In order to do this, I'd have to shrink the shed from a 12' depth to a 10' depth, and even then it might feel weird for people if others are walking behind them. You know that feeling you get in a bar when the walkway is right behind your chair? I don't know about you, but I can't stand that.

If you get to completely rearranging...
Yeah, I'm doing that now. (lol)
 

shoengine

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There are tons of good ideas in here, but I wanted to chime in and say that definitely don't go with your first design. I think I iterated through a design for times and even after then I made some final adjustments after the fact.

The project looks fun.
 

Deadalus

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I'd absolutely love to be able to do this. Unfortunately, along that wall, is the primary walkway, which is only 3' wide. In order to do this, I'd have to shrink the shed from a 12' depth to a 10' depth, and even then it might feel weird for people if others are walking behind them. You know that feeling you get in a bar when the walkway is right behind your chair? I don't know about you, but I can't stand that.


Yeah, I'm doing that now. (lol)
I know what you mean, I was somewhat reluctant to make the suggestion as the suggested bar area was near the door too and I'd hate to be in that seat! But it was a wider wall.
 
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Steven Sinclair

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I've always wanted the half-bath and the cooler on the same wall, but was worried I wouldn't be able to push the beer that far. Is that possible? Thanx again.
How far can I run the beer lines? If I were to reconfigure in this fashion, the lines would have to run up the inside of the wall in the walk-in, across the ceiling to the opposite side of the building, then down to the outdoor bar seating area. I'm thinking that would be at least 24 feet.
 
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Steven Sinclair

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This is the corner of the back yard where the shed will be built. This might help you understand why I cannot build any larger than the 12' x 16' footprint as well as why doors and such need to be in specific locations as well as "not" be in specific locations. The background brownish color is flowerbeds, then you can see the huge trees, then all the pavers, then the huge gazebo, and finally the firewood storage for the fire pit under the gazebo. Truly, there is no wiggle room.
 

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How far can I run the beer lines? If I were to reconfigure in this fashion, the lines would have to run up the inside of the wall in the walk-in, across the ceiling to the opposite side of the building, then down to the outdoor bar seating area. I'm thinking that would be at least 24 feet.
Ugh. Just about anything is possible, and there are calculators to help, but that could be a stretch (no pun intended). And you certainly won't be keeping the beer very cold. Even with EVA barrier lines I'd start to get nervous at that distance. Lots to consider.

I like the idea of the line lengths being calculated for size and pressure but staying in the walk-in frig, with the beer pouring on the opposite side right through the wall. Others could help w/ a long run but personally I'd probably skip it for this sort of backyard hobby scenario.
 

shoengine

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One thing to remember about long lines is that if you randomly go to drink a pint, the stuff in the line loses carbonation so you'd need to purge the entire length to avoid low carbonation.
 

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I'm throwing a spanner in the works here, because I want to do something similar someday. Same idea as yours, but a different shape, with an outdoor seating area and the bathroom in a corner. I love this shape (although I'd build is a tad larger than this), with the bar in one corner and with an outdoor (undercover) patio where you can sit as well. Drew this up quickly to give you an idea of what I have in mind:



 

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I applaud your initiative. I have a 4x8 (outside dimensions) walk-in-cooler that I built. For me, here is what I would change: First think of your refrigeration. Mine uses a CoolBot and a 8000BTU window AC unit to cool. The CoolBot is great! The AC unit does a great job at cooling but it's noisy and the fan has to stay on all the time. The condenser kicks in when it's cooling. Second I would make it larger for a few reasons - trying to move my CF5 and CF10 around in there is difficult due to the inside dimensions. Also if you are using a window unit you need to have at least 20" of clearance in front and below the unit for proper air flow. Right now I have my CF10 fermenting what I hope to be a Huckleberry Hefeweizen and 7 kegs of beer that are ready to drink. It's pretty tight in there. Third I would put it directly on the floor. Mine is "box" built with 2x6 and 3/4" plywood that is on low profile wheels for moving around. The height from the the concrete floor to the height of the cooler floor is 9.5". May not seem like a lot; however, when you are lifting conicals into there for fermenting and out of there after fermenting, it can be difficult. Fourth I would probably switch to a 6000BTU unit rather than the 8000BTU unit.
 

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Ideally, I'd like to have a brewing area (15gal electric setup), a cold storage area, a bar area (at least 3 stools), and a half-bath.

If any of all y'all have time to submit suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.

Ideas?
Just wondering, what is the budget for this project? If you were just brewing, you could let the cleaning water (grey water) soak into the ground (this is legal in many places) but since you are putting in a bathroom, you'll have to extend the sewer line out to the back yard.
You'll also have to run the sewer line through the basement wall and possible have to jackhammer the basement floor (if there is one) to tap into the sewer line. If the basement or lower level is finished, this of course will add to your costs.
This is the first thing to look into and the cost may bust your budget, or you may decide to skip the bathroom.
Also, in zone 6, you'll have to heat the building to avoid freezing your water lines, so the annual cost will be something to consider. You may be better off adding a room on to the house, where you can easily tap into the plumbing, electric and heat. A room addition will also boost the value of the home if you decide to sell, where the brewing shed likely won't change the value.
 

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Anyway you can split the serving / bar area off into the house? Save you the cost of a new toilet and associated plumbing. You can put a kegerator in place with short lines.

Also the fermentation space is much easier to handle.

I get that it is not ideal to your first plan, but it makes everything easier. The only penalty is dragging kegs from outside to inside. But both spaces can be optimised for their function, one brewing, one serving and they are one is not compromised for the other.
 

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I would imaging he has a way to have beers on tap in the house currently and would still want that ability in the winter months. I drag 5 gallon kegs from my brew garage to the house and keep the half barrel kegs in the garage. I don't mind going out in the cold to get my beers but the wife's beers have to be in the house where it is nice and warm. I would like to know the program he is using to draw up these plans. I've tried a few and they were very complicated. He has things like he label his CF10's has the images on the tops of the kegs with sizes, taps, drip tray and rinser and even saw tri-clamps on the CF10's.
 
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Steven Sinclair

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I'm amazed at and grateful for all the ideas presented (most of which I hadn't even considered).

tracer bullet and shoengine, with what you've presented, I'll definitely be keeping the tap heads immediately off the cooler. Just doesn't make sense to have to deal with all those calculations and purging all that beer if the lines sit idle for any length of time. I'll save the calculations for formula creation.

Toxxyc, thanks for the drawings (what software makes that 3D render? very cool!). I like the way the half bath is laid out. I'll see if I can work with that sort of layout.

orono, yes, constantly having to relocate the fermenters would be a pain. I was thinking somewhere around 8' x 4' would be large enough for the cooler, but perhaps I need to make it larger. Yes, I had thought about just keeping the fermenters in the cooler, but they're already equipped with the heating and cooling harware and I have the BrewBuilt IceMaster Max 4 glycol chiller and that thing is a monster. Can't believe how it manages to keep 4 conicals at perfect temperature so easily. In addition, it assist in dropping my wort, following whirlpool, so quickly.

madscientist451, budget is inconsequential. No problem getting power, water, and sewer access/connections as all 3 are available right off the path going straight down from the shed in the drawing. Very easy access and I'll be doing all the work myself. The most difficult part of the whole thing is ensuring I'll have enough power available for the shed (between everything I've considered so far, that's at least 125A (60 of that is just the brew rig).

RufusBrewer, it would definitely be easier (power, water, sewer) to be able to expand directly off the house, but not feasible due to how the house is laid out with respect to footprint, lot size, set-backs, and code. Funny that the local code enforcement has issues with that, but not with me moving forward with the shed plan. Pointless bureaucracy, am I right?

superiorsat, I only have a single old-fashioned kegerator in the house, so the whole idea is to have the bar/brew shed/pub/whatever you want to call it, out where we spend most of our time with family and friends. As for the program I'm using to draw up the plans, it's just good ol' Visio. As for the detail, it's sad to say I spend WAY too much time hand drawing everything because I'm never able to find any of the shapes...most likely because no one makes the ones I'm working with. (lol) If you (or anyone for that matter) is using Visio and would like any of the shapes I've created, just let me know and I'll send 'em on over.

Anyway, thanks again for all the great ideas. It's back to the drawing board for me to see what I can come up with now.
 

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For a point of reference, here are a few pics of the half bath off our laundry/mud room at our farm house. The interior dimensions are exactly 48”x48” and the layout is the same as the op’s, minus the door opposite the toilet.

We built this house in 1981. It’s in a very rural area and at that time the only inspections needed were for the electrical and septic systems. So, the bath doesn’t meet current codes, but could, just barely, with a smaller vanity. There is 21” in front of the toilet but the clearance to the adjacent wall is only 8” and to the vanity 5”. The door is 24”. It’s tight but workable.
C2F5A0BE-F204-4DA8-B924-2A5A0A69D5A4.jpeg
DA06E19B-4E21-4E5E-934B-46874FB122AC.jpeg
8B9FFAC5-3DD3-4A83-92E6-A1F45EC6D432.jpeg
EC2EF8EC-A61F-4BCD-A026-49C538530E0F.jpeg
 

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One thing to remember about long lines is that if you randomly go to drink a pint, the stuff in the line loses carbonation so you'd need to purge the entire length to avoid low carbonation.
explain...the lines are pressurized to the same PSI. There should be no headspace or "air pockets" in the lines.
 

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They should all stay the same pressure inside, agreed. What I wouldn't be interested in is trying to re-chill the beer after it ran through that much line in a potentially warm space (wall or ceiling). I suppose it'd work in the winter but could get cold enough to freeze perhaps (it'll happen in some parts of the country i.e. here in MN). I would be eternally disappointed if the first beer every night from every line was a warm one.

I was thinking for the bath - who uses it? If it was just the brewer then it's a place to pee and the door stays open, and who cares. But yeah sounds like guests are over, maybe often and maybe stay a while, so the bathroom should be reasonably comfortable since they'll definitely be using it. If that factors on "how comfortable" it ought to be.

For the roof, consider having it slope away from where people might sit, so there's not a mud puddle nearby. More random thoughts, haha. A flat front over the bar window could be a place for a future sign or something fun.
 

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the lines are pressurized to the same PSI. There should be no headspace or "air pockets" in the lines
Solubility of carbon dioxide is a function of temperature. If the the beer stays at the same pressure and temperature in the line, the carbon dioxide will not come out of solution. If the temperature rises, but the pressure stays constant the CO2 will come out of solution and you get a pour of foam until you purge the line with cool beer.

Looking at the OPs plans, he'll be fine as his kegs and draft lines are in a cool room. If he decides to put the taps on the bar, he'll need to run glycol-cooled lines from the cool room to the bar to keep the beer cool and carbonated.
 

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How about this as a design process: Start with an ideal design or layout. Disregard any defined limitations of the size. Figure out what you want where. Then go through and start to reduce the room dimensions. Make compromises as required to accommodate the reductions. You will end up with the optimum design for the space available.
 

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How about this as a design process: Start with an ideal design or layout. Disregard any defined limitations of the size. Figure out what you want where. Then go through and start to reduce the room dimensions. Make compromises as required to accommodate the reductions. You will end up with the optimum design for the space available.
Dang. Tried this exercise multiple times, but still can't get things to work. The three components that are hindering progress are...

7' x 2' Stainless steel table
4' x 2' Stainless steel 2 bin sink
5' x 5' Walk-in cooler

Can't change the sizes of the table or sink, but any smaller and the walk-in becomes basically unusable.

And, that doesn't even take into consideration the fermenters, glycol chiller, grain mill, grain storage containers, etc. Guess the only solution is to add another 2,000 square feet to my back yard. Anyone have a portable hole I can use?

:p
 

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There is never enough room for sure. Keep at it. Even if you have to mill elsewhere and lug the buckets to the back yard you would have had to lug unmilled grain back there anyway. I mill in my brew garage but the dust makes me wish I did it somewhere else.
 
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Steven Sinclair

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There is never enough room for sure. Keep at it. Even if you have to mill elsewhere and lug the buckets to the back yard you would have had to lug unmilled grain back there anyway. I mill in my brew garage but the dust makes me wish I did it somewhere else.
Yeah, at this point I'm really struggling. I'm rapidly approaching the point in which the new shed will either be a production facility OR a pub shed. I'm going to work on it for another week or so, then the hard decision shall be made. Besides, I'm sure the wifey would love it more if it were ONLY a pub shed so she could invite people over to our bar. (lol)
 
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Steven Sinclair

Steven Sinclair

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Wow. Those look really good. Is it a single image or is it modular?
I drew each of the components (tri-clamps, housing, band, etc.), then grouped them together into one image. I really wish I could get around wasting so much time on that kind of stuff and embrace the "good enough" idealogy.
o_O
If you use Visio and want these, PM me your email and I'll send 'em your way.
 
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