Brewery Design / Ventilation Advice Needed

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varnerchris

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Hey everyone, long time lurker, first time poster!

I wanted to get some advice on how to properly vent a basement brewery, or advice on how you might rearrange to make ventilation easier. I have uploaded a few pictures of the current layout (which im not tied to as i have yet to place any electric. But out of simplicity I would not like to move too much.

Currently I have the "Brew station on the west wall and would like to set up a way to vent outside on the east wall. My major concerns would be ceiling height (7' 3") and the ductwork running along the ceiling. The other solution I am considering is shifting everything clockwise (washer and dryer where the storage rack is, storage rack moving to butt west wall, and moving the brewing table to where the washer and dry currently are to vent right out the window alongside the dryer) this solution comes with its own set of problems (running gas, and water further for the washer and dryer etc)

I would love to hear any advice anyone has on a solution, or advice on how to best set this brewery up. Thanks for any feedback, and please let me know if you have any questions.
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Deadalus

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If you decide against the steam condensor mentioned...It appears your washing machine drains into the utility sink. You might have a standpipe behind the washer, it's tall but I'm thinking no. Where does the sink drain pipe go? Looks like you have old plumbing, the water lines are galvanized are your drain lines cast iron? If you move the washer away from the sink you would need a stand pipe with a trap that is 2"pipe. And I bet the sink is only 1 1/2". If the sink waste line does not head towards that corner, you are probably going to have difficulties moving the washer. I had the same plumbing, converted the galvanized to pex but still working on the cast iron and the washing machine is a major thorn that I only just found a solution to without jack hammering the floor.

If you rotate the washer and dryer to where the storage rack is you will still need the space in front of them to open the doors. You would need to shift the pair even further right by the width of the brewing table.

You could stack the washer and dryer but not right there with the duct work and maybe not your particular models. That's duct work right where the wall and ceiling behind the washer meet? Your drawing suggests an overhead duct that is offset from the east wall. (I will stick with east but wouldn't the left side be west?)
 
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varnerchris

varnerchris

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If you decide against the steam condensor mentioned...It appears your washing machine drains into the utility sink. You might have a standpipe behind the washer, it's tall but I'm thinking no. Where does the sink drain pipe go? Looks like you have old plumbing, the water lines are galvanized are your drain lines cast iron? If you move the washer away from the sink you would need a stand pipe with a trap that is 2"pipe. And I bet the sink is only 1 1/2". If the sink waste line does not head towards that corner, you are probably going to have difficulties moving the washer. I had the same plumbing, converted the galvanized to pex but still working on the cast iron and the washing machine is a major thorn that I only just found a solution to without jack hammering the floor.

If you rotate the washer and dryer to where the storage rack is you will still need the space in front of them to open the doors. You would need to shift the pair even further right by the width of the brewing table.

You could stack the washer and dryer but not right there with the duct work and maybe not your particular models. That's duct work right where the wall and ceiling behind the washer meet? Your drawing suggests an overhead duct that is offset from the east wall. (I will stick with east but wouldn't the left side be west?)
Wow, you pretty much found all the problems I have without ever stepping into my basement! The washer does drain into the utility sink, which drains to the sump pump out the sewer. What was your solution for moving the washing machine?

That's ductwork right where the wall and ceiling behind the washer meet? Your drawing suggests an overhead duct that is offset from the east wall. (I will stick with east but wouldn't the left side be west?)
Yes, the ductwork is overhead offset from the (east to me) wall, so the washer and dryer would not stack. What were your solutions? I can provide more information when I get home this evening if you want to see more specifics.
 

KBW PilotHouse

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Wow, you pretty much found all the problems I have without ever stepping into my basement! The washer does drain into the utility sink, which drains to the sump pump out the sewer. What was your solution for moving the washing machine?



Yes, the ductwork is overhead offset from the (east to me) wall, so the washer and dryer would not stack. What were your solutions? I can provide more information when I get home this evening if you want to see more specifics.
Any way you can leave washer in place and use existing washer standpipe? You could pull out washer drain hose and insert drain hose for brewing system. I did this in my garage where the water softener discharge standpipe is located and had great success. I added a PVC piping extension to shorten brew discharge length - it’s easily removed from washer standpipe when done. Just a thought…

Cheers 🍻
 

Deadalus

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Wow, you pretty much found all the problems I have without ever stepping into my basement! The washer does drain into the utility sink, which drains to the sump pump out the sewer. What was your solution for moving the washing machine?



Yes, the ductwork is overhead offset from the (east to me) wall, so the washer and dryer would not stack. What were your solutions? I can provide more information when I get home this evening if you want to see more specifics.
I had a feeling that the sink was tied into the sump pump. Sump pumps aren't anything I ever had to deal with but when I checked on them yesterday, there were different options presented as to where they drain. If yours goes to the sewer line it would seem no harm no foul about changing the drain line but it might be grandfathered in some fashion so you would want to check with your local codes. If you can literally just run the drain into the sump well in the floor, you could put a 2" (or greater diameter) stand pipe in. Drain slope is 1/4" per foot. Stand pipes have to have a trap, so some minimum height for the trap arm and there code dimensions for stand pipes. You need the height at which the drain line is going to enter the sump pump (floor?) and the distance from the trap.

The problem I have is I need a new 2" stand pipe because I have a front loader washer, HE, like you do. The washer pumps so quickly into the 1 1/2" drain that it will add water to the bottom of the utility sink located in the garage (same wall, other side). The current stand pipe drains along the wall and takes a 90 degree turn and then drains into the main stack which is cast iron. It connects right at the floor to a tee fitting. Then I have two more street fittings above that, with no regular pipe. For the longest time, I was only aware of the solution to use a no hub coupling to connect PVC to cast iron. Because of the distance of the washer from the main stack, all the additional fittings, no wall space available, and doorways, no matter what I could think of would work besides jack hammering the floor to get to straight pipe under the fitting. I have been putting this off for years until I remodel the downstairs bathroom.

Recent washer troubles had me thinking I would be able to just put the standpipe high enough to clear the first fitting and then go PVC from there, but dimensions listed for stand pipes seemed to preclude this. What I finally discovered though is that I can make the cast iron fitting to PVC connection using a Fernco donut. It fits inside the bell of the CI fitting and the PVC pipe goes into it. Most times when a cast iron to PVC connection is needed, the solution offered was the no hub coupling, which is cast iron pipe to PVC pipe. Precise measurements are called for on the donut. There is no weld of any kind, no oakum, no solder, no primer, no glue and no screws.

You can transition your water lines to either copper or pex or maybe even CPVC using NPT sizes. Your galvanized pipes are either 1/2" or 3/4" NPT. For pex, a 1/2" NPT x barb fitting if you are going to crimp it. I have the tool. but you could use a sharkbite fitting. Copper, pex, CPVC, they all have fittings available where one side is NPT.

Gas lines are also NPT. A little more trouble in that if you don't have a pipe threader you may need some extra couplings. Can be a little more difficult if you need to add something in the middle of a line. Extending the line is about as easy as it could get but I've done gas line work before working for my brother who is an excellent plumber. Caution really needs to be exercised there, call a pro depending on your skill set.
 

RufusBrewer

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I am not a fan of work arounds and temp set up situations

What would it take to get your brewing exhaust water to go directly into the sump pump? Seems to me a run of 2" PVC pipe could set you up with a one time set and forget. If you sell the house, remove the PVC and you are good.

I would work hard to avoid a steam condenser design. They are a brilliant solution to a problem. But if you have the ability to avoid the problem in the first place, I would.

Unless you are boiling large batches, venting solutions are not that daunting. Figure out where and how you can vent out of the basement and then figure out the best point to create a convenient path of venting. The CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) requirement for a 10 gallon batch is not a huge volume. Do your research, see what is available and what solutions you are comfortable fabricating.
 

Bobby_M

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I would work hard to avoid a steam condenser design. They are a brilliant solution to a problem. But if you have the ability to avoid the problem in the first place, I would.
In my humble opinion, the steam condenser beats ventilation in almost every regard unless water usage is your deal breaker. The "problem" is excess steam in a confined space. The solution is either Venting or Condensing.

1. Noise.
2. Condensation dripping from ductwork if CFM too low for outside temp.
3. Need for makeup air ingress (may come from your water heater or furnace flue if you don't open a window)
4. Loss of conditioned airspace (heat loss in winter, cold air ingress)
5. Cost
6. Noise
7. Noise
 

RufusBrewer

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In my humble opinion, the steam condenser beats ventilation in almost every regard unless water usage is your deal breaker. The "problem" is excess steam in a confined space. The solution is either Venting or Condensing.

1. Noise.
2. Condensation dripping from ductwork if CFM too low for outside temp.
3. Need for makeup air ingress (may come from your water heater or furnace flue if you don't open a window)
4. Loss of conditioned airspace (heat loss in winter, cold air ingress)
5. Cost
6. Noise
7. Noise
Good points. And to be fair to the condenser positive crowd, I have never I brewed using the condenser technique. I have been lucky to brew in garages in California. I have never brewed in doors with a ventilation system. I do not know how heroic a system has to be to be accecptable.
 

boilermaker

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Lots of good opinions here so I'll thrown in mine. Condensate hoods (air ventilation) and the steam condenser Bobby mentions both have their pros and cons, including cost and how much effort it takes to set each system up. I just refinished my basement and installed a brewery so I've gone through this thought process recently. I suggest researching both options and decide what's best for you. What you absolutely DON'T want to do is not do anything to handle steam during the boil. Moisture damage and mold are serious issues, .and unlike a kitchen, basements have crappy ventilation to begin with.

If I were you, I would swap that storage rack next to your dryer with your brew space. Moving your brewing table there puts you close to that window and minimizes ventilation ducting if you go that route. You could also fairly easily run a water line (or hose) along that east wall, behind or above your washer/dryer, to your kettle when boiling for a steam condenser. Justy my $0.02.
 
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