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Need help with constructing dedicated brewing room

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max4677

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My wife and I are building a house and she is giving me a dedicated(ish) room to brew in. Here is the floor plan of the house. The area I am getting is the storage room off of the garage. We already are making the following changes:

The wall behind the washer and dryer will not be there.
The open area to the garage will be walled off.
The washer/dryer/laundry tub are going to be lined up along the "northern" wall.
A dedicated propane line will be run to the room to facilitate the use of a mini stove/oven.
A door will be placed on the "eastern" wall somewhere in the middle.
I don't think the window in the laundry room will be there.

Any ideas on how to store things like carboys, kegs, new chest freezer, etc would be greatly appreciated.
 

Bobby_M

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I'd look at this two different ways. First, if you wall off that storage area, you could make it into a cold room for lagering and serving. Being on an outside wall easily facilitates the air conditioning unit. You could then brew in the garage itself on a rig that wheels out of the way. Second, although I wouldn't recommend running a propane burner in a small room like that, it could be done with a huge exhaust fan. Don't assume that you'll be satisfied with the typical burner on a stove in the long run. You could consider going with electric heating and if you do, plan ahead for a minimum 220v, 30a subpanel.
 

WortMonger

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If at all possible make a shower-like setup of a floor and put a drain in for easy cleanup (if you can get a through style with a cover it makes dumping kegs so easy). As far as other spaces are concerned, be sure to use your vertical space as much as possible. Rubbermaid trash barrels make for good storage and they stack. A vent-hood routed to exhaust air out of your house is a great idea as well. Cover your wall and ceiling spaces with an easy to clean, non-porous surface like plastic sheathing or something. The easier you make it to clean the cleaner it will be. Also, make sure all your electrical is above your waste so spraying your floor down won't be any problem.
 
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Bobby_M said:
I'd look at this two different ways. First, if you wall off that storage area, you could make it into a cold room for lagering and serving. Being on an outside wall easily facilitates the air conditioning unit. You could then brew in the garage itself on a rig that wheels out of the way. Second, although I wouldn't recommend running a propane burner in a small room like that, it could be done with a huge exhaust fan. Don't assume that you'll be satisfied with the typical burner on a stove in the long run. You could consider going with electric heating and if you do, plan ahead for a minimum 220v, 30a subpanel.
ITA.

Laundry throws the ambient and humidity in all kinds of directions depending on the seasons.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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I agree with the surfacing. Tile everything or at least find something than can be sprayed down. It would be so nice to be able to clean industrial style. I would for sure route 220 power and gas to that room. I would also route internet and cable for brew days!

I think setting the room up with a well sealing door and an air recirculating system is a good idea to keep CO from building up as with a dedicated room you WILL definitely be upgrading your system (if I am any judge of homebrewers).:rockin:

Awesome project, can't wait to see some pics.

I would design a brewstand/cabinet system for one of the walls (maybe even built in?) that could hold all of your brewday equipment. Then I would have a separate section for fermentation/serving (temperature controlled and what not.

Something else you could look into would be UV impenetrable glass for all windows and doors. I have seen this stuff on wine fridges and always thought it would be really cool to use for a brew room. That way you can have daylight inside the room with no fear of oxidation. I have not tested this but it may be worth a look.

Cheers
 
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max4677

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Basically we are combining the existing laundry room and the storage room into one bigger room so there won't be any access to the garage itself without going outside unfortunately.

Our house is going to be propane heated (no NG service), but the dryer will be electric. Putting in a vent hood afterwards shouldn't be too bad with some help. Obviously I'd like to do it all at once during construction, but finances might not allow. Maybe we can still get away with a drain in the floor. The flooring material will be vynil so clean up in that department shouldn't be too bad.

I am still doing 5 gallon batches for the foreseeable future and my natural gas stove now works pretty well. I do have an outdoor burner for larger batches if I move in that direction, but that won't be for a while.

Is it possible to get storage racks like the ones Lowes and HD use for water bottles? Can they hold 6 or 6.5 gallon carboys as well?
 

Joker

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I would set this up much differently so I will just add my .02 to give you another perspective.

1) I would not rearrange the layout at all. Keep the laundry room separate from the brewery.

2) I would put a janitor basin along the wall behind the washer and dryer. I would also tap off the hot and cold water lines running to the washer and install a faucet and a hand held shower.

3) Since lagering is such a long process I would not set that room up for the purpose but make sure there is power on the wall separating the garage from the laundry for a converted chest freezer.

4) Possibly add a window to the North wall of the storage for extra light and cross ventilation if you plan to brew back in that corner. I would do built in lower cabinets on that wall for a workspace and an area to store equipment.
 

abracadabra

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Make sure any electric outlets are fed thru a GFI outlet or circuit breaker.

In addition to any exhaust fan or hood make sure you have an inlet for fresh air as well.

In a closed space a CO (carbon monoxide) monitor is always a good idea.

Some type of fermentation closet that you can heat and or cool is great to have.

I like having a separate brewing and fermenting area if you can swing that you'll be glad.
 

abracadabra

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Make sure any electric outlets are fed thru a GFI outlet or circuit breaker.

In addition to any exhaust fan or hood make sure you have an inlet for fresh air as well.

In a closed space a CO (carbon monoxide) monitor is always a good idea.

Some type of fermentation closet that you can heat and or cool is great to have.

I like having a separate brewing and fermenting area if you can swing that you'll be glad.
 
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max4677

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Joker said:
I would set this up much differently so I will just add my .02 to give you another perspective.

1) I would not rearrange the layout at all. Keep the laundry room separate from the brewery.
I believe the plans have already been sent to drafting, so the enlarged room is it. But thank you for the ideas.

I agree on your idea with the chest freezer for lagering though. Depending on how much space is in the garage, the chest freezer may end up out there for lagering and dispensing.

It's amazing, the house is nearly double our current one, and I already feel like it's too small! :cross:
 

Bobby_M

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The only other idea I'm going to lay out is whatever you do, make sure you leave yourself a way of not having to carry your carboys a great distance between the brew area and fermenting area. That's a huge PITA to overlook.
 
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max4677

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Well I was hoping that as long as temperatures are consistently warm enough in there that would serve both functions. Lagers would need a temp controlled chest freezer or something.
 

5 Is Not Enough

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Utilities, utilities, utilities...

I like what bobby_m said in his 1st post, consider electric heating/cooking in the small room. Have it wired in 1st! And make sure you have service to handle it.

Also as stated GFCIs, propane, water, sewer and ventilation are all key. Even if you decide for electric boiling, you will want to remove the humidity from the room to protect your new home from excess moisture.

I'd definitely consider solid surface countertops and commercial cabinets, SS if you can afford them.

A hose bib for hot and cold water have really come in handy for me.

Lots of lighting, shadowless fluorescents work well and are energy efficient.

If you can swing a separate climate control (even an electric baseboard heater and window A/C - with dedicated circuits wired in), it will be much better as a fermentation room.

I think I'd keep the washer/dryer and brewroom separate, IMO
 

homebrewer_99

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I use an older laminated wider "bar" section of a kitchen counter top for my counter top...it's just sitting on top of older kitchen cabinets because I have it over a sump pump hole (covered).

You can buy these at almost any length for a decent price. Easy to spray down when sanitizing etc. ;)
 
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max4677

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That's an interesting thing to do HB99. I might look into that in the future. For now I have a couple of plastic topped folding tables from Home Depot that will probably stand in for now.

The electric will be handled separately through the builder's electrician, so I will be sure to tell him to put in plenty of service with gfci breakers. I will likely have to put in the vent after the build (boo) for the stove since I'm not seven sure I can use the one my father in law has. It's pretty old.

Unfortuantely, I don't have much choice in the sharing of the laundry room at this point. I'm just glad I'm not doing it outside or in a brand new kitchen at this point. :)

I think one thing I will do is put up a peg board on at least one wall to sotre things like paddles, small pots, etc. The more I keep organized the better.

I'll be sure to post pics when this all gets done. Of course they need to build and we need to get rid of our current house. Anyone looking in the Blackwood, NJ area??? :)
 
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