Unveiling my brewery & garage build

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It's been nearly a year since i first drew up the plans for my new detached garage and brewery. After several design revisions and a good bit of dragging of the feet, construction started this spring. I hired a contractor for a lot of the work, but have been doing as much of it as I can along side him, or on my own. I was especially particular about detail things like plumbing and electrical. After a few months of working evenings and weekends, writing checks, countless runs to the hardware store, lumber yard, rental shop, plumbing supply store, hardware store, electrical supply.. did I say hardware store.. the building and brew space are, well, not done yet. They hare however done enough to introduce to you. The first post will be the building process. Stay tuned for the fun part in subsequent posts.

As many others have said, I've learned so much and gotten so many great ideas from the members of this forum. I hope you enjoy seeing what I have been putting together. Heres to many years of happy brewing. Cheers from Seattle to wherever you are.

:mug:

About the building. It is 19'x26'. 9ft walls with a ridge pole open ceiling design. I'm building it on top of an old slab that we tested for structural integrity, which once hosted a carport - torn down long before we bought the place. This space was just begging for a brewery.

Want to skip the conversation and just see the updates in pictures? See Thread Updates: Update 1 Update 2 Update 3 Update 4 Update 5 Update 6 Update 7 (first real brew day) Update 8 Update 9 Update 10 Update 11 Update 12 Update 13 - Officially done. (enough)



Click here to see a timelapse of the build

I did not get a proper before picture showing the space as it existed, but this is close. The existing slab is solid, though not level or square to the property lines.


The trench to the house to supply water, sewer, natural gas, electrical, and low voltage (data) wiring.


We chipped and removed sections of the existing slab to run utilities into the building, and to create one of my favorite features, the floor drain.


After several weeks of work, it's finally slab pouring day. A little drama as we ordered about 1/2 yard too little concrete. Thankfully we live close by to the supplier and were able to get some more very quickly.


Once the slab is cured, the walls go up quickly.


A quick change to my drawings to lower the roof line, and up went the beam. The building sits up above our yard, and my original design was just too tall. The nice thing about being 'the architect' (hah!) is making a change on the fly is easy.


A benefit of doing a lot of the work myself, and hiring a contractor who is a friend of a friend. I called on my friends for cheap(er) labor. Is it beer time yet?


Taking shape:


Skylights on the South facing roof. Important for our gray Seattle days.


The contractor went home for a few days and let me handle the electrical work. So many decisions. Never too many outlets! It was tedious, but I really enjoyed this part of the project.


The brewing area is starting to take shape. Plumbing, gas, and electrical. I don't do electric brewing, but I put in 60a worth of 220 in case I change my mind.


It's a garage, honest.


Hardy plank siding, going on


I found an custom made exhaust hood that was torn out of a high end home in the area at a local re-used building supply store. It is the *perfect* size for my brew area. The 400cfm fan keeps up pretty well. I couldn't believe my luck.


Fitting the hood before drywall to determine the best height, and do a boil test. This is about the point where I wanted to stop building and start doing the fun work!
 
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Fast forward a few weeks, and the insulation and drywall are 1/2 done. Plumbing is in and operational, and the funcional spaces of the brewery are starting to take shape.


The 5' wide enamled cast iron sink was scored for $40 at the same 2nd hand building supply store as the hood (and hot water heater, and R.O. water filter). I had hoped to find a good deal on a commercial 3 vessel sink, but I'm very happy with this.


Nowhere NEAR done with the building, or the brew setup, but you know it's all about the beer. I had to take a break from the real work on a Saturday afternoon and brew the ceremonial first batch. I wanted something easy that I had brewed many times before, so it's EdWorts's (Garage) Haus Pale Ale


Order #1 (of 4 total) from bargainfittings and brewhardware.com


Pump #1 taking shape.


Brew space really starting to look usable. Stainless steel backing. I had planned to use cheap whiteboard material, but heat was definitely going to be an issue. Stainless sheets were $250 (as opposed to $100 for the white board), and protect the wall from heat, as well as looking infinitely cooler.


Cutting the first keg. This jig was a joy to use.


Boil kettle taking shape. I owe you an update picture. It's since been cleaned up a bit and has a sight glass, return port and thermometer.


Meanwhile, real work continues on the building. It's painting day.

And via the magic of television.. after. We couldn't decide on the color, but had to get it painted. We don't like the blue color of our house very much, but didn't want the garage too clash to badly. In the end we went neutral and boring, but it looks nice enough. The blue door ties in the house color.


Ok that was no fun, back to the good part.


Building the gas manifold. Here we can see the first real signs of influence by JonW's outstanding build. Big props to him, there will be more.


Fire! Natural gas is really easy to work with, and I have been plesantly surprised by these 10-tip jet burners. They can be unruly at full blast, but are easier to control than I expected in the mid range.


I'v been putting this off for a while now, telling myself I don't really need to paint my stand yet. Well, I do. Mild steel is really easy to work with and much cheaper than stainless, but don't skimp or slack on the paint. I enjoyed learning to weld on this stand, though the majority of welds were done by a good friend (who was teaching me at the time) with his cheap wire feed welder. A MIG welder is in my future.



EDIT: January 2012 - After several months of use, I have confirmed my suspicion that pained mild steel diamond plate is not a good idea. I've been unable to keep it from rusting through the paint due to continued exposure to liquid. Go with aluminum, even it it means you have to bolt it on rather than weld it. I will be cutting off the steel plate and replacing it with aluminum soon.

Using an 80 and then 120 grit flapper wheel I sanded down the surface (and removed all the rust that had developed after a couple of 'test brews'. The diamond plate below is also mild steel (I'd suggest aluminum if your welder can handle it - EDIT: See above), and had to be sanded by hand with a sanding block for painting. For the frame I used this paint, thanks to BobbyM and others for the info. Available for $8.99 a can at the local auto parts store, very nice paint to work with.

Painting is complete. 4 coats of the high temp stuff on the frame, and 3 coats of a 'steel base layer' paint for the diamond plate. It looks really nice in person, as it does (I think) in the picture. I borrowed a friends heat gun (basically an industrial strength hair dryer) to help cure the high temp paint. It says to cure in steps at 250ºF, 400ºF, and 600ºF. This heat gun might have gotten me to the 250ºF step, but won't get anywhere close to the higher temps. The next step is to put some pots on the stand and fire up the burners to 'cure' the rest.
 

wSelwyn

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I don't know if I should be happy for you, or angry out of complete jealousy... I'll go with the first one.

Cheers, good sir, on a fabulous beer shelter!
 
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Thanks for your comments! I'll definitely keep the photos coming. We're caught up to present day now, and i'll be updating this thread like a more traditional 'build thread' over the coming weeks. Your thoughts and suggestions are welcome!
 

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Beautiful. Thank you for pictures. /dreaming
 
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Here is a drawing that shows a rough 'final goal' of the project. Of course, everything is open to change as the project progresses. The outdoor kitchen space is something I'm really excited about. It is plumed for natural gas (grill) and hot/cold/drain for a sink. It's also just through the wall from the spot reserved for a keezer, so there may be a hidden outdoor tap in my future.

 

waffle418

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Awesome build!!! Btw, as one who has spent numerous years in the concrete field, you probably ordered the right amount, the readymix plant probably just shorted you.... it happens ALOT!
 

JonW

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Here is a drawing that shows a rough 'final goal' of the project. Of course, everything is open to change as the project progresses. The outdoor kitchen space is something I'm really excited about. It is plumed for natural gas (grill) and hot/cold/drain for a sink. It's also just through the wall from the spot reserved for a keezer, so there may be a hidden outdoor tap in my future.

I love how you completely thought out this area. Man cave, bbq, entertaining area, etc.

Subscribed for more updates! :mug:
 

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Fantastic job. This is bigger than my apartment haha
 
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Thanks all. Welcome to the HBT forums, 241!

JonW, I hope you saw my shout out to you in the second post. More to come as the brew-stand build wraps up.
 

davekippen

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After seeing this epic post, Im going to grab a homebrew and drink my sorrows away.

But seriously, good work man. Very well done. :tank:
 

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I know it's not a real big structure but shouldn't you have truss ties in the top of the trusses ? Maybe you don't there, forgive my ignorance but does it snow much there ?

Pat
 
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looks great. what are the plans for/what did you do for your fermentation setup?
I'm still working on that. As of now I'm fermenting in better bottles in a fermentation chamber in my basement. Right now I'm deciding between picking up a dedicated upright freezer or building a custom fermentation chamber for the garage. Either way, it'll hold better bottles and/or a future stainless conical.

One nice thing, I went with R-21 insulation in the building. It does a great job of keeping the heat in and out, so whatever I use won't have to work as hard.
 
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I know it's not a real big structure but shouldn't you have truss ties in the top of the trusses ? Maybe you don't there, forgive my ignorance but does it snow much there ?

Pat
It's a valid question. I went back and forth with my contractor on this. It's only 19' wide, and we get very little snow here. We ended up going with a ridge pole design to open up the ceiling instead of using trusses. The rafters do have rafter ties where they meet the ridge pole.

Code (at least here) requires anything over 32' wide to use trusses. I'm not an architect or an engineer, but I feel pretty confident in the integrity of this design.
 
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Somehow, I think someone is going to exceed their 200 gallon a year limit. Mums the word.:D
Well the equipment is definitely going to be capable of breaking that capacity.. I don't think my wife and I and our group of friends can drink that much though.. we'll see ;) I did about 100 gallons last year.
 
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I spent a few hours putting the brewery to be back together after painting the stand last night. I'm getting very close to the first real brew day on the full setup now. Never mind the remaining insulation and drywall that needs to be done in the garage.. that can wait!



Fully painted stand, in position and ready for action.


New boil kettle ready for its first brew. Once I get the new MLT cut and drilled, I'll remove these fittings and polish this one at the same time. The return port uses a 45º elbow to create a 'straight out' cam lock connection off to the side. This is another idea I pilfered from JonW (though others have done it). I really like the way the hoses connect in this configuration, and the kettle has a balanced look to it with the sight glass at the opposing 45º position.


Inside the boil kettle. I went with Jaybird's excellent false bottom and stand in here, so that I can use free range hops. Looking forward to trying this out and ditching the hop bag/spider, though I will likely still use them for pellet hopps when I use them (I prefer whole leaf if have the option).


Curing the paint (round 2.) I put a few inches of water in each pot and cranked up the heat to cure the paint as described above (see the heat gun picture.) The flat bottom kettle worked well for this, but the keggle seemed to have concentrated the heat too much on the 'ring' where it contacts the stand, causing some paint to scratch and burn off. Only a few very small spots and not a big deal, but I was a little disappointed to have lost some paint already before even brewing on it. It looks like I'll need to keep a can of this stuff handy for touch ups.


That's it for now. More updates to come! Thanks for your kind words and questions.
 

barhoc11

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So are you planning to grow hops in that trellis area or is that for something else? I gotta give you major credit, you seem to have covered all angles and I am super jealous.
 
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Wow, I'm kind of stunned, barhoc11. I had never considered growing hops there. We haven't decided what to grow on it yet, but hops hadn't even entered the conversation. I have a small hop trellis on the south wall of my house, but this new spot would be perfect for it. The only challenge would be keeping the different varieties separated. I should be able to grow at least 3 varieties on this trellis though. And with that, I proclaim that Hops will be grown on this trellis. I owe you a beer.
 

barhoc11

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Wow, I'm kind of stunned, barhoc11. I had never considered growing hops there. We haven't decided what to grow on it yet, but hops hadn't even entered the conversation. I have a small hop trellis on the south wall of my house, but this new spot would be perfect for it. The only challenge would be keeping the different varieties separated. I should be able to grow at least 3 varieties on this trellis though. And with that, I proclaim that Hops will be grown on this trellis. I owe you a beer.
No problem, I just thought even if its one variety it would look good and serve a real purpose as well. Good luck with everything
 

lehr

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It's a valid question. I went back and forth with my contractor on this. It's only 19' wide, and we get very little snow here. We ended up going with a ridge pole design to open up the ceiling instead of using trusses. The rafters do have rafter ties where they meet the ridge pole.

Code (at least here) requires anything over 32' wide to use trusses. I'm not an architect or an engineer, but I feel pretty confident in the integrity of this design.
Hey if it's code it should work...It looks very nice !

Pat
 

1fast636

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Wow my dream garage your my inspiration to have one sooner then later
 
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