Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Building My Brewery In The Barn

Our barn with entrance to the right. The mezzanine floor where the brewery is to be built is to the left. The opening at the left hand side of this picture is the access to our wood store that is underneath it.
We are fortunate with the house we bought in France in that there is a large barn built onto the main house with a nice, mezzanine floor.

Until a few days ago the mezzanine has mostly been a dumping ground for accumulated bits and bobs so I began tidying it up.

My plan to to build an enclosed area with a simple, lightweight roof up on the mezzanine. I think I can comfortably end up with a 12' x 8' area that should be plenty for the brewery, storage and fermentation cupboard.

I'll need to run a cold water feed which isn't a problem and the barn is already supplied with mains electricity.

The floor of the mezzanine is wood beams packed with slats and about 3" of hard clay. Above this (screwed down to the wooden beams) is a chipboard floor that we fitted 3 or 4 years ago.

Steps up to the mezzanine floor.
I've roughly laid out the area on the cleared space and made a start on building up the floor with 2" PU foam underneath in one corner as shown below.

Insulated base of the fermenting cupboard.
This is to form the base of the fermenting cupboard. By the time the box is built and insulated I hope it can be kept at around 20C without any heating (possibly a small electric heater set low if I brew in the winter) to avoid having to move 23litres+ of beer... for "move" see, down steps!

Above the insulation is 18mm of chipboard. Once the cupboard is built I think I'll line it with something easily washable, either lino or maybe some plastic lambris - I forget what it's called in English.

The insulated fermenting cupboard base.
Above the fermenting cupboard will be some work space and shelves. To the right of the cupboard probably with a semi dividing wall will be the brewing kit. I have an old, barely used steel mezzanine bed frame that we bought when we first moved here (we planned to run a B&B which was fine the first two years but then we had a spate of weird/obnoxious guests and said, "F**k it!".) that I plan to modify into a stepped gantry for the Hot Liquor Tank, Mash Tun & Wort Boiler/Copper.

The copper will empty to the fermenting vessel at floor level. I found a couple of wheeled dollies that will nicely take a standard fermenting bin and help with moving the filled fermenter over to the fermenting cupboard.

This is going to be a work in progress for some time, budget is a factor so I am trying to make as much as I can with various bits left over from our other projects during the renovation of the properties.

Watch this space for part two...

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