Saturday, 29 December 2012

Week 9 Progress Pictures

What a difference a week makes.

For anyone embarking on an adventure like this, seeing a lorry carrying your brewhouse coming down the road is one of the best feelings. Well that's the feeling we all had on Friday when our brewhouse did arrive. We don't have everything yet, still waiting on 2 more fermenters and a hydrator among other things. We are also waiting on a firm date for the installers to come and plumb it all in. But we now actually have it.

But Friday was an exciting day, and we spent it positioning the brewhouse where it is permanently going to live. We positioned it right on front of the main door into the brewery for maximum impact, as it is the first thing you see as you enter. And i think you will agree that it looks pretty damn sexy. It is positioned just in front of the mezzanine, so we can load the mash tun from above.

Elenberg's brewery are going to be making a lot of continental styles, so we had a special mash tun made up that will allow him to do mashes with different temperature steps. So the mash tun has a stirring device inside and is jacketed, so temperature controlled water can be pumped through the jacket to alter the temperature. The funny martian looking thing above is the tank that holds and heats this water.

The brewhouse looked so good in place, we decided we wanted to get the 2 fermeters we had in position too.I'm not saying it was a well thought out decision, as each of these weigh around half a tonne, there were just 3 of us and we do not have our forklift yet. But with some ingenuity, a pallet truck and some adjustable straps they went up. The first one took about 2 hours, but we learnt a lot from this and the second only took around 30 minutes.

So to this weeks main pictures.

The pictures looking into the unit show our shiny new brewhouse in position. Soon, to the left there will be a cool room built.At the very far right on the mezzanine you can see the bottle filling tank ready to be plumbed in too.

Looking down from the mezzanine you can see the top of the brewhouse. You can also see the remains on the very flimsy wooden crate the 2 fermenters came in from China.

In all of the excitment of the day i forgot to take one of the pictures on the mezzanine office area. But not a lot has changed here. Mike has drilled some holes and attached some bits to the hot and cold liquor tanks, and some things have been moved around. But that is about it.

The back room finally has some fermenters. The other 2 will be positioned to the right, in front of the door, when they arrive.

Well, that is it for this week. We hope everyone has a good new year. And keep you eyes open for Weird Beard next year. 2013 will be the year of Weird Beard Brew Co.

All views and grammatical errors are those of WeirdBeardBryan and not the Weird Beard collective.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Week 8 Build Pictures

The blog is a bit late this week. Unfortunately, due to my day job, I have not been able to spend much time at the unit. But Gregg and Mike, as always, have stepped up to the plate and made some moves forward. I did manage to get to the unit last night though, to check things for myself and get the weeks photos.

On Tuesday Mike and Gregg hired a van and spent a long day on the road picking up various pieces of equipment. They picked up our labeller, rotary tables, some catering sinks and some fridge freezers. Big thanks to Mike, it couldn’t have been easy driving that big van around the streets of London.  

We had a little day trip to Charles Faram up near Worcester on Wednesday. We had met Will Rogers at an event in London before and decided to visit the guys to talk hops. Will was kind enough to show us around the operation, and then spend a good few hours with us talking us through some new hops, and smelling a wide selection of stock. We then loaded the car with 85Kg of their beautiful product, a few bags of grain, yeast and headed off home in the rain. Huge thanks to Gregg for doing the driving for this, it was a long way and very wet.

We are still waiting for the brew house to be delivered, but a few things did show up on our doorstep. Mostly small plumbing bits for the hot and cold liquor tanks, which Mike has made a start on. We took delivery of an IBC (intermediate bulk container), which will be position on the mezzanine above our 8 head bottle filler, where we can gravity fill our bottles. But probably the most important delivery this week was from a unit just opposite ours. The safety railing and pallet gate for the mezzanine was delivered, installed and painted. This now means the mezzanine is officially safe, and we can have visitors come up to the office area.

So, to this week’s pictures.

In the first couple of pictures, taken from outside looking into the unit, you can see that the two fermenters made it down from the mezzanine without the crates disintegrating. To be honest I’m kind of glad to have not been around for this, as the worry may well have been too much. Just behind the crates you can see the labeller and rotary tables, which need to be set up and tested. You can also see the safety railing in its full glory.

The above picture is taken from inside the pallet gate, which allows us to safely load pallets into the mezzanine. Not much has changed in the main brewery area. You can see the 2 crates, but these will hopefully be unpacked soon and the fermenters moved out back. There is now an emergency exit sign above the door. We are all about the health and safety this week.

The mezzanine office area is looking surprisingly cluttered again, considering the 2 500Kg crates have been removed. This is partly due to everything needing to be moved away for the installation and painting of the safety railings. It also has a lot to do with the liquor tanks. There are a number of boxes of pipes and fittings, and Mike has the lid off one of the tanks and has started the process of plumbing them in. There is a large IBC sat waiting to be positioned when the liquor tanks are ready.

Again I have taken the picture in the back room looking towards the WC, as there is far more to see. There are a couple of fridge freezers, for storage of hops and yeast. There are a couple of catering sinks, one to go on the wall in the back room and one in the main brewery area. There are also a few bags of grain and lots of lovely hops. You should be able to see some tape on the floor too. This is to mark out where 2 of the fermenters are going to live, with the other 2 to the right of where I was stood to take the picture.

Well that’s all for this week. We won’t be taking this next week off, as we are eager to get everything ready and up & running as soon as we can, so we can start making beer, which is what this is actually all about. Hopefully the brew house will be arriving this week too.

I guess there is not much more to say other than, have a great Christmas, if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re not, just enjoy not being at work, and have a beer.

All views and grammatical errors are that of WeirdBeardBryan, and not the Weird Beard collective.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Week 7 Build Pictures

It's finished! Finally the floor is down, and usable. Although I think there are a few finishing touches for early next week, but nothing show stopping. It was a huge pleasure to walk into the unit and it not be a building site. I have a real positive feeling this week. Unfortunately it now looks like the remainder of the kit wont start turning up until just after Christmas, and install will now be in the new year.

We have a few new bits of kit coming over the coming week, and Mike will start plumbing in the hot and cold liquor tanks. The forklift we went to see this afternoon will hopefully also show up, meaning we can get the fermenters off of the Mezzanine and in position.

But it is the week before Christmas, so we will more likely be in the pub.

It was quite late by the time I got the take this weeks pictures, so the first couple are a little dark. But they do clearly show a nice green, relatively flat floor. It is actually slightly sloped towards the drain on the right hand side. You can also see some tables against the wall on the left. These will be used to construct our bottling line.

The shot from up on the mezzanine, which still doesn’t have a safety barrier, shows the green of the floor much better. Unfortunately the new floor does show up the mud from our shoes a lot more, but hey it’s waterproof, so easy to clean. You can also see the 10 meter linear drain on the left. We are super happy to have the floor in, and think it looks great.

The mezzanine is looking so much more cluttered this week. We had to remove everything from downstairs so the floor could go down. There are also a number of boxes from smaller deliveries, including bottle draining trees, fire extinguishers and plumbing bits for the liquor tanks. As soon as we get the forklift, and are comfortable with someone driving it, we will get the fermenters down and in position. 

I think this is the first time I have ever seen the back room clear, except for lonely fire extinguisher. Maybe next week there may be a couple of fermenters sat in there.

All views and grammatical errors are that of WeirdBeardBryan, and not of the Weird Beard brew collective.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Week 6 Build Pictures

So this week was meant to be the week the installers were, well installing our brewery. But due to flooring issues which have delayed us by around 2 weeks now, this was not possible. We all have our fingers crossed they can fit us in some time soon, as I believe they are installing a brewery up in York for the rest of the year. The flooring guys were in over the weekend finishing of the under floor, but this week has been mostly watching concrete dry.

We have had a few exciting deliveries though.

First of which being our 8 head bottle filler, which I'm sure will look far better out of the box.

Then came 2 shiny 1600ltr conical fermenters. These came from China in some very scary crates. Scary as in crap, and we are worried they are going to disintegrate at any point. As the floor is not ready, we had no choice but to store these on the mezzanine level, which meant asking one of our nice neighbours with a forklift for help. As you can see from the picture, bits of crate are falling from the bottom. I am not looking forward to getting these down again, as it is most likely to be one of us in control of the forklift, none of whom have ever driven one.
The second big delivery was our slightly alternative take on hot and cold liquor tanks. When these arrived on the back of the truck I couldn’t help but think of music festivals I had been to. These are different to a lot of liquor tanks, as they are made of very well insulated plastic.

But you will be able to see from this week’s pictures that we are slowly running out of space on the mezzanine.

In the pictures looking into the brewery from the outside world, you can see a nice flat floor. The flooring guys will be in on Monday to put the flowcrete resin layer on. You can also see the 2 crates from China perched on the edge of the mezzanine, ready to be unpacked and installed in the back room sometime in the near future.
Looking down from the mezzanine, you can again see the nice flat concrete, now covered in tyre marks from the forklift unfortunately. You can still see the long hole in the ground that will be hopefully filled with a 10 meter drain this week. Its not really something you can see, but it’s worth noting that Mike removed the front door and then hung it correctly, as it used to grind on the frame pretty bad.

Pictures taken on the mezzanine are slightly obscured by big boxes and tanks. Hopefully we won’t be getting too many more deliveries before the floor is done. The two large crates hold the fermenters will be removed, while the two tanks at the end will be living approximately where they are. They do need plumbing in though.
Yeah, so watching concrete dry isn’t actually that interesting. So we decided to dig a hole instead.

The picture from the back room is taken from a different angle this week, as not much was happening the other end. The structure on the left hand side is the toilet. The drain from the main brewery continues under the dividing wall and then along the inner wall to the toilet waste pipe. The drain guys dug a trench for this up to the toilet door, but as soon as they got to this structure, it started to shake itself apart. We took up the challenge and made a bit of a Frankenstein looking repair job and attacked the floor with a kango, which we are all well practiced on by now. We got the trench dug out all the way to the waste water pipe without the structure falling on our heads, and hopefully saved the drain guys a bit of time.

Next weeks pictures should show a nice new flowcrete floor. But until then..

All views and grammatical errors are that of WeirdBeardBryan and not always Weird Beard Brew Co as a collective.