We are less than a week away from brewing (..hopefully..) and it feel like there is still a ton to do. Somethings will get pushed until after brew day, but the bulk of the work will wrap up the week of the 17th. Now it’s up to the inspectors to clear the work so we can get the beer a brew’n. Here’s a run down of the work that we crammed in the last month and are happy to be done with. You’ll understand why we haven’t made any lengthy posts in a while. Follow the link for some pics of the sickest brewery in town!
A boiler is a heck of piece of equipment to install. Because it’s a pressure system, all the connections have to be welded. By welded, I mean three times according to the state codes. Crazy amount of hours went into this. Our big blue beast has a 800K BTU steam at 12 PSI. We had a 6″ header installed under the brewhouse to act as a steam resevoir. We still have to do some insulation. Stand back, it’s hot!
Minnetonka has some pretty hard water. This makes brewing more difficult than if your using water in the Twin Cities. Not to worry, we got the hook up on an RO and softener system. Working with our guys at Exhibit we put together an awesome plan to come up with the perfect water profiles for AIR, CAMO and our up coming seasonals. No pictures right now, so I guess you’ll have to come in for a tour to see our sick water treatment center. We’re right next door to Culligan, but I pretty sure we have the best water on the street!
I’m so sick of tiling…
We were going back and forth over using a grain room for months. Turns out you can’t have a source of dust (aka the mill) near an open combustion system (aka the boiler). Looks like we’re forced to use the room! That’s great though, it will keep the small amount of dust we create away from the brewhouse. After we got the mill in, we cut a hole in the ceiling and dropped in the flex auger. Pretty sweet eh?
On the high voltage side, we had to upgrade our building’s transformer to 460V to run the chiller. This means I have to dig a hole down to where the wires for the old transformer come into the building so that another line can be run. That’s at least 6′ down. Eric got stitches in his finger putting the mill together, so I got shovel duty. Like tiling, I could do without any more digging this year. Here’s a picture of the trench that was dug. Eric is standing in the tunnel I dug out under the transformer pad.
On the Low voltage side there are three thermocouples, and three solenoids per fermentation tank; there are thermcouples, proximity sensors, lights, hydraulic controls, emergency shut-offs, etc. on the brewhouse as well which are tied into our touch screen controller. This is really fun for me because it brings me back to my days as a test engineer at the U. Here are before and after pictures of the wiring: