This post came later than we'd hoped because we're putting all our efforts into the finishing touches of the brewery right now (ie. the content for Part III)! So this continues to be a bit of a diary. Read Part I to get up to speed here!
Like our plumbing, we started from scratch with our electrical -- from the hydro pole down to the wiring, everything was completely new. Dave from Sasquatch Electric is killing it. You can see the new electrical panel in progress on the right and the old unsightly collection of panels, meters and junction boxes on the left (they're now completely gone). What a difference!
Waste Water Separation
Brewery waste water is mostly organic but includes some cleaning chemicals so, while some towns and cities allow their breweries to drain their waste water into the sewer system, others require it be separated and treated. We met with the Town of Gibsons months before we even bought the building which set us on the path of planning to separate our waste water. This meant contracting out a brewery waste water designer and an engineering firm to get our plans approved. We installed a tank that allows us to monitor and treat the waste water so we’re all fish friendly and good to go.
Trench Drains and Concrete
Sloped concrete floors are key. Cleaning is as as big a part of brewing beer as brewing itself is… so having trench drains to hose off your production area makes life much easier.
We encased the trench drains in concrete before the main slab was poured to hold them in place and marked the high spots on the floor to ensure it would have adequate slope to the drains. Then, the concrete was poured and we were finally out of the dirt!
New Water Station and On-Demand Water Heater
Being a plumber really paid off for this one. Having an on-demand water heater helps quality control because you can better regulate the temperature during the brewing process (we’ll use it for sparging, for all you brewers out there). It’s also more efficient for the bar and bathrooms.
We use a mixture of glycol (a special food grade type of antifreeze) and water to keep beer at its optimal temperature for fermentation and serving. The copper pipes pictured below will distribute glycol from our cooling unit behind the building to each fermentor and brite tank to accomplish this. Temperature control during fermentation is a key part of making great beer!
Tank Delivery Day
With much anticipation we opened the container in which our tanks crossed the Pacific Ocean from Wenzhou, China. Yes, ordered our brewhouse, fermenters and brite tanks from a company based out of China -- tens of thousands of dollars sent to the other side of the world without anything to show for it for a couple of months. There was a lot of trust in this transaction. We sent over a hundred emails back and forth to design our brewhouse exactly how we wanted it, wired them a hefty sum of money, and then waited and hoped that they would arrive in tact. Weeks later, opening the door of the shipping container and seeing our tanks inside was a huge relief. Not only were they all there, upright and in good shape, but we were very impressed with the quality. We rented a forklift, removed the building doors and unloaded them ourselves. 3,600 kilos of stainless. It’s a little unnerving watching a 700 pound tank swing 20 feet in the air as you wrestle with the forklift, spinning out on icy, uneven plywood boards. Luckily, no tanks were harmed in the process… despite a few close calls. We started out taking nearly an hour to move a tank from the shipping container into it’s spot inside the building but by the end, we had it down to a breezy 18 minutes.
Stay tuned for Part III where we take you all the way to the finished product. Also stay tuned for our opening day announcement!!