Building a Brewery

Building R.Shea Brewing: Week 11, Oct 13-Oct 19

Oct 23, 2014

Floors are done!

I like weeks like this.  I finished up the floors...finally.  I gave them a simple, inexpensive acrylic-polyurethane clear coat with a 1/4" nap roller.  This took two coats and I used about a gallon and a half.


It’s going to look nice. The natural concrete will have a lot of character.


All done. ALL DONE!

Walk-in cooler

Now that the floors are done (for the fermentors coming in soon), I need to start building the walk-in cooler.  This involves a lot of math so I right-size it the first time and don't run out of room.  Essentially I have to figure out the maximum throughput I will have with three 3.5 bbl fermentors given my current brew cycles and my best guess at lager/ale percentages.  I do have room for another 1-2 fermentors so I have to keep that in mind. I want to have the option to stack three high and this will also be where I dispense too.  With a 8' x 15' cooler, I will have the room for about 70 kegs max, well within my maximum monthly capacity.

The build

I found some online plans from a similar build using a 'cool-bot' so that I don't need any expensive, large HVAC unit - just a regular window air-conditioning unit since the cooler is not that big. Spec'ing out the parts list I need:

  • 6 - 2x8's
  • ~55 2x4's
  • 36 pieces of 4x8 2" thick foam insulation board
  • 15 rolls of 2x4 rolled insulation
  • 15 sheets of 4x8  wash-down acrylic paneling
  • 4 sheets of 5/8" 4x8 wood subfloor

Retail value of this is about $2200 at Lowe's.  This is still far cheaper than buying a used one but I need to get this cheaper.  The 36 sheets of 2" foam insulation board is about 60% of the cooler expenses.  I found via Craigslist Akron's 'Insulation King'.  He had the foam I needed - used and for 40% of retail - that's a lot of savings!  Since I have been recycling nearly everything (drywall screws and 2x4 nails included) I want this brewery to be green...at least as green as a brewery can be so recycled foam board was perfect. The 4x8 sheets of acrylic paneling that will line the inside is something I want to get cheaper too or find another alternative.


Thanks Akron Insulation King! Saved me a ton of money.


We drove slow…we did not want 44 pieces of 2″ thick insulation blowing away.


Seems like a lot of insulation for a ‘little-ole’ cooler.

Wall paneling

Lastly I started work on seeing if I can restain and varnish' the current 'red-stained' wood paneling - something more brown.  The testing is still a work in progress.  I would rather not tear it down and replace  just due to color.


Comparing various stains over existing stain to ‘de-redden’ the current scheme.


I continued work on my Ohio liquor license...about 1/3 done.


I met with several people from local firms.  I picked a security company, ADT and will be going with Time Warner for the other stuff.  This is going in in a few days.

Next week

  • Finish Ohio license
  • Finish getting cooler materials
  • Rent a forklift
  • Receive fermentors
  • Finish security installation
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