Above is a picture of my new brew room. It’s actually a brew “house” since it is 60’x14′ with an 8′ front porch. I bought the building special order from a friend. He delivered it and did a great job setting it up. He is truly one of those “old school craftsmen”. What you can’t see here is that he ran steel strapping under the frame all the way from one side to the other, on four different spots. What that means is that this baby will never blow away in a hurricane (after we anchored it into the ground).
I finished the inside myself. First I ran the electricity and all the outlets. Then I insulated the inside and put up the paneling and trim around all the windows. My wife made the curtains so I didn’t have to worry about the sun spoiling any beer in my clear glass carboys.
The slideshow below shows pictures of my old brew room at my old house. Instead of building a RIMS system like all the others in my homebrew club, I worked all last summer on my man cave. I had brewing and winemaking stuff scattered all over the house, and in an effort to preserve my marriage and my wife’s sanity, I went to work on this project. I don’t have any before pics, so you have to imagine a 21′ x 6′ x 8′ raw shed on the end of my garage. I decided to go the cheapest route I could find but still get the job done. At first I was going to make a cold room. I didn’t really understand what the term “cold room” meant at the time.
I started with R30 plastic coated insulation in between all studs and ceiling joists. I then went with Reflectix 25′ x 16″ rolls, which I stapled to the back of all 4′ x 8′ sheets of fiber-board sheeting. This added an extra R5 insulation value and helped reflect radiant heat back outdoors. I probably should have put the reflectix against the outside walls instead of on the inside of the plywood sheeting, but it seems to be working fine.
I then added the cheapest laminate flooring I could find. After the floor was complete (I added a layer of reflectix below the laminate to insulate the concrete slab and stop it from becoming a heat sink), I put an 8000 BTU air conditioner in the wall. This is where I didn’t understand the meaning of “cold room”. It would have taken a huge air conditioner, like 21,000 BTUs and a CoolBot controller to keep that much space at 40°F or less. So, I settled for a place to put all my stuff and to come and work on the computer formulating recipes. I can ferment in the fridge and keep kegs in the kegerator, but at this time, I just don’t have enough room to brew inside (plus no way to vent the moisture.
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