Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brewing In Confined Spaces

It's been a rough couple of weeks getting moved into a new place. We're now in Capitola, just a short drive up highway 1 from Aptos. A condo. It's going to be a challenge to see how I can brew here because of the limited space. There is a small concrete patio in the back with water spigot and electricity but it looks like I'll have to run a my cooling water discharge hose from the patio, through the living room and out to the kitchen sink. I don't want to run it on the ground because I suspect that others in this manicured complex may not like forty or fifty gallons of water running from under my fence and down through the parking lot.

In the mean time, I have rented a small storage unit a few miles away that I will use primarily for fermenting my beer. This unit has electricity but no water. My main challenge is transporting full fermenters from home (where I'll brew) to the storage unit where it will ferment. I may fill several small buckets for hauling and then pour them into a larger fermenter at the storage unit. This is also problematic because it will be more difficult to monitor and if necessary adjust the temperatures.

I also plan to keep my grain and milling equipment, kegs, bottles, and all of the other equipment that I don't use directly for brewing, in the storage unit.
My brewing process will have to be modified to adjust to these new conditions.

  • Things to consider for storage unit:

    Keeping grain in storage where I would prepare (weigh and mill) for brewing at home.

    Build some shelving to support several fermenters.

    Have clean and sanitized kegs in storage for racking.

    Fill an extra co2 tank to have ready to force carbonate the kegs prior to bring home.

    Have a container of sanitizer for soaking racking canes and hoses as needed.

  • Things to consider for home:

    Have another scale for weighing out hops.

    Keeping some clean bottles on hand for filling from the kegerator.

    Keep an extra keg full of sanitizer for kegerator use.

    Place drip pan under kegerator.

I expect that I'll be discovering new considerations as time goes on and I've brewed a few batches. Brewing in confined spaces may be a regular feature.

Some good news! Susan agreed to allow the kegerator to be placed openly in the kitchen. No more hiding it in the laundry closet or out in the garage. It looks beautiful there.

If you have any suggestion for brewing in small spaces, leave a comment, I need the help.


Deji said...

If you have headspace, perhaps some shelving and a tiered system would work. Go vertical ! if you are challenged space wise.

Beer Diary... said...

Thanks Deji,
I've already started putting in shelving in the storage unit and this is helping considerably. I've also got the temperature control devise (see most recent post) in place in a fermentation box that I built into one of the shelves. The next step there would be to insulate the box. Progress!

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