Brewing – Gearing Up

So the old motorbike idea got ditched and I decided to give brewing a crack instead. I got into a conversation with Ian at Powell Brewing and I liked him immediately, not least because they were honest enough to publish prices on their website.

Logically I should have been looking at a 50lt kit but I’ve been caught out before by being under ambitious and finding that I needed to start again in order to grow so I settled on a 100lt kit with two 100lt fermenters.

Seduced by pictures of shiny stainless steel vessels and lots of stuff which looked great but had deeply mysterious functions there was a transfer of wealth to Powell Brewing, and a significant saving over buying an old motorbike, and I had abrewery on the way with no idea how it worked and the space not prepared; actually the space not even touched.

The fact that I had a wooden building with two fierce looking gas burners got my health and safety attention so there was that aspect to take care of but, also, all the information I had read doubled down my own early-days experience that hygiene is critical meant that I wanted surfaces that could be cleaned as well as somewhat heat resistant.

I decided to go for a tiled floor and use fireproof plasterboards on the walls. I didn’t know how much steam was going to be produced and had visions of a soggy goo descending onto my shiny kit as the plasterboards gave in to the heat and steam so went with moisture boards. They seem to be a sort of heayweight version of plasterboard and were awkward to work with but once they were in place I was pleased with them.

The space works now. It took a few weeks and is imperfect at the moment because I don’t have water and drains, this will change though as we progress and I feel that we are ready to brew at this stage; imperfections and all.

There are a few other bits that I didn’t want to start without, like fire extinguishers, and a bunch of add-ons that felt like each time I filled a gap in the kit it made me realise that I had another gap. A trip to Home Bargains got me cleaning materials and buckets etc. Ebay got me a hydrometer and I felt like I was pretty much good to go, go to Leyland Homebrew to buy ingredients for the beer that is but, as ever, I was getting ahead of myself.