Thursday, March 8, 2012

Progress Update - I hate refrigeration salesmen!

I've been silent for a while now.  Things have been a bit busy.  It's been "balls to the wall" since Beerfest (except for a brief visit to Bockfest last week).  I figure I owe everyone a progress update so here's what's been happening....

Everything for the most part is in place.  There is still some final electrical hook-ups to be done but the plumbing is all inspected and ready to go.  My mill is back from getting the legs extended and just needs a switch installed.  The fermenters have all been re-insulated and the gaskets replaced.  The glycol system will be plumbed in the next day or so and that end of the operation will be all wrapped up.

Newly modified mill.  All the black frame is new.  It used to only be about a foot and a half off the ground.
Fermenter Insulation - Before and After
The kettle venting is almost done.  It just needs the condensate stack (the material is backordered for a few more days).  It's starting to look like an octopus since the building department made me put in a "make up air" duct.  This is a fancy way of saying that I have to have a 6"x6" hole in the wall with no damper or cover that allows cold outside air to dump into my building and make my heating system run overtime all in the hopes that I won't somehow asphyxiate myself when the kettle burner is turned on (can you tell I'm not thrilled about this idea?).  That's OK because they made me put another one on the furnace.  I may as well just leave the door open all winter....Gotta love city building codes.....


You may have seen the Benny Hill-esque movie my brother did for the walk-in assembly.  Well the part you didn't see was all of the caulking that had to be done on the seams.  I think it was about ten tubes worth.  Since there's no "windows" in there the fumes were pretty fun!  But the real fun part has been the refrigeration system.  When I bought the used walk-in I had a pretty good idea that the refrigeration system was junk.  No big deal, it was still worth it.  I know about a lot of things, but refrigeration is not one of them.  Since I had previously worked with a company that sells new and refurbished refrigeration systems I figured I'd leave this to the experts so I had them run the load calculations and spec out a new system.  A few days later it was here.  My installer took one look at it and said there's no way it is big enough to cool my unit properly.  A few phone calls later and I had 4 independent companies all telling me that the system needs to be bigger.  So now we're stuck because the company that sold it to me still maintains it will work.  The moral to this story, always ask more than one "expert" or learn how to do it yourself....

Looks nice, too bad it's too small...
Fear not, I won't let this keep me down (although it's kinda making my ass hurt).  We will get it squared away and get the right system hooked up.  After that we are a few small wiring jobs away from final building inspections and then we can brew!

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