Lease signed and keys in hand, the Redemption Brewing Company can now start to take shape. The rather nondescript, hollow shell opposite, is about to be turned into a fully functioning 12 barrel brewery. So what's actually involved in building a microbrewery?
1) Installing drainage and flooring. As you can imagine there is a large amount of water used in producing beer, both as a raw ingredient and as part of the overall production process. Where water is allowed to sit in stagnant puddles, bacteria can thrive and this risks creating an environment where beer can get infected, the end result being a poor quality pint. Good drainage therefore is important and makes brewing good quality beer a little easier.
2) Build a fermenting room. After wort has been boiled it becomes vulnerable to any infections, so anything which can help restrict airborne particles from getting near to the fermenting wort is critical. We will be using traditional open top fermenters so we want them housed in a relatively well sealed room surrounded by hygienic cladding. This will also help us control the fermenting temperature more efficiently.
3) Build a conditioning room. We will run our beer from fermenting tanks to conditioning tanks before we then rack to cask. The conditioning room is chilled and is essentially a bigger version of a pub cellar, which allows us to control the temperature and ensure maturation of the beer will enhance the desirable flavours and restrict those negative flavours we have all occasionally come across.
4) Build a Malt Loft. On top of our Fermenting and Conditioning room we will have a mezzanine floor which will act as our malt store, allowing us to keep the malt away from any water. Our grist box will also be up here so we can use gravity to feed the malt in to the mash tun.
That's basically the essentials and all relatively simple really. We hope spending a bit of time and money getting the layout right initially will help us make better beer.