Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Boiler on site

Delivered today, to be plumbed in later. Blowdown tank to left, feed tank on roof of (nearly finished) toilet - placed there to free up room around boiler and ensure easy access for regular blowdown and maintenance tasks.

Plenty of height in building (eaves c. 6m) means we can get the crane truck inside - a lot easier than manually shifting a 2.5 tonne boiler.

Oh, and the observant will have noticed that we have the floodlights back on now; it will be nice to not have to navigate by touch any more.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Scabble, scabble, toil and trouble

Scabbled the floor where the boiler will go, then painted. Unfortunately it appears that I really should have put down a thinned first coat. As the surface after scabbling was very coarse, the two-part water-based epoxy went on very thick; came in this morning to get the plumber started on the toilet and the paint was still wet - toilet completion deferred to Monday.

Floor prep. machines : 3-motor vacuum, scabbler, and grinder; second-hand toilet optional.


...after scabbling...

...and after painting.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A Bare Convenience

The brickwork for the toilet is done (dimensions for disabled use); when rhe mortar dries we can plumb, decorate and roof, and install the steam boiler in the corner behind it. Exciting, isn't it?

(Changed photo to better-lit version for viewing this blog without night-vision goggles.)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Water off, lights on.

Our water got too fat - probably due to insufficient exercise - and burst our pipes. Fortunately, I had anticipated and turned off at the mains, but we still had a bit of a puddle. Minimal problems compared to the others suffered in this weather, of course. I did have to explain to our downstream neighbour where his flooding was coming from, but he was very understanding and weighed in with buckets and some pithy advice. Although the main supply is sound, we need a temporary repair for the auxiliary pipes that are not on the other side of a valve, so off to the plumbing supplies store next door : "Guess what I am going to ask for?" - "Err... go on then?" - "OK, well, I need some pipe repair tape." - "The sort that you wrap around the outside?" - "Yup, that's it." - "Oh, well that's all sold out." Told you so...

Good news - electricity supply re-connected - just needed main fuses replacing. I have been pursuing this for weeks, and eventually, after roaring in frustration at the imbecilic automated response menus on Scottish Power's telephone system, got through to someone on the complaints line who could actually help; she said today or tomorrow, and I was pleasantly astounded when a very nice chap called at 2000 hrs to say he would be round in 1/2 hour. Ten minutes furtling with fuses, and we have power again - see, wasn't that easy?

Toilet building tomorrow...

Saturday, 9 January 2010

A drawing of the brewhouse - work in progress.

This is being designed and built by Specific Mechanical Systems in Canada; it is a pleasure dealing with them : responsive, enthusiastic, helpful. We were first introduced to Specific kit at Rhymney Brewery in Wales, who also have a Specific Mechanical brewhouse; thanks to the Rhymney family for showing us around.

We are still working on details, as the brewhouse is extensively customised to our requirements. This is where we start applying the principles of efficiency, consistency and hygiene - hopefully we will get most of it right here as this is the biggest piece of kit and the core of the brewery.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Wood and beer : partners in craftmanship

Andy has done a lovely job making up a bar tap for us, renovating and re-styling an old Angram beer engine; the brewery logo is reproduced on the base in clay. We need to match this level of skill, dedication and craftmanship in producing beers good enough to pour from it.