Brew Shed Update - Brewer's Friend
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Brew Shed Update

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

The shed is taking its final shape. The roof is on, skylight is in, and gutters installed. The electrical is in and the inspection passed!

brew shed dominates

The paint job is just primer right now. It was all done by hand with rollers or by brush so it soaked in good. I was told by a friend who is a home inspector that spraying paint on T-111 will cause problems later. I plan to paint the trim brown for an exposed timber look. Painting T-111 is hard work, especially in the grooves. It took 4 gallons to get two coats of primer on the entire shed.

brew shed dominates

The entire shed is insulated. Before I insulated, I air sealed all the seams with caulk. For larger gaps I used expanding foam. I am working on getting the metal panels in place for the brewery section under the loft. I’m not that happy with how the corrugated panels line up at the seams. I might go with tile, or even metal tile, but that gets expensive fast.

brew shed dominates

The loft is good for storage and also forms a natural vent hood. The opening for the intake on the exhaust fan is visible on the left.  I looked into the expensive stainless steel kitchen hoods. Damn those things are spendy (minimum $600). This is an experiment on my part but I think it will work out fine.

brew shed dominates

The electrical panel has some spare circuit breakers and plenty of juice. I went with a 50 amp service installed by a professional signing electrician. To save money, I dug the trench and crawled under the house to run the wire. With 50 amps there is room for electric brewing in the future. To make it even easier when that time comes, I ran a wire inside the wall of the shed. If I ever want to switch to electric, all I need to do is buy a breaker and outlet.  My kettle and HLT will need adjustments too. That project will likely take 12 trips to the hardware store. I’m waiting on that adventure for now.

Next steps:

  • Sheet rock.
  • Exhaust fan.
  • Finish metal section for brewery.
  • Brew!
  • Then deal with all the little cosmetic details like interior paint and a nice trellis for the hops.

I’ll warn you, this project may look cool, but it has been a lot of work. It gets complex and expensive. So far I am in about $7,000. There is a lot of over head work up on ladders. I have skinned my knuckles many times, and cussed out loud many more. My beer supply is dwindling as I have not had time to brew. My wife has been just great about the whole thing and has helped on many sections. Without her I could not have done this.

I will be glad when this is completed and I can brew again!


  1. 6 Responses to “Brew Shed Update”

  2. I am very impressed and jealous. That is very awesome brew shed. Kudos to you and the wife for all the hard work and support. My wife is just as supportive about our Home brewing! We love your site it is resourceful!!

    By Alex K on Jun 25, 2011

  3. It looks amazing! If youre ever in Salem, I’d be happy to share a brew with you :) Thanks for keeping up this great site!

    By Kurtis on Jun 25, 2011

  4. Looks fantastic. This is a dream come true for any homebrewer. I brew in my garage and I don’t like it. It would be nice to leave the brew equipment as is, instead of putting it all away after every brew session. Have fun, and get brewing!!!

    By Chris on Jun 28, 2011

  5. Thanks guys!!!

    I’ll be taking another pass at it this weekend. With luck it will be ship shape for brewing before the 4th of July!

    By Larry on Jun 29, 2011

  6. This looks totally awesome, nice work. But that $7K pricetag is haunting me. By my calculation I think I could brew somewhere around 8,000 pints of beer with that kind of money… :)

    By James on Jul 6, 2011

  7. True, it is not a trivial investment. An investment of this magnitude won’t pay for itself simply in beer. Some economic thoughts:

    a) There is a cost to storing brewing equipment, even if it is in a closet or garage. That cost largely goes unnoticed, unless the wife starts complaining. In my case, the shed will free up a bedroom. In raw terms, that is probably a few hundred *per month* alone.

    b) Having the brewery in a dedicated spot will save time. Right now I have to set up brew sessions in the garage then tear it all down when I’m done. This is more of an annoyance than a direct monetary benefit.

    c) The shed is part of the value of my property and can be considered a capital investment. Even though I spent the money to build it, in theory my home value has increased proportionally. I know in this area, the marketability has increased.

    d) It is just cool. So far, even though it is a lot of work, mostly it is fun to work through all the details of building the shed. It is a challenge. The reward of seeing it completed, to share it, and use it for the rest of my life is priceless.

    By the way, I took a careful look at using propane burners in doors. It is a recipe for getting a Darwin award, so I decided to go fully electric in the shed! I’ll post more on that in the future.

    By Larry on Jul 6, 2011

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