Brewery Glycol System

April 23rd, 2011

Our glycol chiller arrived at the brewery – it is a large and important piece of our brewery. The glycol chiller pumps cold propylene glycol through the cooling jackets on our 6 bbl fermenters. This controls the beer temperature throughout fermentation to ensure you, the reader, get a tasty beer.

The next step is to hook the chiller to our fermenters through a series of complicated piping. Needless to say, Chris was very excited that he had to draw some cool 3d piping models. It’s like Legos for adults he always says.

We ran the designs by the folks over at Pro Refrigeration who were extremely helpful. They also have an online glycol plumbing guide if you’re interested.

The last step in our design phase is to figure out what piping materials to use. There are several choices, each with some pros and cons:

  1. Copper: Really expensive and poor insulation. Shiny and pretty.
  2. PVC: Very cheap but not rated for low glycol temps temps… although tons of breweries use it with no problem
  3. ABS: Similar to PVC but a little more expensive. It’s rated for very low temps and is more durable than PVC.
  4. Cool Fit Plus ABS: Basically the most awesome (and most expensive) piping option. This is a three layer pipe with ABS, pipe insulation & then more ABS pipe. If Cool Fit Plus ABS piping was a car, it would be a Rolls Royce.

We’re leaning toward getting the ABS. Regardless of what piping we get, we’ll insulate it.

Here’s how our brewery glycol system is designed to work:
Glycol is pumped from the chiller down the long line along the wall through the pressure control valve (shown next to the gauges) and back to the chiller to complete the loop. When a temperature controller calls for fermenter cooling, a solenoid valve on the fermenter opens, allowing chilled glycol to enter the bottom tank jacket and make its way to the top jacket, then back to the return line. The system is set up in a way that the first fermenter on the supply line is the last to be connected to the return line.

Kegs came in Friday

April 9th, 2011

Chief immediately built a castle.

keg castle

It was soon besieged by the Captain.

captain siege kegs

Super Work Day

April 7th, 2011

And so it was, on the day of April 2nd, 2011, the brewery had a Super Work Day.

If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Perfect Storm, you have a good idea what it takes to make a Super Work Day. It’s a rare combination of skill, manpower, pizza and determination.

This rare combination included the following:
– The three brewers (Chris, Matt and Joe)
– Dave Braun (helper extraordinaire)
– Bill Lloyd (professional cabinetmaker, bar builder & craft beer fan)
– Mark Sternberg (beer and brewery fan)
– Kathy and Brad Enegren (parents to Chris and Matt)
– Brie Braun (Chris’ Girlfriend)
– Pizza from Brick Oven Cafe

And so we split into teams to tackle the Health Department list, build a bar and beautify the brewery.

Brad quickly got to work on fixing the gap underneath one of our doors.

Brad with Door Brush

Meanwhile Kathy and Brie cleaned the windows, installed the bathroom mirror and worked on other odds and ends.

Kathy Cleaning Windows

Mark and Bill installed the self closing door on the bathroom which we managed to forget to take a picture of.

Bill and Dave focused on the bar. The two of them were able to build the framework for something spectacular.

Bar Frame

Dave and Bill Building Bar

Chris, Mark and Joe got to work on installing the all important tap system.

Chris soldering pipe

Joe, head drain tester, tested the tap drain to his fullest ability

Joe Testing Drain

It worked.
Drain Working

And so the day progressed, installing things here and cutting things there. We were able to cross off many a list item.

Crossing Off the list

With the day ended we had to test out our newly built bar. Well, technically it was still just a bar frame. But it worked for a celebratory drink with all who helped.

testing the bar

Left side, back to front: Mark, Joe. Right side, back to front: Chris, Brad, Dave, Matt & Bill

Brewery Department of Health Inspection #1

April 5th, 2011

Our brewery had its first inspection by the Department of Health. They check to make sure we have the right sinks, tile, floor, etc. We were a little worried that something would be horribly wrong and we’d have to redo something. Although that would have made a good blog post, we certainly didn’t want it to happen.

As it turns out, apparently we do pretty good work. We even were complemented on our coving tile. However, there were a couple of minor infractions that we had to fix up. Some of them we knew of beforehand, but wanted further guidance on before installing. Others we did not know about. See if you can guess which ones we knew about. (HINT: Installing beer taps was one we knew about).

  1. Seal sinks to wall with silicon and screws
  2. Provide a mop / broom holder
  3. Install Light bulb
  4. Install soap and paper towel dispensers
  5. Self closing device on bathroom door
  6. Vermin proof all exterior doors
  7. Install beer taps and drip tray drain
  8. Provide storage racks

So, tools in hand, list on the cooler, we were ready to attack the list with full force.
taking care of deh list

Huge Racks of Grain

March 22nd, 2011

Grain is stored on racks. Enegren Brewing Company had no racks. Chief Joe Nascenzi’s office was being remodeled and they had extra racks. Enegren Brewing Company now has racks.

The mission was to be simple – go to Joe’s office, take the shelves out, drive to the brewery and assemble.

Brewery Shelves Assemble!
It started off well at the office. We enlisted one coworker, Jose Tapia (fan of beer and brewery), who helped us load the shelves. Then it was off to the local bar, Richmond Bar and Grill (possibly the best bar in the world), to grab food.

The drive back was uneventful and we unloaded the shelving to be built the following day.

We woke up early and got to the brewery to build the shelves. Things started off smoothly as usual, but then… well, actually there was no but then. Believe it or not, things went smoothly the whole time (minus building the first shelf upside down). We were unprepared for things to go so smoothly – so we went home and made a homemade pasta and steak dinner.

But before we headed home we decided to try our shelves out so we put all the grain we had on them.

grain on racks

look closely to see grain

New Website

March 20th, 2011

The Enegren Brewing Company presence on the world wide web is no longer just a blog! Check out our new brewery website.

Thanks to Chief Joe’s website building skills, we have joined the 21st century with an actual website where interested persons can learn about our history, location and more.

We will be adding more pictures and expanding as time progresses. So check it out and let us know your thoughts. Feedback is much appreciated.

Bathroom Upgrade Part II

March 15th, 2011

Remember Bathroom Upgrade Part I from back in December? Yeah, we hardly do either.

We do know our bathroom started out something like this:

And ended up something like this:

finished brewery bathroom

And so we shall tell you a story: The Three EBC Brewers and the Little Bathroom that Could.

Once upon a time there was a warehouse bathroom that needed to turn into a brewery bathroom. The first step was to remove all the old warehouse material.


Next the three EBC removed the toilet, sink and had the walls fixed up. It was already beginning to look more like a brewery bathroom.

unfinished brewery bathroom

And so the three EBC Brewers headed to Home Depot to buy some good looking floor and wall tile. Grey floor tile to match the EBC grey, and white tiles for the walls.

Dave, from the fire department, was on hand again to help us out – fortunately he’s tiled before. And so the tiling began. First we found a straight line pointing across the room from the doorway. Room’s aren’t always square – and ours was no exception. So a straight line starting where people enter the room makes the tile look straight.

setting the tile line

Next up we laid out the tile across the whole bathroom floor. This is not only used to measure out our tile cuts, but also to make sure we have enough tile.

laying out tile

With the tile laid out the brewery crew began to cut into the tile like a logger cuts into a tree. The first tile is always the trickiest, but once one get’s the first tile right it can be used as a basis for the remaining tile cuts. Commander Matthew got the hang of it real quick.

matt cutting tile

We added the newly cut tile to the floor to make sure it all fit – and so we began gluing the tile to the floor – starting with the straight line we laid out first.

matt laying tile

One often sees professional tilers wearing knee pads when tiling. Matt soon found out why and Chief Joe was there to relieve him. The two switched off to complete tiling the floor and the sanitary coving (we may or may not have had to cut a few extra tiles to make it line up correctly…)

tile without grout

Next up for the crew is to install grout onto the tile. Dave and Brie took care of this job and after it was dry we moved toward installing the FRP. Yeah, FRP. After a long tiling day we decided to return the wall tile and buy FRP instead. This saved the brewery $10.

tile with grout

In order to measure and cut the FRP, we had to remove the sink and toilet water valves. This involves shutting of the water. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know we had some new piping put in. With new piping comes new valves and with new valves comes a bit of confusion.

No one is really sure exactly what transpired – except that Captain Chris is the one who opened the water valve – but the water valves were removed, the water was turned on, and Dave got soaking wet. Head to toe, down to the underwear soaking wet. Luckily, as a fireman, he’s used to it.

Needless to say he had to leave to change – leaving us alone to FRP the walls. And so, after figuring out how the water worked, Chris got to work on cutting the FRP.

chris cutting frp

After the cuts were made we used some adhesive caulking to glue the FRP to the wall. FRP is kinda a pain in the neck in that it always seems to have trouble sticking to the wall. Luckily we found some perfect sized metal and wood poles to brace the walls against themselves so they are pressed to the wall. This created a perfect seal and the FRP went on great.

frp wall up

While the FRP was drying we proceeded to install the toilet. We bought a new toilet gasket and sealed the toilet to the ground over it. Hooked it up to the water and turned it back on (without getting anyone wet). Matt was kind enough to test it for us all.

matt testing toilet

The next day Dave came back, dry and with a good sense of humor, and helped us install the sink. This went on easy – we just had to make sure it was installed 12 inches below the top of the FRP. We have it 14 inches to be on the safe side.

I think I can, I think I can chanted the bathroom with the sink installed. And the Little Bathroom that Could was transformed into a beautiful bathroom fit for a king – or anyone who likes a good beer.

finished brewery bathroom

TTB Wall Plans

March 10th, 2011

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB for short) believe it or not deals with taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

When we sent in our TTB paperwork back in December, we thought a movable chain would suffice to separate brewery from tasting area. However, after speaking to one of the TTB agents – we apparently need more than a chain.

The main reason for separation is to prevent people from stealing the untaxed beer, resulting in less tax money – tax money that is used for wonderful things like roads, cruise missiles, education and so on.

So for increased beer security… we need to add a wall.

We chose to go with a 4′ high wall and a locking door to separate the tasting area and walk-in cooler. We store the taxed beer in the cooler and the un-taxed beer on the other side of the wall in our fermentors. Furthermore, in case someone decides to actually climb over the wall, we need to either lock or remove the fermentor butterfly valve handles.

Here are some pros for this project:

  1. We get to use the ram-set gun (or concrete destroyer as we like to call it) again to fasten the wall to the concrete.
  2. We will now have a use for some security access level badges.
  3. The wall makes a nice little nook to put a lab desk or storage shelf.

Now stay tuned for the future post of “THE GREAT WALL OF TTB”

Enegren brewing ttb wall separation

Operation Tanker Truck: Fermentor Delivery

March 9th, 2011

Mission: To bring fermentors to the brewery

Step 1: Drive Brewery Truck (BT) 1 and BT 2 to San Diego
Step 2: Pick up fermentors from Premier Stainless and load into BTs – thereby becoming tanker trucks
Step 3: Visit Hess Brewing & Mother Earth Brewing
Step 4: Carefully drive back to Moorpark with fermentors
Step 5: Unload fermentors sans forklift and hope no one gets squished
Step 6: Unwrap and love fermentors
Step 7: Celebrate at local bar

EBC Shirts!

March 4th, 2011

Our first round of shirts are here and available for sale online! Simply just use the widget below. All proceeds go to the brewery – specifically we’re hoping to get some extra cash to buy some really sweet tap handles.