For the first time since we started Operation Dirty Green – our new brewery is finally starting to look like a brewery. But it didn’t come without harrow, suspense and determination.
It all started the day before the tanks arrived – we needed to rent a boom lift with a boom extender to stand up the tanks. We had it all planned out, but the company didn’t have the exact boom-extender we wanted. They had one close enough, so we ordered it. No problem.
Later that night, Chris was having trouble going to sleep – excited like a kid the night before Christmas. He finally managed to doze off, and that’s when the nightmares started.
Twice he woke up worried the replacement boom-lift wouldn’t work and the tanks would be stuck on their side. At 3am in the morning he almost got out of bed and pulled it up on Solid Works to draw the boom to make sure it would fit. And finally, he had a terrible dream he was stuck in traffic and missed the tank delivery.
Restless night of sleep finished, first thing in the morning Chris drew up the boom to double check everything would work. The model said it would – by a couple inches.
Later That Day
The tanks arrived in two shipments at 2pm and 3pm. The first truck had the new grist case and our hot and cold liquor tanks. The second our three fermentors. The timing was perfect, as soon as we finished unloading the first truck, the second arrived.
The tank tipping up process was set into three difficulty levels:
- Level 1(easy): Unload the Tanks
- Level 2(medium): Stand up the Fermentors
- Level 3(hard – aka the boss level): Stand up the Cold and Hot Liquor Tanks
To pull the tanks out of the delivery trucks – we pulled them out part-way with Helga The Forklift. Once partially out, our rented boom lift grabbed them from the side and drove them down to the brewery.
You might notice a handsome young man driving the boom lift – his name is Scott Doubleday. We were talking to him in the tasting room about our expansion and when we mentioned we were renting the boom lift, he casually mentioned: “Hey, I’m a trained heavy equipment operator. Do you need my help?”
Needless to say, we took advantage of this good fortune and said yes.
With the tanks all unloaded, we started to bring them into the brewery and stand them up.
Unloading the tanks was nervous, but standing up the tanks was downright terrifying. Our hearts were racing for the next 4 hours as we stood-up the tanks.
With baited breath we drove them into the brewery and lifted them up. The boom-lift came close to the ceiling, but luckily it fit in the room and we stood the tanks up no problem. The first tank was the scariest, and the other two stood into place with ease.
The final boss – standing up the two 30 BBL liquor tanks. These were markedly harder than the fermentors because they have shorter legs, we were standing them up in a confined space, and an expensive boiler was right next to them.
The first tank proved quite the challenge. We got it to about 45 degrees and realized the legs weren’t long enough to tip up onto without damaging the port at the bottom. So, we had to cut off part of the transport rack to pull it away.
Then, while lifting the tank up the strap got caught on the manway door and almost bent the whole thing out of shape.
And finally, when the tank was almost up, Chris’s dream nearly came true. There was an electrical conduit running across the ceiling – too low for us to stand up the tank. Luckily we were able to grab a pole and push it up, just enough to let the boom through.
And like the fermentors, the second tank was a piece of cake.
All-in-all the entire process took 8 hours – and finally our new brewery is starting to look like a brewery. Be sure to check it out next brewery tour on September 14th.