Posts Tagged ‘Operation Dirty Green’

Previous Operation Dirty Green Posts

Christening Lagertha & Our First Brew

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Like all our tanks, the mighty 15 bbl brewery Lagertha needed to be christened before she was used for brewing.

Brie’s voice rang clear across the brewery on the chilly December morning as we christened Lagertha moments before our first mash-in.

After a tiring 27-hour brew day for the first brew on our 3-BBL system, we prepared ourselves for the worst as grain and water filled our new mash tun. However, much to our surprise, things went incredibly smoothly during our first brew-day and a 15 BBL batch of Contradiction Black IPA is now fermenting away happily in our brewery!

We all agreed that a victory cigar at 10pm after a finished brew was way better than a “victory” cigar at 5am while the brew was still boiling after 20 hours of brewing.


And so began brewing on our new brewery. Named after a fierce Viking shieldmaiden, she is well equipped to take us forward to share the glory and power of beer to all the land.

Operation Frosty Box IV – Double Fridge Move

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

You’ve read about Operation Frosty Box I & II from back before we even opened.

You’ve seen Operation Frosty Box III from our big 3-bbl brewery expansion almost two year ago.

Now we bring to you, Operation Frosty Box IV – Double Fridge Move.

The Problem

Our new brewery tasting room will use the same fridge as our current brewery tasting room. At the new brewery, we need to install a fire sprinkler in the fridge before we open. It’s impossible to install a fire sprinkler in a fridge that isn’t there.

The Solution

Move our current tasting room fridge to the new brewery and move our old tasting room fridge back to the current brewery without interrupting the flow of beer to customers and without letting our beer get warm.

The Action

Step 1
The first problem is that the old fridge is way bigger than the small serving fridge at the tasting room. To accommodate the bigger fridge, we had to de-bolt Anita and Hedi from the ground and transport them over to our new brewery.

Step 2
Move the tasting room fridge over to the new brewery. We had to remove all serving equipment (taps, CO2 regulators, etc.), dissemble the fridge at the current brewery, and re-assemble the fridge at the new brewery.

Step 3
Break down the cold-storage fridge at the new brewery and re-install it in the current tasting room. Transport all kegs that were at the new brewery to the fridge at the current tasting room. Re-install the tap system – all while making sure the beer stays cold.

The Result

We now have our old fridge from Operation Frosty Box II in our current brewery and our serving fridge behind our new bar with a sprinkler in it.

Operation Dirty Green – November Construction Update

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

For the last few months we’ve been saying “the brewery is finally coming together” – but for the first time ever, it’s now actually coming together.

The bar is finally finished. Fireman Dave poured 9 gallons of epoxy over this thing and it’s now ready to commence vigorous testing – hence the kegerator behind it. You may also notice that while modeling the bar, Brie had to put her purse on top of the bar. Don’t worry, we have a solution for that coming.


As some of you may remember from the build-out blog from our current brewery, there is a requirement that we separate the brewery from the tasting room with a wall. This time we decided to get fancy with it – and at the same time doubled its zombie defense rating from 10 zombies per minute to 20.


Brewery Programming / Testing
The brewhouse control system is debugged and ready to go. It’s waiting for a completed steam system before we can do a full hot water test.

Steam System

And don’t worry. The most important part of ANY steam system has also been installed.

Compressed Air System
We installed a big air compressor to power the brewhouse horns. One might ask why one would need horns when one also has a whistle, but that’s just a stupid question.

The air compressor will also be used to power our keg washer and air operated valves on our brewhouse and fermentors.

Tasting Room Lighting and Fans
We finally ripped out the gross florescent lights that come with pretty much all warehouses and put some nice barn-style lights and fans in.

Glycol System Complete
The glycol system has been one of the most labor intensive jobs. The chiller unit had been sitting in our tasting room for nearly 6 months while we figured out where to put it – it’s now on the roof.

After we mounted the plumbing, each elbow and tee needed to be covered with an insulation casing and then filled with expanding liquid foam. This might sound hard, but it turned out to be really easy – thanks to the fact that Chris married a girl that has a really handy father who did all the work (thanks Fireman Dave).

We’re within weeks of our first brew and pretty soon you’ll start to see some of the tanks pulled out of our existing brewery and put into commission at the new facility. As soon as we get our final building and safety sign-offs we’ll start planning our grand opening.

We’re almost there!

Operation Dirty Green – Construction Update

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

A lot has been going on at our new brewery and we’re busy as bees finishing up the last of the work. Stay tuned for more info on our opening – but until then enjoy these pictures of the work in progress!

Bar Frame

The frame for our new bar is built in the brewery, and will be completed in a few days!

Tap Handles

Nicknamed Mission Impossible – after several months Fireman Dave finished creating over 600 new tap handles for our expansion. A build-your-own pizza party was held in celebration.

Random Improvements

Building a new brewery isn’t just stainless steel and sweet bars – there’s a lot of nitty-gritty work that needs to be done: tiling bathrooms, installing boat horns, etc.

The New Brewery Arrives

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

There have been many exciting milestones along the way in this brewery building adventure – from smashing walls down to watching concrete being poured. However, nothing was as exciting as seeing our brand new 15BBL brew system being delivered last Friday. None of us are fathers, yet, but this has to be EXACTLY what it’s like seeing ones first born.

The truck arrived at around 2pm, and as with every other new piece of equipment in our expansion process, the brewery was too big for Helga The Forklift to handle. Luckily larger forklifts are available for rent, and we happen to know a guy who can operate heavy machinery.

So once again, our friend Scott helped us unload the tanks and platform from the truck and into the facility. As everything was already standing up, this process proved much easier than the fermentors.

After getting the tanks and platform into the building, we began the leveling and positioning process which is not unlike a dog trying to chase its own tail (but not as cute). If it wasn’t for us being so pumped up at the moment, the mood would have definitely resulted in frustration and yelling.

Each tank has about 3-4 connections to the main system manifold and each connection must fit perfectly into place without bending. The toughest part was moving, leveling, raising and twisting each tank so every fitting lined up.


Then next day consisted of screwing the mounting plates for the brewery as well as our fermentors and water tanks to the ground using big screw anchors and our favorite tool: the rotohammer.

The brew system is a Premier Stainless 15BBL 3-vessel system. This was completely designed by Chris, who conveniently also works at Premier Stainless. This of course resulted in a wicked sweet system with a lot of fancy things.

From left to right, we have a Lauter tun with rakes and an automatic grain-out plow, Steam Jacketed Mash Tun with a mixer in the middle and a Kettle / Whirlpool on the right side.

The system will be controlled by a PLC in the center cabinet with the interface mounted on top.

On the brew deck there is a sink that’s plumbed into the hot and cold water tanks in our back room as well as a sample chiller for cooling wort samples.

The most important part is that we made the deck big enough for brew tours, but mainly to hold a cot for overnight brews.

If you’re coming out to our Oktoberfest this weekend, you’re welcome to come see the new system at 2 pm, she is yours as much as she is ours, so climb the platform, look in the tanks, or just simply give her a hug… For those of you who are wondering, her name is Lagertha.

Tank Tipping Day

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

three-30-bbl-fermentors-in-breweryFor 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

Level 1
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.

Level 2
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.

Level 3
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.

Concrete Installation – Part II

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Part I of our concrete install, if you missed it, had demolition, wicked awesome construction machinery and loud noises. If you’re into that sort of thing (we are) – be sure to check it out.

If you’re more the type who loves sloped surfaces and latticed-rebar (we are ) – this blog post is for you.

Step 1: Vapor Barrier
The first step in pouring concrete is to place a plastic sheet over the dirt to prevent soil moisture from ruining the concrete.

Step 2: Rebar
With the vapor barrier in place, rebar dowels were drilled into the sides of the old concrete and epoxied in place. These ensure the new concrete slab adheres to the surrounding old slab. With the dowels in place, workers laid additional rebar across the opening in a lattice pattern (a pattern seldom used outside of pie and gardening circles) and tied it together.
rebar sloped floor drain new brewery

Step 3: Concrete Pouring
At 6am on a Thursday the cement mixer, pumping apparatus, and about 15 concrete workers showed up and immediately began working. These guys were organized & efficient – this was by far the most exciting part to see.

matt in front of cement mixer-annotated

Cement Mixer

cement pumping apparatus

pumping apparatus

All of the concrete work was performed by Dennis Mesick from Ideal Concrete Worx.

dennis infront of concrete - annotated

Step 4: FRP
Since we needed to wait 2 weeks for the concrete to completely dry, we decided to knock out some tiling and FRP wall paneling. This was our second time doing both tile and FRP so it was a little less of a circus.

Step 5: U-Crete
After spending lots of money on a fancy new slopes slab, the last thing we wanted to see was a bunch of cracks, mold and erosion start to set in as soon as we started brewing. Therefore, we got one of the best coatings money can buy: U-Crete. U-Crete is a cementitious urethane coating that’s designed to take lots of abuse. Unlike epoxies, it won’t crack when the concrete expands and contracts. Applying U-Crete consisted of the following procedures:

  1. Shot blast the concrete to open up the pores for better adhesion.
  2. shot blasting concrete

  3. Apply a base coat and cover it with sand.
  4. prepping for u-crete

  5. Vacuum up all the sand that didn’t stick to the coating after it dried.
  6. sucking up the leftover sand

  7. Apply a final coat
  8. applying final u-crete coating

The final sloped floor drain coated in U-Crete is sure to be the highlight of the next brewery tour. You won’t want to miss it.

And once again we leave you with a time lapse video of the construction being done. The Benny Hill Soundtrack really captures the essence of our build out.

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Concrete Installation – Part I

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

After 3 rounds of plan-check approvals with the city, we were finally ready to start turning our dirty old warehouse into our beautiful new brewery. First up after plan approval was to paint and start on the 1,400 sq ft sloping floor drain where our brewery will be. This was done in five steps:

Step 1: Move All Equipment
We still have all of our storage over at the new brewery, so to prepare for painting we spent a night fork-lifting all our grain racks, barrels, etc. into the center of the facility so painters could paint the walls where the new brewery will be located.

Step 2: Move All Equipment…Again
Another step, another night playing Tetris with all of our equipment. To make way for painting the tasting room ceiling, the equipment that we just put in the center of the brewery was moved to the left side of the facility.

Step 3: Saw Cut
Finally a step that did not require our now-advanced fork lifting skills. Ventura Concrete Cutting came out to cut the perimeter of the drain area. Surprisingly the concrete saw was whisper quiet allowing us to get some more work done in the unit while they were cutting.

Step 4: Concrete Removal
The day after cutting the perimeter of our drainage area, Dennis and his crew from Ideal Concrete Worx arrived with a dump-truck and a Bobcat equipped with a jackhammer and started busting up the floor.


Dump Truck & Bobcat


For a full day,the Earth shook.


Brewery floor all cut up.

Step 5: Install Plumbing
After the concrete rubble was removed, Mark Johnson came and began installing the piping for the main drain lines. You may remember Mark Johnson from previous brewery plumbing episodes.


Installing Plumbing

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and so that means (assuming there are no diminishing returns) that 2,000 pictures is worth 2,000,000 words. So, we bring to you this 2,000,000 word description of the first phase of our build out in the form of time-lapse-photography!

Stay Tuned for the continuation of the plumbing install and the pouring of concrete.

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Operation Dirty Green – May Update

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Like an iconic movie, our first brewery tour needed a sequel. On May 18th Chris Enegren gave a month-two tour to cap off American Craft Beer Week. Chris followed Matt’s recipe for brewery tours with a quick lesson on the current brewery so that the expansion could be fully appreciated.

Once everyone had reached the future home of Enegren Brewing, Chris pressed his trusty foil into service in lieu of a laser pointer. Plans with fresh approval stamps had been affixed to the wall so that Captain Chris had pictures in addition to words to share the vision for the new brewery with those in attendance.

The brewery is starting to look cleaned up – work this week was focused on the ceiling. New reflective new reflective insulation & a fresh coat of paint really spruced things up!

Final building approvals with the city passed this week and with any luck we’ll soon have pictures of a concrete saw in action for you next week.

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First Tour of the New Brewery

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

There are some events in history that demand being chronicled in words and pictures. The Wright Brothers’ inaugural flight at Kitty Hawk, Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, and Commander Matt’s guided tour of the new brewery to name a few.

Sign Up For New Brewery Tour #2 Here »

Sunday, April 13th in the year 2014, shall forever be remembered as the day the faithful followers and aficionados of fine craft beer were treated to a personal guided tour of the new brew facility. Of course, in order to truly appreciate the expanse of the expansion Matt gave a quick overview of the current operation, followed by a walking tour to the future operation.

Upon reaching his destination attendees of drinking age were held spellbound as Matt pressed a high tech podium into service and shared the details planned for the new brewery.

pedestal of presentation

Podium of Presentation

Empty spaces and blank walls were painted with verbal images of a larger tasting room, state of the art 15 barrel brewery that will be visible to guests, barrels of specialty brews that will line the entry, the location of numerous 30 barrel fermentors and other specifics designed with the enjoyment of patrons in mind.

If you closed your eyes you could smell a fresh batch brewing.