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Thread: Reopening a brewpub - what needs to be done?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    5

    Reopening a brewpub - what needs to be done?

    A business plan is being drawn up to reopen a brewpub for which I was the brewer. The location closed almost two years ago and has been vacant since. The new business group is bringing me in this week to look at the equipment and determine what needs to be replaced and repaired.

    We closed suddenly so I didn't have time (or electricity) to put all the equipment into hibernation, although I did CIP the heat exchanger, emptied and rinsed all the tanks, cleaned out the mill and auger, and cleaned the draft lines. I will check all the gaskets and replace as needed. Heating is through a direct fired kettle and electric element hot liquor tank, so no boiler to worry about.

    Here are some questions floating in my head-

    Should I dismantle the heat exchanger and replace the gaskets?

    Should the glycol fluid be replaced? I will have the system maintained by a professional, but is there anything I should look at when I am there?

    Should the draft lines be replaced (I think I left water on the lines)? There are two 100'+ runs of six lines each (that go underground). Does anyone have an idea of how much that would cost?

    Does the steel need to be re-passivated?

    Will the pumps be ok or should I plan on getting new seals?

    Should I recalibrate all the thermometers?

    Does anyone have any other recommendations for what else needs to be done before I can begin brewing again?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    88
    <Should I dismantle the heat exchanger and replace the gaskets?>

    I would CIP it looking for leaks, then dismantle and check the gaskets are still pliable and give it a cleaning while at it.

    <Should the glycol fluid be replaced? I will have the system maintained by a professional, but is there anything I should look at when I am there?>

    Glycol should be ok, but I'd be concerned about sticking solenoids.

    <Should the draft lines be replaced (I think I left water on the lines)? There are two 100'+ runs of six lines each (that go underground). Does anyone have an idea of how much that would cost?>

    Assuming the lines were in good shape beforehand, a thorough cleaning and sanitizing should be OK I would think. Make sure to break down and clean/inspect your faucets...now would be a good time to upgrade too..

    <Does the steel need to be re-passivated?>

    I would, if only for piece of mind, In my old brewpub, I repassivated each tank on an annual cycle.

    <Will the pumps be ok or should I plan on getting new seals?>

    One way to find out, test and inspect. I suggest keeping an extra set on hand at all times---pumps have a habit of failing at inconvenient times

    <Should I recalibrate all the thermometers?>

    I would, if only for piece of mind

    <Does anyone have any other recommendations for what else needs to be done before I can begin brewing again?>

    In some cases you should treat it as you would a new system you are just bringing online...test, inspect and verify everything. Fire up the kettle and boil some water, etc.

    If it were me I would also start by a thorough cleaning of the whole brewery, outside as well as inside. Every gasketed joint should be disconnected, inspected and cleaned. Inspect the manways and gaskets too! Test the PRV's. Clean the carb stones. If you have an auger and a mill, I'd do my best to clean it, then get ahold of some leftover old grain and run it thru and throw away. Probably overkill, but after 2 years I would leave nothing to chance...I'd want the luxury of a couple of weeks to get it up and running again.

    Not just your equipment either, inspect the facility for mold, etc Cold rooms are notorious mold havens after a shutdown... Get a garden sprayer and some quaternary ammonia and clean everything that gets wet.

    If you have kegs, don't neglect them either.

    CT
    Last edited by burlybeer; 11-10-2009 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Marquette, Michigan
    Posts
    73
    Just as burly said. But i would make a 1st trial brew with water instead of
    malt & wort. Mash, lauter,boil,whirlpool,heat x/c, etc. Better to find out with
    water, than $$$ worth of stuff. You can re use all the water. Cheers & Good
    Luck!!!

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