View Full Version : Build out questions from contractor

11-21-2013, 07:41 PM
Hi everyone, we're in the process of starting a 7bbl brewpub and just did a walkthrough with a contractor on a potential property to get a ballpark buildout estimate. He asked a few questions that I wasn't exactly sure how to answer. I did some googling and searched this forum pretty hard but I was wondering if I could get some more feedback.
1. Electric - we need 208VAC, 3 phase, 60 hertz, 4 wire, with 200 amp service, right?
2. Gas - the company we're looking at the hardest said the burners for the BK require at least 600,000 BTUs. How big of a gas line should the building have?
3. Water - we need at least a 1" line delivering 10.5 gpm at 40 psi, right?
4. Sewer - how big of a sewer line do we need to tie into? The contractor mentioned a concern about the drain being able to accommodate a fermenter failing. This is the issue I couldn't find any information about online.

Thanks in advance,

11-22-2013, 07:12 AM
You might check with your equipment manufacturer about voltage. I believe 240v 3ph is a bit more common. It IS different than 208. For amperage it depends on how big you plan to get. If you are planning to grow go with enough to fully accommodate your exasperation. I can tell you it is expensive to go back and upgrade it later.

We have a 2" gas main and run 1.5 m/btu boiler plus several other furnaces off it with no problems. Again, think about growth when installing utilities, you do not want to revisit these for a long time. Also is that 600K btu per burner or the whole rig?

The graph I am looking at says around 40-50 gpm on a 1" pipe around 40 psi.

I have never heard of drains having to accommodate a full tank failure. Will you have sloped floors to a trench drain? I think a 4" drain pipe would be fine, 6" would cover about everything. Good luck.

11-27-2013, 07:49 AM
Thanks for the feedback, I'll check with the manufacturer. We will have sloped floors and a trench drain.


11-27-2013, 02:37 PM
As far as 208 vs 240V service, that'll be up to your electric company. Check what they have on the wires. The only place I've found that it really matters is in electric heating elements. All the 3 P motors we have list the low voltage as 208/240 (or 230). With the resistive elements, you can use 240V elements on 208V, but go the other way and circuit breakers start popping and wires smoking due to the higher amperage draw.

Don't install electric wiring in-wall. Use surface-mount conduits instead for ease of modification in the future. Have your electrician over-size these, and be sure he leaves a "pull line" in the conduits.

Likewise, surface or rack-mount your plumbing (except drains, see below) for the same reason.

Whatever you do, over-size and over-slope all drain and waste lines. Yeast slurry doesn't drain like normal sewage, and you'll waste too much water trying to keep it moving through under-sized, under-sloped lines. Plan clean-outs for ease of access and cleaning--you will need these.

Be sure to check with your local sewage facility about what kind of pre-treatment you may need for your effluent.

With skill and luck, your business will grow, and your facility will need to also. Plan for this and you'll be happy.

11-30-2013, 04:34 AM
I have some recent experience here...

1) Electric requirements will be determined by your equipment. Make sure 3-phase is available, and if not contact the power company asap to see what it will take to get a 3-phase drop at your facility. This could be costly and time consuming, so hopefully it is already there.

2) Gas will also be determined by your equipment. Get in contact with your gas provider and give them your equipment specs, they will be happy to upsize your supply if it means they can sell you more gas.

3) Water, simply do a bucket test (time to fill a 5 gallon) to determine your gallons per minute (GPM). Pressure really shouldn't matter, city water systems have minimum fire protection requirements (talking pipes in the ground not sprinklers) so you will rarely see a pressure below 40 psi static and 20 psi while flowing. Also while we are on the subject, get your water reports and figure out how your are going to make your beer with their water.

4) Sewer - The lateral to your building could be anywhere from 4"-10" (bigger is better). Try to get a 4" drain installed with a full 4" trap. It would be a good idea to find out where your sewer goes and how strict they are. Most likely you can fly under the radar with a 7BBL operation but it all depends on the plant capacity and operation. As far as planing for a failed fermenter I don't see the cost benefit in building to accommodate that but I don't know your facility.

Hope some of that helps.