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Level slab, can't change it.. thoughts?

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  • Level slab, can't change it.. thoughts?

    I have a landlord that is providing free rent and is providing water, propane, power and a new wall with French doors. I am not, however, able to modify the floors. They are level and concrete.

    Should i back out? What are my options?

  • #2
    Those are all pretty good incentives. The free utilities should buy you extra hoses, some bowls or trays to catch anything that would hit the floor, and some extra valves so you can double up at connections. It's not ideal, but I ran a 5bbl brewery for years with only a small trench drain, and no slope. We just were careful about making a mess, and had a couple squeegees to clean up any spills. We also mopped a bunch. If the rest of the gig makes sense, I wouldn't turn it down over this issue.


    • #3
      I had trouble reading much past "free rent"... That pays for an awful lot of squeegee time.

      Will the landlord let you coat the floors? With them being level you'll have exaggerated issues with chemical staining/pitting.
      Sent from my Microsoft Bob

      Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own. |


      • #4
        This is my life – well, the unmodified original slab, not the free rent! If this is your biggest concern with the space, go for it!

        It's a pain in the butt, to be sure – "level" really means "sloped very slightly in random directions, with the lowest swamps somehow always ending up in the hardest to reach places." Even with a trench drain down the middle of brewery area floor, there's a lot of squeegeeing, and the liquid's never quite 100% cleared. We presume anything that touches the floor is contaminated, which means re-sani'ing triclamp gaskets that drop, being careful with hose ends post-boil, etc. – stuff you should be doing anyway, but these corners become un-cuttable.

        On the other hand – "a lot" of squeegeeing amounts to maybe an hour a day, max? If you're big enough to have an assistant brewer, figure they'll be doing most of it, at not-too-much an hour, and if you're not, hey, that's one of the business owners pushing the squeegee, those hours are free! Either way, it's definitely a lot less than you'd spend on rent and utilities.

        I'd ask yourself, are there other problems with the space? Do you have enough room for as big a brewhouse as you want? Enough for that brewhouse, all your fermenters, extra space to put in a couple double-size fermenters for when you're moving your flagships fast enough you're having trouble keeping them in stock, and still plenty of room to actually work in the brewery? Located somewhere folks are willing to go to visit a taproom, and space for those folks to sit and enjoy a pint when they do visit?

        Now, that being said – if you can convince the building to owner to let you at least dig up a 2' strip down the center and run a trench drain, your life will be a lot easier. If it's on your own dime, and you make a written promise to pull it back out again when you leave, seems like he's got little to complain about, and you're still ahead of the game even paying for floor work twice.


        • #5

          I would just cove the walls, coat the floor and push water. unless you can cut a bigger middle section for the drain and get at least 1-2 ft slope around drains. I see this all the time!!

          Feel free to call or email me anytime. we have installed floors in over 200 breweries and Thousands of Food Processing facilities.
          Chris Klein
          Cell 541-510-1080
          Office (503) 769-6823


          • #6
            I'm dealing with the same situation right now. I can't quite figure out if its worth putting a coating on the existing flat floor, which would only be something relatively low cost (think home improvement store acid/primer/epoxy rolled on) and would presumably also need to be scrubbed off before pouring a sloped section on top, or just buying several more trays etc. and making do with the bare concrete until I can get more poured