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Thread: Brewery steam stench elimination

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Brewery steam stench elimination

    Hello. I'd like to introduce myself, being new on these forums and to beer production in general. I currently live above a local brewing company in a historic town where, back in the 1900s, storeowners often lived or had offices above their main floor business. Recently, some people bought this old building and converted the downstairs into a pub and the upstairs into 4 apartments. This was fine for me, until I started realizing the consequences of living above a brewery. Because it is a historic town, all the downtown buildings are only about 2-3 stories high, but are built like townhouses, with about a 1-foot alley inbetween. Unfortunately for me, I did not ask where the steam output vent was located... much to my surprise, it was located about 10 feet directly underneith my window! With nowhere to go but up and (luckily) somtimes away form my window when a breeze comes, the steam seaps through my closed windows (being an old building, these windows aren't entirely airtight). I live with two other people and all of us agree this is a horrible setup. Everytime the brewery decides to steam their batch, our aparmtent, with windows closed, turns into bitter hops central. We contacted the owners of the pub, but they said they couldn't pipe the rest of the way to the roof (~20ft) because of condensation problems in the pipe, and couldn't bend the pipe to vent out the back of the building for basically the same reason.

    My question is this: Is there a filter or some way to remove the smell from the steam? If not, is there a way to move or extend the pipe so it's not literally blowing into the upstairs?

    BTW, i love beer, just not the smell brewing produces. :P THANKS IN ADVANCE

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005

    brewery smell

    In My opinion, If i were the building owner I would most likely replace the windows with air tight models and maybe an air exchanger in the homes above the brewery with the air exchanger inlet being away from any smell sources.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Stavanger Norway
    I had to close my little Rome brewery for that reason, gee I wish the people above where a little like you.

    Its not easy to get rid of the smell if its coming in.
    the owner could simply put a longer stack up and install a fan in the stack to help the brew kettle to vent possibly even better than before. However living in close vicinity to a brewery will always offer some odors, good to some awlful to many.

    Suggest that to him

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Dexter, MI USA

    Sorry about your vent stack issues. I've been a brewer under offices and apartments and I have seen first hand some of the issues involved. And at my current brewery, in the winter months my neighbors warm their car for what seems like an excessive amount of time before going anywhere. My rooftop HVAC system sucks this exhaust right in, heats it and blows it all over my nice clean brewery. Gives me a headache! And as a former apartment dweller myself, I HATE having stinky neighbors! (Stale cigarette smoke anyone?)

    Did they build the brewery after you moved in or before? If it existed before you moved in, you may be akin to the city folk buying the lot next to the hog farm, building an expensive house, then complaining about the aroma. Your pub owning landlord may take this view and not feel very compelled to spend more money running his capital intensive business with already low rates of return.

    That was the bad news, the good news is there are a ton of options! Well, maybe not a tun, but certainly more than one! A longer vent can easily have a stack fan to induce flow and maintain a good level of kettle evaporation. Easy to install and not overly expensive for a brewpub sized brewery. That, and an internal drip ring to catch any reflux and bingo, happy neighbor. This sort of set up could also be used to redirect the exhaust out the back (probably a more expensive option). Another option would be a vent stack scrubber. There have been some good posts on this site regarding construction of such. A little searching should turn them up. Another option would be to replace the atmospheric vent stack with a condensate stack. These nifty (but sometimes expensive) devices condense the steam as it passes through and redirects the resulting liquid wherever you desire. No structural changes needed at all!

    So many options! The hard part will be to persuade the pub owner to spend the money!

    Best of luck!
    Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Minocqua WI
    With a stack fan and a drip ring in the kettle it should be no problem venting to the roof.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    "Your results may vary"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Seattle Metro, WA
    Yes, what Ted said. If they had a drip ring in the stack with a small outlet spout they could stack the steam all the way to the roof, and with minimal cost. Not sure they'd even need a fan...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Meadville, Pa
    If I'm correct Labor and Industry states that all gas, heat, vapor and aromatics must extend at least 2 feet above the height of the peak or curb of any building. If that is the condesate stack from the Kettle he is talking about. If it is the Boiler condensate and blow-off, that must extend away from any potential of harm as they list it. So if the boiler prv were to relieve then it may be able to exit and reenter the building via the said windows.

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