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Thread: Brewery Wall Material

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    98

    Brewery Wall Material

    What should we make our interior brewery walls out of? The building currently is just a pole barn with no interior walls so we get our choice. What's the best? FRP on top of green board? I don't really like the look of FRP to be honest. Metal siding like on the outside of the barn? That comes in painted or clear-coated galvanized (but no, we don't want to look like Chipotle!).

    Right now I am leaning towards painted metal siding. I think it will be cheaper and last a long time. I think it should be fairly water / rust resistant but I don't know if I should go the extra mile and caulk between the sheets? Or is metal siding a bad idea? I'm open to all suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Sean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,924
    Painted metal siding is a good way to go. Just don't do what we did and orient the corrugations horizontally--very difficult to clean. Abosolutely skip FRP over drywall. Even greenboard will rot and fall apart in a few years from the constant high humidity (ask how I know).

    More importantly is what the walls are made of, and what they're insulated with. Since I have no idea where you are, I'll assume it's somewhere with cool-to-cold winters. The temperature in a brewhouse can easily exceed 80F, with saturated, condensing humidity. If it's colder outside, this will tend to condense inside the walls. No plastic sheet vapor barrier made is up to this challenge. The best option is sprayed-in-place foam, as it forms the best vapor barrier possible.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Cazenovia, NY
    Posts
    167
    Agreeing with TGTimm - avoid the frp. It falls off if you cough on it, no matter what type of glue you spread on it - and everything else in its way!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Moorhead, Minnesota
    Posts
    610
    Steel siding is working great for us. We put in light grey siding in our brew house and it definitely achieved the look we were going for. No questions from the health inpector either. Make sure to overlap the seams one rib and you should be pretty much waterproof as far as splashing goes. Another benefit to steel is that it is pretty easy to take down should you ever need to replace insulation or put a hole through the wall for brew house ventilation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    98
    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Painted metal siding is a good way to go. Just don't do what we did and orient the corrugations horizontally--very difficult to clean. Abosolutely skip FRP over drywall. Even greenboard will rot and fall apart in a few years from the constant high humidity (ask how I know).

    More importantly is what the walls are made of, and what they're insulated with. Since I have no idea where you are, I'll assume it's somewhere with cool-to-cold winters. The temperature in a brewhouse can easily exceed 80F, with saturated, condensing humidity. If it's colder outside, this will tend to condense inside the walls. No plastic sheet vapor barrier made is up to this challenge. The best option is sprayed-in-place foam, as it forms the best vapor barrier possible.
    Thanks all for the info! Glad to see we're on the right track here. Timm, we are in Ohio. Hot, humid summers and cold winters. We were planning on using 8" fiberglass roll insulation with a vapor barrier in the entire building. If you think moisture is going to mess that us, I could also ask about using hard foam panels or spray-in foam. At least in the brewery area.

    Now this reminds me, we are also going to have install a ceiling under our rafters, which was going to be the same metal siding, I think that silver bubble-wrap stuff would go above that with blown-in cellulose on top. Is this also a bad idea then, due to moisture? It won't be as cold on the other side of the ceiling because there will be all the space in the rafters, so maybe it won't be as prone to condensation?

    Our brewery is pretty small production, less than 1500 bbl/year. So even though it will produce some steam and that will condense, hopefully it won't kill any insulation too quick...hopefully.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,924
    Sean--

    Your major enemy is condensation within the walls. The best wall would be cast concrete, but that isn't very good for insulation, nor for future modifications. The second best I can think of would be steel structure (steel studs/joists/plates) with spray-in-place closed-cell foam. This kind of foam provides the most nearly sealed vapor barrier I'm aware of, aside from solid concrete. Foam panels will not perform anywhere near as well (a plastic sheet "vapor barrier" will have more holes than a sieve by the time the siding is done, and be essentially worthless). Same goes for the ceiling--anywhere there's a steep temperature gradient between inside and outside, condensation will occur within the insulation. Our original building was wood stud construction with fiberglass batts and FRP over greenboard. We've had to replace several walls over the last decade due to "dry rot" caused by the soaking wet fiberglass insulation keeping the wood construction wet, and have a couple more to replace this spring. There's nothing quite like leaning against a brewery wall and having your hand go right through to ruin one's day. All our more recent construction has been steel stud, unfortunately, with fiberglass batt insulation (no local contractors for the foam), with painted steel siding for the interior.

    For convenience and future expansion/remodel, don't run wires or pipes in the wall. Use surface mount conduits and pipes instead.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

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