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Thread: 2nd floor spent grain and garbage chutes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    27

    2nd floor spent grain and garbage chutes

    I'm looking at an interesting old industrial complex on a sloped site. The section that I'd use for the brewery is 14k SF on the 2nd floor, but it's similar to a walk out basement – the north side of the space is at grade level, and the back side of the space is 20' in the air. The north side has 2 truck-high loading docks, one will be converted into the main public entry, the other will be our main distribution dock. There is one other dock available, but it's a shared dock by other tenants, and is down a freight elevator and a common corridor, so while it's something we could use in a pinch, it's not something I want to rely upon for major use. My goal is to eventually be distributing 10k+ bbl/yr, so that'll need to go through our primary dock. What I need now is to find a solution for spent grain and garbage removal that doesn't put any more load on our distribution dock.

    The east wall is accessible to vehicles and the landlord said we could use that side for a dumpster and spend grain removal. The trick is that there's no loading dock, but it's also between 12'-20' above grade, so I was thinking of chutes for garbage and spent grain. Here's a pic, hopefully it's worth a 1000 words (not to scale, just giving an overview of the general layout)...

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    My thought is that we could use the height near the southeast corner for a spent grain chute, so the truck could pull up and we could dump it in directly from the 2nd floor. Similar thought for the dumpster, we'd have some chute out of the east wall that would drop garbage down into the dumpster. So, has anyone seen this in action? I think I've seen examples of a 2nd floor garbage chute, but I can't find any examples for spent grain removal. Any gotchas or other reasons this would be problematic or a bad idea? It seems it'd be easy to let gravity do some work, but I'm not sure if it'd be a free fall, or if there needs to be some conveyor or auger to move the grain. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Panama City Florida
    Posts
    414
    At first look it seems workable a issue I would see is odor. As we all know this stuff stinks up pretty quick and any residuals left in the chute would get foul smelling. If you do it make sure that the chute has a smooth surface so it can be rinsed down quickly. Sorry didnt see where you are at does it freeze? then rinsing would be a problem. Cool idea
    Mike Eme
    Brewmaster

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    27
    Quote Originally Posted by beerguy1 View Post
    At first look it seems workable a issue I would see is odor. As we all know this stuff stinks up pretty quick and any residuals left in the chute would get foul smelling. If you do it make sure that the chute has a smooth surface so it can be rinsed down quickly. Sorry didnt see where you are at does it freeze? then rinsing would be a problem. Cool idea
    Good point on keeping the chute free from residual build up. I'm in Dallas, so freezing shouldn't be much of an issue, but the summer heat could could really turn up the funk on anything stuck inside.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    50
    How big is your brewhouse? 10K/year might be large enough to warrant having a spent grain silo, depending on where you locate the brewhouse in the space it could save you a lot of labor in the long run to automate spent grain removal that way. Used to work at a 15K/year that had a dedicated spent grain silo next to the two row silo in the parking lot.

    If you're set on the chute, find the longest handled squeegee you can and size the chute to it - haven't found anything better for pushing/pulling spent grain down a slide. Migh not even have to be super long if the chute isn't either.

    Other than that, sweet space!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    203
    Look in to spent grain augers or conveyors instead of a gravity drop chute. Cleaning should be much easier and part of the grain out SOP.
    Todd G Hicks
    BeerDenizen Brewing Services
    Serda Brewing Company
    OPEN - Finally!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    27
    Theo: We'll have a 3 vessel 30 bbl system (mlt / kettle / whirlpool). Thanks for the spent grain silo pointer, I'll look into that.

    Todd: Ok, I'd looked at spent grain augers before but sort of considered it a luxury. Given the limited dock space at this location I'll bump it up the priority list. Doesn't sound like the height of the east side is going to buy me much, except I wouldn't have to pump as high to get into a silo.

    This is starting to sound more expensive. What's new?

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