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Thread: Elevated Platform for Brewhouse / Cellar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bridgewater, NJ
    Posts
    3

    Elevated Platform for Brewhouse / Cellar

    Does anyone have any experience with using a wood framed elevated platform (tiled, water proofed, properly sloped, and designed to include floor drains - think along the lines of how one would build a very large shower floor) for their <5BBL brewhouse and / or cellar?

    I am thinking about this as an option if potential locations would not allow cutting "proper" floor drains in concrete or to re-slope the floors for drains in these areas.

    In theory the weight load shouldn't be a problem for such a design...at least not at that size. Not any heavier than the average filled hot tub. So, it seems like it would work fine as a backup option, but would love to hear any pro and cons from someone who has done it.

    Thanks in advance...Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    301
    I wouldn't use wood, but rather light gauge steel framing. I brought this up in another thread some time back, and got some good advice from TGTimm and dick murton. See this thread. I haven't built this yet, but I'm getting closer to that stage. It was pretty easy to find fairly inexpensive suppliers for 4x8 FRP diamond tread panels for the deck surface. The LGS steel manufacturers supply these for regular construction projects as a pre-cut package, which makes it easier to assemble.

    The thermal expansion rates for FRP and steel are quite different, so you really have to consider how you'll attach the deck surface to the framing. In a marine application, you use threaded deck bolts. They're large flat head threaded bolts with a very shallow head angle. The head is around an inch in diameter for a 5/16 bolt. The hole in the deck plate is oversized quite a bit (from memory, at least twice the threaded diameter of the bolt), which allows some side-to-side movement.

    To carry the weight of a row of fermenters, I figured additional framing would be required, carrying the load to a row of concrete piers set below. In my case, the fermenters will go in a staggered double row back along the long edge in the direction of the deck, and it's a simple matter to double up the joists, and use an extra row of piers to carry the load to the floor. The centerline of the deck is where the trench drain runs, with a sump at one end.

    If you're lucky or persistent, I think you could get the manufacturer to provide engineered plans for your inspectors. They typically do this for other applications, but may be hesitant with something odd like this. In addition to not having to modify the floor of the building, I need to consider the possibility of moving the brewing deck to a new location, and that's fairly simple with something like this.

    Just thought I'd suggest it!


    Regards,
    Mike Sharp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Sublimity, OR
    Posts
    70

    Flooring

    I have a guy on the east coast that could help you with coating this or installing some flooring to protect your investment.

    Chris Klein
    541-510-1080
    chris@cascadefloors.com
    Chris Klein
    Cell 541-510-1080
    Office (503) 769-6823
    WWW.CASCADEFLOORS.COM
    chris@cascadefloors.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Bridgewater, NJ
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by rdcpro View Post
    I wouldn't use wood, but rather light gauge steel framing. I brought this up in another thread some time back, and got some good advice from TGTimm and dick murton. See this thread. I haven't built this yet, but I'm getting closer to that stage. It was pretty easy to find fairly inexpensive suppliers for 4x8 FRP diamond tread panels for the deck surface. The LGS steel manufacturers supply these for regular construction projects as a pre-cut package, which makes it easier to assemble.

    The thermal expansion rates for FRP and steel are quite different, so you really have to consider how you'll attach the deck surface to the framing. In a marine application, you use threaded deck bolts. They're large flat head threaded bolts with a very shallow head angle. The head is around an inch in diameter for a 5/16 bolt. The hole in the deck plate is oversized quite a bit (from memory, at least twice the threaded diameter of the bolt), which allows some side-to-side movement.

    To carry the weight of a row of fermenters, I figured additional framing would be required, carrying the load to a row of concrete piers set below. In my case, the fermenters will go in a staggered double row back along the long edge in the direction of the deck, and it's a simple matter to double up the joists, and use an extra row of piers to carry the load to the floor. The centerline of the deck is where the trench drain runs, with a sump at one end.

    If you're lucky or persistent, I think you could get the manufacturer to provide engineered plans for your inspectors. They typically do this for other applications, but may be hesitant with something odd like this. In addition to not having to modify the floor of the building, I need to consider the possibility of moving the brewing deck to a new location, and that's fairly simple with something like this.

    Just thought I'd suggest it!


    Regards,
    Mike Sharp
    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I had done a forum search but didn't see anything. I like the idea of the steel framing. That seems like it might add some structural rigidity.

    I'm curious why you would go with FRP panels. I don't personally like the idea of threaded bolts in the flooring. It seems to me something like Kerdi membrane and traditional tile over double layer subfloor would accomplish the same thing for cheaper. Would also be completely water tight. Maybe one advantage of FRP would be drop protection??

    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Kent, WA
    Posts
    301
    Quote Originally Posted by SideBrewing View Post
    Thanks for the reply, Mike. I had done a forum search but didn't see anything. I like the idea of the steel framing. That seems like it might add some structural rigidity.

    I'm curious why you would go with FRP panels. I don't personally like the idea of threaded bolts in the flooring. It seems to me something like Kerdi membrane and traditional tile over double layer subfloor would accomplish the same thing for cheaper. Would also be completely water tight. Maybe one advantage of FRP would be drop protection??

    Bob
    For me, FRP because of chemical resistance, and it's MUCH cheaper than SS. No internal voids where icky stuff can grow.

    I also need to be able to disassemble it and move it to a new location at some point. If you're going to do a permanent install, then probably steel framing and a flooring made of shotcrete or something might be ok. I'm not an expert in that area. At least it could be demo'd if you had to vacate the building. It can be costly to undo tenant improvements that involve the floor.

    I am planning on using a self vulcanizing tape material on top of the joists, and Vulkem (as TGTimm recommended) at the attachment points. So, the deck screws are sealed in place, and the joint between each panel is also sealed. The vulanized rubber tape below is a backup in case a crack forms in the Vulkem. I like the idea of being able to remove a floor panel or two if necessary to reach piping or electical under the floor. Oh, and that's another advantage of a raised floor like that: you can run stuff under it, and out of the way. For example, from the sump at the low end of the trench, you might want a submersible pump that lifts the gray water to your sewer or another holding/separating tank or whatever. No need for that run to be in the way.

    Regards,
    Mike

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