Adventures in concrete

It’s been a busy two weeks! We got our building permit just before Thanksgiving, and construction began in earnest on December 2nd. It has been fast and furious!

We’re doing as much of the work ourselves as we can to save money. The more we save, the more we have to spend on fun stuff later! Plus, it’s been pretty fun learning new skills. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

Tim and Rhett rented this ginormous monster and sawed the concrete.

Tim and Rhett sawing concrete

Tim and Rhett sawing concrete

The excavator guys came in with a backhoe and a track loader and tore out the giant blocks of concrete. This was when I had more than a few “holy shit this is real” moments.

Hoooooly crap

Hoooooly crap

All dug out and ready for plumbing

All dug out and ready for plumbing

Like what we've done with the place?

Like what we’ve done with the place?

Next was the underslab plumbing. Our plumbers made quick work of digging, laying out all the pipes, and connecting to the existing plumbing. We were particularly excited about our sexy new trench drains. Properly sloped floors and trench drains are what every brewer dreams of.

Takes a lot of plumbing to turn a warehouse into a brewery

Takes a lot of plumbing to turn a warehouse into a brewery

Mmmm trench drains...

Mmmm trench drains…

We had the underslab plumbing inspected once it was complete, and we got the go-ahead to cover it up.

Rhett, Tim, and I worked diligently to prep the slab. First you have to put a layer of stone on top of the dirt. Then you have to put down a layer of plastic to keep ground moisture away from the new concrete. Then you put down a wire mesh to provide structure. We had to place bent rebar underneath the trench drains also. Then you drill into the existing slab and insert rebar to provide a way to join together the old concrete and the new. It was a lot of work!

Tim drilling for the dowels

Tim drilling for the dowels

Tim and Rhett laying down the plastic

Tim and Rhett laying down the plastic

Me cutting some wire mesh

Me cutting some wire mesh

Laying rebar underneath the trench drains

Laying rebar underneath the trench drains

The finished product!

The finished product!

We had that inspected, and we apparently did it right because we got permission to pour the slab! Next day, a big crew of concrete guys came in and poured it.

First they dump in the concrete, get it in place with shovels and rakes, then they use a vibrating screed to level it out and make it smooth. Once it hardens, they use a float to create a smooth finish. Rhett finished up by cutting the control joints, which are basically just 1″ deep cuts in the concrete to prevent unsightly cracks from forming.

Pouring concrete

Pouring concrete

Using a screed to level it out

Using a screed to level it out

Beautiful new concrete!

Beautiful new concrete!

All very fascinating stuff. I certainly learned a lot these last two weeks!

Other than that, we’ve been getting more of the equipment we need, like a glasswasher, some sinks, POS stuff like a cash register and a check printer. Ooo, and a pallet jack! We need that to move around our keg washer, which is being delivered tomorrow. And we’re in the middle of repairing some old masonry, which I’ll leave for next time.

Soooo much stuff is happening. It’s really exciting. I can’t even describe how much fun I’m having. Building a brewery is awesome!!

    2 comments

  1. Tim Carey says:

    Wow!! Unbelievable!! Your building is looking fantastic!! Great job on the floor! Best wishes and good luck!!!

  2. A. Rodriguez says:

    My friends and I enjoyed a brewery crawl in the South Slope area a few weeks ago (Burial –>Green Man —>Hi-Wire). Looking forward to the addition of Twin Leaf in the near future.

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