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Farm Distillery Floor-plan Feedback Request

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I would like some feedback on  my proposed distillery floor-plan.  I'm somewhat constrained on my building size and due to being partial in a floodplain. The building will be a 30ft by 50 ft steel building 20 ft high. The distillery operations will be on 2/3 of the area on a mezzanine about 7 ft up.  The remainder of the upper area will be tasting/retail. The lower area will be for the forklift and possibly barrel/tote/supply storage. There will be a 15x30 deck at the rear. Please tell me what you think could be improved or what I may be missing.  

 

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I will say before you do your final design watch this video. I know I beat the Lean/Six Sigma drum a lot, but it's worth it. Learn it, live it. When you're designing where things go in your shop think about what you're going to be doing, how often you'll be doing it. I know as a small company you might not think it applies that much, but it really does. It's about reducing time not doing things that make you money so you can spend more time working on those things that do.

 

 

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A few things, I'm not sure where you are located, but do you need to send your plans to the city/county/state for approval?

If so you do not look ADA compliant in particular with regards to your bathrooms, also it seems like a lot of toilets/urinals for the space.

Secondly, most state health inspectors are going to require a 3-bay sink, not just a two bay.

Fire code wise, your electrical panel probably doesn't have proper access.

You also probably don't have enough space set aside for mechanical.

Two fermentors to feed two stills doesn't seem to be a good match.

With 20 foot ceilings, I would try to use space over the retail room for storage, and perhaps an office.

TTB will most likely want a separate door to your production space, not to mention just for fire escapes.

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At a quick glance definitely not enough fermenters unless you are planning to be part time.

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Bathrooms clearly aren't ADA compliant. Plan on a 7x7 box with nothing fancy -- forget about a urinal and stool. Google "Standard ADA bathroom" and you'll get a million hits. We have two identical. Both unisex. Both dull and utilitarian.  Seems to work OK. 

You'll want to have forklift access to your storage, i.e. approach from the widest dimension. You'll forever be fighting yourself entering from the "end" of the room.

Heaping on to what others have said, I think you need twice the amount of fermenters. 

Be caution of the on demand heater -- consider what happens to flow rate if both bathrooms and your kitchen area are using hot water at once.

Think about having your RO close to where you intend to proof/gauge

You'll want a rolling lockable tool chest. Harbor freight is your friend.

You'll want a 

I dont see a furnace / mechanical room.  We cheaped out the first winter and used only a fireplace (hey, lean times!) and still heat to heat our entire building. Got dinged twice by inspectors when temp fell below 68. 

You'll need a water softener in front of your RO system.

Think about process hose storage; hose bib locations, 220 outlets for pumps, electrical drops from the ceiling, need for 3-phase power, location of NEMA approved enclosure for VFDs, etc, Fridge for yeast storage (you dont want to store your gogurt with your EC-1118) 

Where does your electrical drop come in? Just stating the obvious  but that dictates where your electrical room will/should be.

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Lose all the walls you can! Mass space will be more important than segregating things.

Start with a three bay sink, so you won't have to change it.

I see molasses, so rum?  Good would be turning a molasses ferment in three days. Your fermentation tanks should be at least six times your still capacity. How often do you want to distill and how fast can you turn a ferment?

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Concur - stay flexible your layout will change.  Extend that floor drain as much as possible to give you flexibility down the road.  That storeroom behind the fermenters is going to be a disaster to work with.

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Are you going to use a chiller for cooling stills or well water? Up to 10 HP you can get chillers in 208-230/1/60, outdoor you'll need glycol mix for the chiller if you have any freeze issues.  I do carry a "dry" glycol cooler to satisfy cooling in winter, popular up Northern US.

Usually farm distillers don't have 3 phase power and water wells that don't satisfy the usage for distillery cooling.

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3-basin sink AND a separate utility sink (mop sink) are required. The latter can be a floor sink. It appears you have no plans to barrel age any product, at least you have no room in that layout. You aren't expecting to condition the air in that production room using a window AC in the summer, are you? If you are not going to use chilled fermenters, you need to control the room temperature well. 

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On 9/22/2017 at 8:48 AM, Tom Lenerz said:

A few things, I'm not sure where you are located, but do you need to send your plans to the city/county/state for approval?

If so you do not look ADA compliant in particular with regards to your bathrooms, also it seems like a lot of toilets/urinals for the space.

Secondly, most state health inspectors are going to require a 3-bay sink, not just a two bay.

Fire code wise, your electrical panel probably doesn't have proper access.

You also probably don't have enough space set aside for mechanical.

Two fermentors to feed two stills doesn't seem to be a good match.

With 20 foot ceilings, I would try to use space over the retail room for storage, and perhaps an office.

TTB will most likely want a separate door to your production space, not to mention just for fire escapes.

Thanks Tom. I'll increase to 7x7 or so and make the two bathrooms the same.  I'll talk to the county to see if I can collect graywater to handle the non-sewage drains. The building itself is 20 ft but there is a raised mezzanine due to the floodplain. On the second level the roof will have a 4/14 pitch so I should have 16ft or so clearance in the center. The two fermenters for now are beasue I'll have probably have one large still and one small one but that could change and I'll keep it in mind.  What do you mean about electrical access?  Should I put it over near the entrance?  Others have mentioned removing walls so I'm thinking of just having one large storage closet but I'm not sure of the security requirements for the finished product area. I'll also look at adding another door to the production area. I'm considering leavign the interior door for production employees and the deck out back for customer access since I need ADA ramps anyhow.. 

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On 9/22/2017 at 8:55 AM, PeteB said:

At a quick glance definitely not enough fermenters unless you are planning to be part time.

Thanks.  I'll pick up more once business picks up.

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On 9/22/2017 at 3:53 PM, indyspirits said:

Bathrooms clearly aren't ADA compliant. Plan on a 7x7 box with nothing fancy -- forget about a urinal and stool. Google "Standard ADA bathroom" and you'll get a million hits. We have two identical. Both unisex. Both dull and utilitarian.  Seems to work OK. 

You'll want to have forklift access to your storage, i.e. approach from the widest dimension. You'll forever be fighting yourself entering from the "end" of the room.

Heaping on to what others have said, I think you need twice the amount of fermenters. 

Be caution of the on demand heater -- consider what happens to flow rate if both bathrooms and your kitchen area are using hot water at once.

Think about having your RO close to where you intend to proof/gauge

You'll want a rolling lockable tool chest. Harbor freight is your friend.

You'll want a 

I dont see a furnace / mechanical room.  We cheaped out the first winter and used only a fireplace (hey, lean times!) and still heat to heat our entire building. Got dinged twice by inspectors when temp fell below 68. 

You'll need a water softener in front of your RO system.

Think about process hose storage; hose bib locations, 220 outlets for pumps, electrical drops from the ceiling, need for 3-phase power, location of NEMA approved enclosure for VFDs, etc, Fridge for yeast storage (you dont want to store your gogurt with your EC-1118) 

Where does your electrical drop come in? Just stating the obvious  but that dictates where your electrical room will/should be.

For a small distillery what kind of electrical would you suggest?  4-220V in strategic locations and 110 around the perimeter?  Each still will need a 220V.  Maybe I'll switch to a tank water heater.  I had a on-demand before for a restaurant and it was pretty handy and saved a lot of space.

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On 9/22/2017 at 10:00 PM, Falling Rock said:

Lose all the walls you can! Mass space will be more important than segregating things.

Start with a three bay sink, so you won't have to change it.

I see molasses, so rum?  Good would be turning a molasses ferment in three days. Your fermentation tanks should be at least six times your still capacity. How often do you want to distill and how fast can you turn a ferment?

What are the minimum walls I need in the production areas?  Just a mechanical room?  And maybe a boiler room?  What around a locked storage area?  I'll pick up more fermenters as production increases.  

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On 9/23/2017 at 3:27 PM, MG Thermal Consulting said:

Are you going to use a chiller for cooling stills or well water? Up to 10 HP you can get chillers in 208-230/1/60, outdoor you'll need glycol mix for the chiller if you have any freeze issues.  I do carry a "dry" glycol cooler to satisfy cooling in winter, popular up Northern US.

Usually farm distillers don't have 3 phase power and water wells that don't satisfy the usage for distillery cooling.

Really good questions. I'm actually in a urban/suburban area even though I'll be classified as a Farm Distillery. I have a call into the power company to get an answer on what kind of power is available. I have city water available or I can us a well. The city water will cost me >$20k to tap into due to fees. $11K plus equipment for a water well. But the driller can't guarantee flow rate. So I'm on the fence a little. The other down side of city water is they use that consumption to determine your sewer bill as well. I'm on a tight budget so I have been trying to figure the best method/sources for heating and cooling. Ady advice or recommendations are welcome.  I'm in Springfield, VA.

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On 9/24/2017 at 11:39 AM, bluestar said:

3-basin sink AND a separate utility sink (mop sink) are required. The latter can be a floor sink. It appears you have no plans to barrel age any product, at least you have no room in that layout. You aren't expecting to condition the air in that production room using a window AC in the summer, are you? If you are not going to use chilled fermenters, you need to control the room temperature well. 

Starting on a shoestring. I may install a mini split HVAC system. Unless another option is available. 

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On 9/23/2017 at 3:27 PM, MG Thermal Consulting said:

Are you going to use a chiller for cooling stills or well water? Up to 10 HP you can get chillers in 208-230/1/60, outdoor you'll need glycol mix for the chiller if you have any freeze issues.  I do carry a "dry" glycol cooler to satisfy cooling in winter, popular up Northern US.

Usually farm distillers don't have 3 phase power and water wells that don't satisfy the usage for distillery cooling.

Really good questions. I'm actually in a urban/suburban area even though I'll be classified as a Farm Distillery. I have a call into the power company to get an answer on what kind of power is available. I have city water available or I can us a well. The city water will cost me >$20k to tap into due to fees. $11K plus equipment for a water well. But the driller can't guarantee flow rate. So I'm on the fence a little. The other down side of city water is they use that consumption to determine your sewer bill as well. I'm on a tight budget so I have been trying to figure the best method/sources for heating and cooling. Ady advice or recommendations are welcome.  I'm in Springfield, VA.

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1 hour ago, Trevor said:

What do you mean about electrical access?  Should I put it over near the entrance?  

You need to keep a certain number of inches/feet clear in front of the panel in case of a fire or other emergency. This is an OSHA, fire code and electrical code thing. 

https://www.compliance.gov/sites/default/files/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/fastfacts_electricalpanelaccess.pdf 

I'd also recommend keeping it some place dry.

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Echoing everyone above: Look into the sombrero of death concept. You have a large one in your plans and its a problem.

 

I would consider making your single line floor drain a T if you're using a basic trench, especially if your floor isn't already pitched for a floor drain (I'm assuming you're moving into a building and installing your own trench). I would look into the floor slit drain if I were you, and if you added it it would work well as a single line or a T. As a smaller operation it will be expensive but it will really help you keep everything sanitary being able to flush that out easily and allow for less operators.

I would add another concrete pad for a chiller or put it on roof. Where is your air compressor? Intrinsically safe instead of explosion proof will save you alot of money. You definitely don't have enough storage, think about fitting grain bags, enzyme, nutrients, tools, hardware supply (Oar, mixers, hoses, siphon tubes, lab type equipment, refractometer, hydrometer, etc.) all in that small supply storage. 

 

I think you should add a hoist/lift to the ceiling somewhere, this could help to allow you to run as a single operator.

Where will you store samples of finished goods?

You need some processing tanks of some type. Blending Proofing Mixing Cleaning they can do it all but you need them to do anything.

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2 minutes ago, SlickFloss said:

Echoing everyone above: Look into the sombrero of death concept. You have a large one in your plans and its a problem.

 

I would consider making your single line floor drain a T if you're using a basic trench, especially if your floor isn't already pitched for a floor drain (I'm assuming you're moving into a building and installing your own trench). I would look into the floor slit drain if I were you, and if you added it it would work well as a single line or a T. As a smaller operation it will be expensive but it will really help you keep everything sanitary being able to flush that out easily and allow for less operators.

I would add another concrete pad for a chiller or put it on roof. Where is your air compressor? Intrinsically safe instead of explosion proof will save you alot of money. You definitely don't have enough storage, think about fitting grain bags, enzyme, nutrients, tools, hardware supply (Oar, mixers, hoses, siphon tubes, lab type equipment, refractometer, hydrometer, etc.) all in that small supply storage. 

 

I think you should add a hoist/lift to the ceiling somewhere, this could help to allow you to run as a single operator.

Where will you store samples of finished goods?

You need some processing tanks of some type. Blending Proofing Mixing Cleaning they can do it all but you need them to do anything.

The building will be a new construction 30x50 Steel building. Not even sure how to slope the floor yet but I'll extend the drain for sure. There is a good possability I will have a lot of storage on the slab. But it can;t be anything that needs refrigeration.

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As was earlier mentioned yeast will need refrigeration unless you propagate naturally, which although risky I think would be to your credit and make you absolutely unique (and save you some cash, but replicability will be tough). 

 

Is your slab already poured?

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14 minutes ago, SlickFloss said:

As was earlier mentioned yeast will need refrigeration unless you propagate naturally, which although risky I think would be to your credit and make you absolutely unique (and save you some cash, but replicability will be tough). 

 

Is your slab already poured?

No slab yet. I live in a heavily regulated county so I need to have everything on my building permit or they will kill be on submisison fees.

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What are you making?  I know this is heretical to mention on this forum, but what is your purpose for the distillery?  If you are on a super tight budget (which it looks like) have you considered being a warehouse/processor instead of starting off distilling stuff yourself?  You can go to several distilleries and have custom mash bills distilled for you.   Turn that into warehouse and processing and put the money towards that equipment into a barrel program and build your distillery when you can afford it (my 2 cents).  In my 7+ years of doing this, probably the most important lessons I've learned are: 1) people care if your product is good first, and your story a distant second (marketing fatigue), 2) if you can't scale without rebuilding you'll soon be retired, 3) barely making it work on paper (physical layout or financial dreams) means you are tweaking the data and you will fall short of success [if it doesn't work in the worst case scenario, then it just doesn't work].

I don't use molasses so I'm not sure what the lauter tun is for?  If it's grain based, where are you going to store the grain (I'm assuming it would be pre-ground) or are you planning on daily deliveries?  

You're going to hate that finished goods area the moment you get two pallets in there.  Also, you'll need a man-door and a garage door to keep from going insane (not to mention the codes). 

I don't see a door for pallets or a rigger to get your equipment in or out of the building.  Retail will need to be physically separated from the bonded area.  It looks to me like you've got too little space and will soon regret not having dedicated space... maybe turn the deck into a finished room and make that your retail?  With a gift shop the size of a walk-in closet, I'd recommend deleting backstock and find a way to get everything on the floor (put the back stock for shirts under the display table, e.g.).  

Where are you putting your scales for proof reduction?  If you are proofing an aged product, you'll need a holding tank to proof slowly over days and another holding tank for actively bottling (unless time isn't an issue). 

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On ‎23‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 5:53 AM, indyspirits said:

..................

I dont see a furnace / mechanical room.  We cheaped out the first winter and used only a fireplace (hey, lean times!) and still heat to heat our entire building. Got dinged twice by inspectors when temp fell below 68. ......................

 

Intrigued! What is the problem if temperature drops below 68f (20c)? I presume you mean air temperature of work area.

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Your retail area is overcome with washrooms. Who wants to emerge from a washroom right into the tasting bar? You have 30 X 50 feet which is larger than my place, but your design dosen't have an obvious flow to it. Why a steel building? We looked into one of those, but in the end - it was better to build from scratch. Aesthetics are important, especially as the business gets more competitive - you want your space to be something the customer will dream about, but could never achieve...

Mechanical is important because its tied in with the various types water that will ebb and flow through the distillery. It has to be simple to understand and easily accessible. We use in-floor radiant heating, so no furnace required. That being said, getting rid of heat is more of a problem than generating it.

In the movie 'The Founder', the McDonald's brothers work out their McDonald's kitchen workflow on a tennis court with masking tape. Its a very cool scene. Very revealing. We did the same thing - it really helps visualize your idea and give some structure to the process you are trying to achieve.

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