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Im gonna build a brewery!

This idea may sound crazy and I know that makes it all the more exciting. Here’s my idea.

My two daughters are 14 and 12 years old. When they were very small I bought a swing set with a clubhouse. They never use the clubhouse anymore. Sometimes they use the swing set. The clubhouse floor is about 5 feet above the ground. The roof peak is about 11 feet high. From the floor to the ground is empty space. It’s a 5 foot by 5 foot floor dimension. So it’s rather small. With the floor being 5 feet high I cannot stand under it without bending over. So here’s my idea.

I can remove the floorboards and enclose the structure with T-111 plywood. I can fit a few inches of insulation in there if I do T-111 on the inside as well. That would give me a hollow tower. I could rebuild the floor so that its 7 feet high. That would give me some space between the floor and the roof, which can contain ale pails. I will run power out there, both 110V and 220V. I can get the induction cook top and do electric powered boils.

I can insulate the small space above very well and mount an air conditioner for the summer, and an electric baseboard heat for the winter. I could do my brewing in the lower section and then place the ale pails in the temperature controlled upper section for fermenting. Being that the space will be so small it should be very economical as far as temperature control.

Any thoughts or ideas for what I can add to make this even better? I do both all grain and extract brewing. So throw the ideas at me for what I can do to make this an awesome home brewery!

Sounds like fun to me! Cramped, but fun. I would think about swapping out the t-111 for hardie siding–It comes in 4’x8’ sheets, is probably cheaper than t-111, and most importantly, it won’t burn. I would also think about ventilation, maybe something a little better than the $30 Broan cheapo bath vent. My two main concerns from a build standpoint would be fire and airflow for sure. That’s gonna be a lot of heat and moisture in a very confined area.

I’ve got a 5’x5’ closet where I store all my gear, and it’s cramped. I think you’ve got your work cut out for you, but I’m sure sometime back awhile somebody told IKEA their stuff wouldn’t fly either!

Good luck and keep us posted if you give it a go.



I’m really not concerned about fire since I am planning electric, induction for the boiling. There will be no open flame or hot heating coils. The upper level will be heated by an electric baseboard heater so that is not a fire concern. The lower section is where the cooking will happen and that can be well ventilated. I was actually thinking of leaving a 4 inch gap at the ceiling for adequate air flow. So moisture and ventilation should not be an issue.

Hardie siding? Cement composite. Hmm, seems like T-111 should be cheaper and more rustic looking and far easier to work with. I am going simple here. T-111 and some nice stain should do the trick for that.

Go for it master brewer! I agree with Ron, however. Skip the T1-11. Ask around your area for rough cut lumber and go with board and batten. I’m in Vermont and it’'s well below $1 per board foot. Much nicer looking too.

I’m on long Island. Rough cut is gonna be hard to come by. And I am the “average Long Islander” so I don’t really have the funds for the rough cut stuff that is more expensive here because it’s what the trendy people want. How about cedar decking material? that could work out well. It’s probably more expensive than the T-111 but would be much nicer. But aside from the cosmetics, let’s talk design and features. What would be in YOUR home brewery?

I understand. I left NYC three years ago to become a farmer up here in Vermont. BTW, learned a lot since leaving the city. Cedar would be nice, but yes, expensive. A better option would be poplar. Just make sure to seal the areas touching the ground. Let me talk to the guys up here to see what they recommend. I’ll get back to you early next week. Unfortunately, since I just started home brewing, I can’t say what I’d want in my brewery.

Can you get running water to it without fear of freezing up? Be nice to have water handy instead of carrying buckets or lugging a hose. Just a tap, no drain would be necessary. Electrical should be a piece of cake. My biggest reasoning for the hardie siding was price–it’s cheaper here than t-111. And anywhere you have electricity, you have the possibility of fire. But…if all is done properly, you shouldn’t have any issues with whatever you use.

I would just want all my essentials–mash tun/brew kettle(one in the same for me), heat source, shelves for tubing, buckets, carboys, starter kit, etc. If you could find room for a mini fridge, that’d be cool. And a bean bag chair. Gotta have a place to relax and have a homebrew.


Yes, I can get water out there. That’s easy. But being in the northeast I would need to figure out how to do that without freezing it in the winter. Not sure how to do that yet. Yes, anywhere there is electric there is possibility of fire but I think I can be safe enough to avoid that. Mini fridge may be tough. Bean bag chair? I like that idea. Should not be a problem.

If you’re running a water line from inside your house someplace put a shut off valve inside. Shut it off in the winter and bleed it out, then just turn it on for brew days.

Being so small maybe you can design it so one side swings open when your brewing otherwise I think if will be more sauna than brewery.

Brilliant !


I do have the space to make bump out storage areas. Oh! and here’s a kicker. Right next to the swing set is my hop garden. I have 3 vines there. As far as being tight I don’t thing that will be an issue. When I brew on my deck I seem to stay basically in a very small area. Not like I need a lot of space to move around while cooking. Gotta figure out a sound system as well. When brewing I always play music that makes me feel the brew groove. I am brewing a rye ale today and my soundrtack for this brew is the best of Dr. Hook.

We are expecting a blizzard. 3 feet of snow possible. Now it’s too bad I don’t have my brewery built. This would be a perfect time to sit in the brewery and make beer through the mayhem. I think this also calls for collecting a load of snow and making a beer out of it. Maybe a snowball stout?

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